Chicago Cubs Pitcher Donates $10K to Aspirus Health Foundation

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Antigo native and Chicago Cubs Pitcher Justin Berg is saying thank you to a local hospital for saving his grandpa's life.

Berg made a $10,000 donation to the Aspirus Health Foundation to help launch the Aspirus Hero Program Friday.

Berg, 26, hasn't been a Chicago Cubs pitcher for long. During his first spring training this year, he learned that part of being a rookie, was participating in Cubs Idol. That's a sports version of the singing competition.

"Guys were so nervous. I'm not kidding you. One of the guys handed a guy, at 8 o'clock in the morning, made him shotgun a beer," Berg said.

But turns out Berg can sing. He tied for first place and won $10,000 to give to a charity of his choice, plus $5,000 for himself.

"I chose Aspirus because I think the medical staff here is one of the best around. I wanted to help out the local community," he said.

Berg's gift will go directly to the Aspirus cardiovascular program, a program he says helped save his grandpa's life.

"He went through some tough surgeries but it looks like he's doing really well now," he said.

The major leaguer's donation also helped launch the Aspirus Hero Program, which recognizes doctors and medical staff who make a difference in a patient's life.

Dr. Jamie Costa and Dr. Ronald Miles were honored, both worked on Berg's grandpa, Jim Pozorski.

"He's been through a lot. He's a testament to what you can accomplish if you really set your mind to it," said Dr. Ronald Miles, who performed open heart surgery on Pozorski.

Dr. Jamie Costa was also pinned as a hero.

"It's always nice to be recognized and honored for the effort you put forth for helping patient care," he said.

Berg graduated from Antigo High School in 2002.

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