There is nothing better than baseball, except maybe if it is Cardinals versus Cubs baseball. Last week started off the right way. Thanks to several donations in the form of a Father’s day gift, I was able to get the best seats I have ever had for a professional baseball game — 7 rows from the third base dugout at Wrigley. Heaven.
Let me say right now that I have one of those voices that carries about three city blocks with very little effort.
My 16 year old son, thanks to young players like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, has discovered the joy of MLB baseball. Yes, he is a misguided Cubs fan, but he rarely misses a game. We have something in common now, a reason to spend more time together, and he also has to suck up to me if he wants to go into Chicago for a game. I now have leverage.
Nate and I went to the game, got there early enough to see pregame warmups, watched Anthony Rizzo being interviewed in his brand spanking new Allstar jersey. He and Bryant had just been announced to the Allstar roster. We watched Starlin Castro trot out to the left field batting cages with Manny Ramirez. The usher got a kick out of seeing Nate and I, son and father, decked out in opposing jerseys. I was in my Cardinal red, Nate in his new Bryant jersey. The usher laughed as he talked to us and took the picture I used for this blog.
Cub fans can be very pitiful fans, by the way. This year they are a bit better, likely due to having a team worth rooting for. But by the sixth inning the fans started acting like Cub fans, booing when the Cardinal pitcher threw over to first base for a pick off attempt.
“Do it again!” I actually got a few laughs with that one. The pitcher threw over again, the Cub fans booed, and I again encouraged him to do it again. Nate just stared straight ahead.
We almost witnessed a no hitter. Jon Lester took a no hitter into the seventh inning, when Peralta of the Cardinals nailed a hot grounder to Kris Bryant at third, who tried to back hand the ball. The official scorekeeper ruled it a hit. I stood up and cheered loudly, high fived the only Cardinal fan in the near vicinity. Cub fans glared at us. The next ball was another grounder to third. Bryant fielded it cleanly, then promptly fired the ball into right field.
“Way to go. Nice play, ALL STAR!!!!” Bryant actually turned in my direction. A burly Cub fan scowled at me. “Don’t disrespect us in our house. You don’t live here. Go back to Busch.”
I looked at Nate. He had a smirk on his face. That inning the Cardinals scored two runs. I was having a great time, a Cardinal fan on his feet in a section full of Cub fans.. all with their head in their hands.
The sky emptied on us in the middle of the eighth inning. We called it a night then. It was a good night. It didn’t hurt that the Cardinals won 6-0.