My Day At The Old Ball Game

Today was my son’s first experience inside Wrigley Field, and what an experience it was.

Yeah, that’s him down on the field!  He’s managed to do something at his first game that I have yet been able to finagle, go on the field!  That’s my daughter behind him in the pink hat, it took her a whole two times to accomplish this feat.  Apparently if you have really good tickets or go to some desk somewhere and get a sticker, your kids can go on the field in a little roped off section to get autographs.  Luckily I managed to get a hold of some good tickets.  No parents though.  I was crushed!  So I did what all the other parents did, stand behind the wall and yell directions at the kids!  Unfortunately the Cubs had just finished up BP and were for the most part headed for the clubhouse.  That left us the Astros to pester for autographs.  Most of the kids sat there silently holding what ever they had to get signed and most of the players just kind of ignored them.  It was a good ‘ol fashion stand-off.  I didn’t want to seem to pushy like I was sending the kids in to get me autographs, but for christ’s sakes, you’re on the field get their attention at least!  I told the kids some of the player’s names and told them to use Mr., please, and thank you.  This paid off.  The first victim?

Center fielder Michael Bourn.

He had just finished in the cage and honestly looked a little aggravated.  While he was preparing his bats with some extra pine tar on the on deck circle my son piped up with a “Mr. Bourn, can you please sign my baseball card?”  I thought this might end badly, but  he instantly smiled and said “Sure”.  Now this is the part where he went the extra mile and made me a Michael Bourn fan.

I only had one of his cards and two kids.  My daughter was focused on Jeff Bagwell so all she had in her hand was one of his cards.  He noticed it wasn’t his card so he picked up an extra ball, signed it, and handed it to my daughter.  My kids thanked him and I told them not to thank him too much, he was probably going to make a diving catch in the outfield and rob some poor Cub of a hit.  He laughed and said he would be lucky just to catch one out there with the wind like it was.  A big thanks goes out to Mr. Bourn.  He also supplied some action with a nice clean collision at home plate where he was called out.

After they got a taste for blood, it was on!  The next victim?

#9 Hunter Pence.  By this time the ball got passed off to my son, who again was the one who got Pence’s attention.  At that time my daughter still had Bagwell’s card and my Wrigley field book that I keep ticket stub’s in and have several autographs throughout the pages.  She managed to get Pence’s autograph on the back cover of the book in red ink?  What can I say, she needs a little more practice at this sort of thing.

I have several of his cards but for some reason did not bring a single one of them with.  Shoudla, woulda , coulda I guess.

The last player they managed to get was Jason Michaels.  Again, my son got his attention and had him sign the ball.

By this time My daughter was still unable to get Bagwells attention and it was fast approaching lunch time so she’d had enough.  My son stuck around for a little bit longer and it finally looked like Bagwell was going to come over.  I thought finally we’ll get this auto, but no, Wes wanted a hot dog and a beer.  I’m not kidding, that’s what he turned and told me, “Dad, I’m ready for a hot dog and a beer!”.  After that I thought I’d better go ahead and head for the seat before he said anymore.  We missed out on Bagwell and Carlos Lee, but Wes noticed another player later talking and signing by the wall.  It wasn’t a player, but third base coach Dave Clark.

He’s a two-time former Cub and a former Astro’s interim manager.  He’s also put together a respectable managing career in the minors, so who knows, 2011 Cub’s manager?  My son also offered him a cookie but he respectfully declined.

So there you have it, the kids had fun and managed to experience more in a day than I’ve managed to experience in over thirty years at Wrigley.  And after this action packed day what was my son’s favorite part of the day, riding the escalator at the train station.  Ahhh, to be 4 years old again!

Here’s some more brag photo’s

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