The lead sports story in your July 4th edition of The Beacon News? Cubbie hearts were all aflutter in the Fox Valley tonight as third baseman Aramis Ramirez played a ballgame here in Kane County.
Ramirez, who has been out since May 8 with a left shoulder dislocation, went 1-for-2 with a walk and a double on his rehab assignment as the Peoria Chiefs beat the Cougars 7-1. Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson, rehabbing a back injury, also played and went 1-for-2.
The big story, of course, was the presence of two-time All-Star Ramirez.
"I felt pretty good," Ramirez told reporter Brian Miller, who was our man on the scene at Elfstrom Stadium. "Everything went better than expected. The main thing was swinging the bat and that felt good. I'm very pleased with the way I feel."
The Cougars are feeling pretty good tonight, too. They set an attendance record, as 14,872 packed the place. As far as we know, there were no traffic accidents on Kirk Road and no Cubs fans were injured as they jockeyed for position in long ticket lines.
No word on whether the Cougars held a ticket lottery, passed out bracelets or overcharged the fans by using an intermediate broker either.
In additional rehab assignment news involving all-stars, the Sox are sending outfielder Carlos Quentin to Charlotte. Quentin, who has been sidelined since May 25 with plantar fasciitis, will be brought along slowly. He's expected to play three innings in his first game, then five innings in his second game.
Quentin is not expected back until after the All-Star break.