Redford, Santo Jr. headline Opening Day at Wrigley

Redford, Santo Jr. headline Opening Day at Wrigley
March 25, 2011, 4:44 pm
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Friday, March 25, 2011
Posted: 11:37 a.m. Updated 5:13 p.m.

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

Robert Redford and Ron Santo Jr. will take center stage on Opening Day at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs announced Friday that Redford who played high school baseball with Don Drysdale and starred in The Natural will throw out the first pitch on April 1 before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Academy Award-winning director will be in Chicago to promote his new movie The Conspirator, which was backed by Joe Ricketts, the head of the family that owns the Cubs.

In memory of his father, Santo Jr. will lead the crowd in singing the seventh-inning stretch.

Its part of a season-long tribute to the legendary player and broadcaster, who died of bladder cancer last December. The Cubs are wearing No. 10 uniform patches and will unveil a Ron Santo statue outside the stadium on Aug. 10.

Wayne Messmer will sing the national anthem. A flag recovered from the World Trade Center after the 911 attacks will be on display in the outfield.

There will also be a pregame moment of silence for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. There will be a UNICEF collection at the ballpark to raise funds for children affected by the disaster.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.