Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: Former Cubs pitcher and current media personality Ryan Dempster
This love letter stems from the Cubs/Reds game on 9/8/20: where Dempster talked about speeding a hitter up as Mills threw 3 fastballs, which sets him up to be out in front of a curve or changeup. Next pitch? a 75 MPH curve. Boom, called it. It was like he was in Alec Mills head.
Dempster was a great pitcher for the Cubs: 87 saves and a 3.74 ERA got it done most nights. He spent 9 seasons as a Cubs, a lot longer than my memory might indicate. Since retiring in 2013, he's become a bit of personality for the Cubs. He had a few TV guest appearances, moved up to hosting his own talk show and now provides regular analysis on Marquee. He's a pleasure to listen to and quite insightful.
Thank you for all that you did for the Cubs over the years. I enjoyed watching you play, because you were a steady guy on the mound. It was inspiring to see someone come back from major injuries become a good closer, and then later transition into a good starter again. That's very impressive, and I won't forget it.
I appreciate you even more for your public speaking. Between your humor and analysis, you always have something positive to contribute. You constantly are trying to evolve your on screen skills, and it shows. Not many people can crack jokes, interview, and provide thoughtful analysis. You might not be a master comedian, or the greatest color announcer, but your flexibility and presence is something to be admired. Very few people can talk as much publicly. But to stick their toes into all sorts of pools is something very few can do. Most find a niche and stick to where they are safe. You are constantly trying new things and improving. That takes guts and skills that few have.
I'm really glad you became a part of the Cubs family. Few pitchers can stick with one franchise for so long. Even fewer have the ability to break out on TV after their arms are done. But like the little engine that could, you keep chugging along, never content with status quo. We are fortunate to have you around. Here's to many more years of Dempster on TV!