I spent this past Saturday at the Friendly Confines with my sons and my parents. It was our annual pilgrimage to the ‘ol ballpark and it ended up being a memorable one.
Of course, every trip to Wrigley Field is memorable in its own way. It’s one of my favorite places on Earth and I’ve been going to games there since I was a little kid. I was there for work on this particular day and my parents and the boys came with. Glad they did, because it was quite a day.
We got there early and on the way into the park, my parents spotted a Cub legend just steps away from them. Ferguson Jenkins was there to sing the 7th inning stretch that day and was making his way in when my Mom snapped this photo of him. Fergie!
The boys said they wanted to see batting practice. Well, shortly after they walked up the steps to the seating area they got a big surprise. They were flagged down by a lady who happened to have two field passes for batting practice.
So, the kids got to stand on the ‘hallowed ground’ of Wrigley Field, just a few feet away from the batting cage, while the players took their practice swings. So cool…they even got a ball! They were really excited.
I think my Mom was actually more excited than anyone, though. She watched them from the first row and I could tell she was beyond thrilled to see her grandkids getting to do that.
We all enjoyed the game together. We sat in the upper deck, near the press box. It’s one of our favorite spots. Shaded from the sun, and a great view of the game. After a back and forth contest on the field, a few hot dogs for us and a nap for my oldest son, the game was over.
The Cubs didn’t win but it didn’t take away from the fact that the kids were able to stand on the field. It’s something I didn’t get to do until just this year and man, was that fun. So I hope they will remember it as being something really special.
The fun wasn’t over yet though. As we were walking down the ramps from the upper deck, we crossed paths with a gentleman pulling a suitcase. Turns out it was Pat Hughes, the radio broadcaster of the Cubs. Cool!
My Dad and I said hello to him. He said hello to both of us and simply said, ‘Tired’ in response to the best question I could come up with (‘How are you?’) to ask a broadcaster ready to get home after a day at work while walking with masses of people around us. Then, he walked down some stairs and off he went.
I explained to my sons who that was and was thrilled to have met Mr. Hughes. His broadcasts are fantastic. It’s always a joy to listen to him.
From there, we headed out with great memories made and a good time had by all.
It was a fun day, and I’m sure we’ll get the ‘W’ next time. We’re Cubs fans…being optimistic is a job requirement 🙂