Monday, June 13, 2011

Take me out to the ball game (but without the game)

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge Cubs fan. Although I have five boys and most of them like the Cubs simply because I do - and their aunts and uncles and grandpa do. My oldest has been a big fan for about 10 years. He's become a bigger fan than I am. He's not just a fan of the Cubs, but a fan of the game. Ask him about a player who was called up for three games at the end of the 2006 season and he can probably rattle off all his stats. I love that. Baseball is our bond. What is going on in the rest of his world may seem foreign to me and vice versa, but when it comes to baseball, we just connect. We're buddies. We talk. We laugh. We watch. We cheer. We gripe. It's a love that we both share.

Recently, we had a chance to go for a season ticket holder day when the Cubs were out of town. The place was open to explore -- from the field to the dugout to the locker room to the press box. We had a blast even though there wasn't a player in sight.

We giggled at the urinal in the hallway just outside the dugout. We reminisced when looking at pictures and jerseys of former players. We stood wide-eyed with mouths open as we peeked into the locker room with all the players' jerseys hanging. And we just grinned as we rolled around in the outfield grass and stood in front of the ivy on the brick outfield wall. We were amazed by classics played by the organ player and the historic photos hanging near the press booth (my favorite is one of Harry Caray and Ronald Reagan in the booth during a broadcast.)

He got to swing a bat in the batting tunnel where all his baseball idols warm up. We munched on complimentary hot dogs and popcorn. We went through the whole place and then just sat in the stands and soaked it up. It was one of those priceless days that will stay with you forever!

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