CHICAGO (CBS) — An 88-year-old man who just started his 19th season as an usher for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field got his World Series ring, but it almost didn’t happen.
Since he was a kid, Don Vlcek has been a Cubs fan. He said he used to clean the bleachers to get free tickets.
Now, at the age of 88, he is an usher. WBBM”s Steve Miller reports.
And when Vlcek received news he was receiving a World Series ring…
“It got my heart ticking. Faster,” he laughs.
And it was Vlcek’s heart that gave him problems two weeks ago. Vlcek woke up sweating and his grandson rushed him to the ER at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.
Cardiologist Dr. Ray Kawasaki said Vlcek’s arrhythmia was life-threatening.
Doctors originally scheduled Vleck for a procedure to put in a defibrillator on Monday, April 17, but that was the same day Vlcek was supposed to get his ring.
Dr. Kawasaki, also a Cubs fan, understood.
“Hey, he can’t miss this ring ceremony,” Dr. Kawasaki said. “And we have to do something to get him out of the hospital so he can make it to the ceremony.”
So, doctors and nurses scheduled the procedure early, on what’s usually their day off – Saturday. And Vlcek got his ring at the ceremony.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’m ready to run around the block. But they won’t let me. Not yet.”
Vlcek returned to visit the doctors and nurses that helped him make it to his special day, to say thanks.