A ring and a prayer . . .
The Cubs have had a magical year.
For Cubs fan Tommy Poreda, a Chicago fireman, the year just got better.
• Translation: Poreda, who lost his wedding ring Oct. 29 during Game 4 of the World Series at Wrigley Field, learned last week his ring had been found.
“Hey, hey,” chirped Poreda — who had yet to have the heart to tell his mother — who’d given him the Irish claddagh heirloom for a wedding ring — he’d lost it when Sneed called to tell him last week it had been found.
“I never thought I’d see it again,” he said.
“I’m a vet — and other than the birth of my son, Ryne, on Veteran’s Day last month, this only adds to the gifts I’ve received in 2016 — which also includes the Cubs finally winning the World Series,” Poreda said.
Two days after the game, the ring was actually found by Poreda’s seatmate, Triton College Board Chairman Mark Stephens, who discovered it in a bag of Cubs souvenirs he had purchased at the game that night!
“It just fell out when I opened it up on Halloween,” Stephens told Sneed.
“It was heartbreaking watching this guy diving under the seats and ripping through hot dog wrappers and peanut boxes to find his wedding ring,” he said.
“I’m a season ticket holder and my seat was next to his, and I noticed about halfway through the nerve-wracking game he was fiddling with his hand and spinning his ring,” Stephens said.
“The next thing you know, we were all trying to help him find the ring by tearing through the garbage under our chairs.
“We all felt terrible, but he figured the best thing to do was wait for the game to be over when everyone cleared out to resume the search for his ring.
“Then two days later, bingo! I find the ring!”
“I was shocked. I never knew his name, but I called the Cubs to see if they could locate him via his seat ticket, but no one got back to me.
“It would sure be nice to get this wedding ring back to him before Christmas!”
Well, folks. Merry Christmas.
The Cubs did come through.
The Cubs ticket czar, Brian Garza, tracked Poreda down through his ticket for seat 6, row 4, section 124, which was given to him by his retired Chicago firefighter father, Michael Poreda.
“What a magical year it’s been,” Garza said. “Pure magic. The story is still sinking in. We are the World’s Series champions!
“But in the vein of the holiday season, this story is a perfect closer with a great ending. The ring returning to its rightful owner is the icing on the cake!”
Added Poreda: “My wife knows I get grumpy when the Cubs lose, but I knew when I got home after the game, I had to tell her that the ring wouldn’t be on the dresser in the morning,” he said.
“As a fireman, I am precluded from wearing a ring at work because it could get ripped off my finger.
“But I wore it to the game that day,” he said.
“Thank goodness when I tell my mom, Mary O’Connor, who brought the ring back from Ireland, what happened — the ring will be back on my hand.”
Happy New Year, Tommy.
And many thanks to your personal Santa, Mr. Mark Stephens.
Photo op: Santa’s little helpers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Ed Burke (14th), visited 94-year-old Josephine Regnier at her Southwest Side home recently after her brutal assault by a robber this month.
Ironically, Regnier — who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in World War II — was beaten by her assailant on Dec. 7, the anniversary of the 1941 attack on our country’s naval fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii — which caused our nation’s entry into World War II.
• Backstory: The attack occurred as the assailant pushed his way inside her doorway and stole her purse containing $50 in cash. A 26-year-old suspect in the case is being held without bond. “It’s amazing what can happen when a reward is offered,” Burke said.
This & that . . .
• Psst! Sneed hears whispers Janey Rountree, who has been the public safety go-between for the mayor’s office and the Chicago Police Department, may be this/close to exit the swinging door at City Hall.
• Gov. hopeful Chris Kennedy dining with Ariel Investments John Rogers, and State Sen. Kwame Raoul discussed political strategy at Gibsons recently.
• Uber Cub fan Joe Wright loaned Addison Russell’s Grand Slam “108 mph” ball from Game 6 of the World Series to the Chicago Sports Museum. The ball is insured for $108,000!
Sneedlings . . .
Today’s birthdays: Jared Leto, 45; Chris Daughtry, 37, and Ozzie Smith, 62.Tweets by @sneedlings