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Rings are ‘awesome,’ but for Lackey it’s hard to top those boots

John Lackey pitches against Team Italy on Tuesday

MESA, Ariz. – John Lackey doesn’t know when he’ll ever get a chance to wear his Cubs’ World Series ring.

“I’m not a huge flashy kind of guy,” said the veteran right-hander, who said his 2002 Angels ring and 2013 Red Sox ring are in a box “somewhere” in his closet. “It’ll be awesome for sure. If I go to a wedding or have to put on a tux, I’ll wear one, but that’s about it.”

World Series boots, on the other hand, are a different matter for the big Texan.

“I’m not even sure how many pairs of boots I have, honestly,” said Lackey, who before taking the mound for his first start of the spring Tuesday put in an order for a pair of custom-made Cubs’ championship boots with the World Series commemorated on the front and Cubs “W” on the back.

Those he’ll wear. “Hundred percent,” said Lackey, who also has a similar pair of Red Sox championship boots. “Those are going to get a sporting around, for sure.”

Manager Joe Maddon and some of Lackey’s teammates also appeared to be in the market for a pair when the boot rep showed off is demo pair.

Lackey pitched two quick innings in his spring debut, facing seven batters in the Cubs exhibition against Italy’s World Baseball Classic team.

Don’t ask Lackey, by the way, how many pitches he threw in a game in March. “Doesn’t matter. Make something up,” he said.

Don’t ask him if he checked the radar gun, either.

“I don’t look at the gun in June.”

Almora on tap

Albert Almora Jr., who left Monday’s game early because of soreness in his left calf, said the calf is fine, and he’s expected to play Thursday.

He said it’s been sore since he fouled a ball off it last week but it worsened in recent days. He hit a grand slam and doubled as recently as Sunday.

Bear facts

The Cubs on Tuesday revealed the 20 winners of their biggest-Cub-fan ring-bearer contest, ranging in age from 13 to 90. Sixteen are from Illinois; three from Indiana and one from Jefferson City, Mo.

The winners, who were selected from over 1,500 video entries, will present the rings to players and staff during a pregame ceremony April 12.

To see the winning videos or learn more about the winners, go to cubs.com/cubsringbearer.

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