Cubs radio man Pat Hughes has a Hall of a speech coming up — and it’s already making him cry

Speaking about Mary and Vergil Hughes — Mom and Dad — will tug at his heartstrings the most.

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Pat Hughes after throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on March 30, 2003.

Pat Hughes after throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on March 30, 2003.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH — “Get it right. Don’t be hysterical. Don’t get into an octave where you lose control of your voice.”

That’s what Cubs radio man Pat Hughes kept telling himself during the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland in 2016, the biggest night of his career.

One month from today, on July 22 in Cooperstown, New York, Hughes will have a different self-directive on his mind: Try not to cry.

Hughes, 68, the 47th recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, has been tinkering with the Hall of Fame induction speech he’ll deliver at the Alice Busch Opera Theater a day before former players Scott Rolen and Fred McGriff have their moments in the sun. His speech is pretty much written, but holding it to 10 or 15 minutes, as he has been asked to do, won’t be easy. Nor will expressing his thoughts without being overtaken by emotion be easy considering tears keep finding their way into his eyes when he fires up his laptop and ruminates on his words after games.

“I’m concerned that when I’m speaking, I’ll experience that,” he said. “I’m going to mention my parents.”

He’ll touch on broadcasting teammates Ron Santo, Ron Coomer and Harry Caray as well as his early influences in the business, many great moments along the way and, of course, his own family. But speaking on Mary and Vergil Hughes — Mom and Dad — will be what tugs at his heartstrings the most, he just knows it.

“They were both educators,” he said. “They were kind and gentle and they always stressed reading and learning and getting good grades, but they always encouraged athletic competition, too. My dad coached a bunch of our teams. My mom, she listened to me on the radio all the time. In my childhood home, she had a room in the back of the house where she did knitting and listened first to Ron Santo and me and then to Ron Coomer and me. She was very proud.”

Vergil died in 1994, two years before Hughes landed the Cubs job. Mary died a day after the 2020 season was shut down, a pandemic only beginning to rage.

“I wish they were both still alive,” Hughes said.

How pleased they surely would be to see their boy’s special day.

Swanson sits

Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson was on the bench for Wednesday’s 8-3 win against the Pirates after being hit by a pitch in the area of his right wrist in the middle game of the series. Despite some swelling and discoloration, Swanson — tied with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the most games played (454) since the start of the 2020 season — “almost certainly” will miss only one game, according to manager David Ross.

“It’s how he’s wired [to] want to be out there,” Ross said. “He’s tough. He understands what it takes to play every single day, and he’s been in this game a long time.”

“It is what it is,” said Swanson, who lobbied to play.

Wisdom working

Third baseman Patrick Wisdom’s sprained right wrist didn’t keep him from firing dozens of balls across the infield before the game, but he still hasn’t tested it in the batting cage. He’ll travel to London but won’t play against the Cardinals, ineligible to come off the injured list until July 27. Wisdom was unsure if he’ll need a rehab stint before being activated.

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