I’m a Cubs fan

And Old Style Man.

I love baseball.

I loved playing baseball.

I still love watching baseball.

There is no better team to watch than your team.

I’ve always been a Cubs fan.

Jump!

I’m sure Sigmund Freud or any other psychologist/psychiatrist could have a field day with my enjoyment of this franchise.

Mark Grace is my guy. Ryno and Hawk are immortal. Javy has been the most entertaining. Yes, even more than Sammy. Gary Scott my first flop. Gary Patterson Jr. the last one I wasted time and energy investing in a prospect.

Kerry warmin’ up in the pen in 98 against Dodgers was the first time I heard a ball whistle through the air.

SSSSSssssip

I was leaning out over the left field railing during warm ups. Strategically placing myself between him and Scott Servais.

Pop

The pop of Servais’ mit when five or so ounces of a combination of leather, cork, yarn, and 108 stitches slammed into his mit.

The more fluttering sound his curve made and the gentle thump of the mit. We Got Wood the shirt my grandmother bought my 10 year old brother. I promise to post that pic next time I find it.

I remember when a week before the game I was looking at the pitching rotation and going through the schedule. I thought Kerry Wood would be starting that game. My grandmother had begun a relatively new family tradition a few years earlier of buying a block of ten tickets to one Cubs game a year. Once I realized Kerry Wood would be on the mound I pleaded with the other nine people attending to get to Wrigley as soon as the gates opened to witness this moment. It was a moment I hope to never forget.

My first Cubs game was in 1987. I was 7. I went with the Boys and Girls Club. I just became a member. I was a Cadet and normally Cadets were not allowed to attend these types of field trips. I pleaded with those in charge. They played the Mets. My second game was the following year. They played the Pirates.

Seeing a young Daryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Andy Van Slyke, Bobby Bonilla, and Barry Bonds along with all my favorite Cubs was quite a moment for a young sports crazed fan.

I’ve been to Pittsburgh once and Cincinnati quite a few times to see them play. The greatest game I’ve ever seen in person is a tie and both took place in 2001.

June 6, 2001

Julio Zuleta walk off grand slam.

It was my second night game. It was the Cardinals. I sat in shallow right in one of the boxes that hangs off the upper deck. Best seats I’ve ever had. Walk off grand slam. Wow.

August 7th, 2001

Mongo calls out Angel Hernandez from the booth during the 7th inning stretch after a close play with Ron Coomer at home and things just got crazier from there. I was 14 rows back from Cubs dugout. From where I was sitting Coom was safe.

I agree with Harry, Tucker. Nice shirt and great effort.

My Econ teacher the next day

I had one Bueller moment in 1997. My best friends mom got a few tickets right behind the vistor dug out. She called us off of school. We ended up having the pleasure of sitting next to Dorothy Farrell. A foul balled bounced along the top of the dug out and I sold out on top of the dugout to catch it. I missed the ball was just out of reach but Harry took notice of my brightly colored Hawaiian shirt and my effort.

I tell you what Steve not only is that a great shirt,

But also a great effort by that young Cub fan

Harry Carey talking about me

I have had two terrifying moments at The Friendly Confines. The first was either my 1st or 2nd game when upon leaving the ballpark and walking back to the Boys and Girls Club bus I got distracted by all the sights and sounds that I was separated from my group. I was little, surrounded by strangers, and completely lost. Fitting considering the amount of lobbying I had to do to even get on the bus. I remember standing in the middle of a river of people crying. The buses seemed to be starting I thought I would end up on a milk carton and then some older woman helped me find my way back to my bus.

April 13th 2005

In a true sign that the baseball gods exist the rain out from the previous day was going to be made up today as a part of a double header. Only tickets for today would be honored at the gate. Guess who had two tickets for today’s game? My younger brother and I.

That was also the date that I had set up as the pick up date for my wife’s engagement ring. I had taken the South Shore into the city a few weeks earlier and went to Jewelers Row. I selected the perfect diamond, setting, and all that other stuff. My brother and I got off the South Shore walked up to Wabash and I got the ring. We were then headed north on the Red Line when I thought about what was in my right pocket. I just made the most important purchase of my life and now I was going to a double header at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs split with the Padres but all I could focus on was checking and rechecking my front pocket for my treasure. However, we did get to see Wood, Prior, and Peavy.

Up until 2015 I attended at least one home Cubs game a year. My high total for one year was 23. Three in one week twice. My friends and I used to cut school and go during High School. It was easy. A friend of ours worked in the attendance office.

Thanks Ashley

She would write us passes or just mark us absent and check the parent call box. It was the 90’s. It was different in a lot of ways. The Cubs were bad and you could still get walk up tickets from the box office. Sometimes even after first pitch. I’ve taken the bus, I’ve taken the train, I’ve driven myself, I’ve ridin a bike, I’ve even walked to a game.

I love the smell of Wrigley Field. Stale beer, peanuts, boiled hot dogs, and all those other smells. I don’t understand why the trough system for male bathrooms isn’t utilized more for stadiums/venues.

Ernie Banks and Billy Williams were the players my grandfather spoke about.

Sarge and Kingman the ones my dad grew up with.

Ron and Pat seem like they’ve been on the radio forever. Santo, now Coomer.

Growing up with Steve and Harry in the booth was great for a sports crazed kid. Analytical, emotional, random, fun, and a true love of the game.

My top calls,

“Hey, Hey”

“Swung on belted”

“It might be,

It could be,

It is!”

“Holy Cow”

But, why am I Cubs fan? I blame WGN and my dad. Ironic now considering the Marquee Sports Network and I’m not even sure about how/if I can watch any games in real time. I became a fan because all the games were broadcast on WGN now that partnership is over.

Who touched the tv!?!

When I inadvertently turned the channel to cartoons. I was 5 it was ’84. Sorry Pops, I didn’t know we even had a VCR.

First time I made my dad laugh, when later in life, I responded to his inquiry about why I was changing the channels as we watched the replay later that night with,

Trust me your not missing anything

I’m a Cubs fan for no other reason than the fact that I was born and raised in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana TV market and because I love baseball.

I know the game seems slow.

Being an out of market fan for last 12 years my $20 yearly subscription to the MLB app is the best $20 I spend each year. It was never worth $119 a year, but I did that for three years, but with the black outs as they were/are and my proximity to 4 MLB markets it wasn’t worth the hassle. At it’s best it was a weekly phone conversation to get them unblocked. At it’s worse I just didn’t get to watch my team. Lets hope whatever the Marquee Network is it is black out free.

By 2010 I just dropped the video to audio only $20 subscription. I had a job, I didn’t want to record them like my dad did. Nor would I force my wife to watch every game.

However, with that $20 subscription has come with a morning after full condensed game replay. Every game since 2012 I’ve been able to watch in like 12-23 minutes. It’s crazy.

Time is precious to me

MLB is trying to speed up the game. I don’t think you really can. But a good baseball game over the air is at least 3 hours. Unless it was Jon Leiber than you could be out of there in an hour and a half.

At most? Who knows, it has taken days. Unless you run out of available players. That only happened at an All Star Game and guess what? It screwed everything up or a few years.

Here’s hoping we all get back to normal soon,

Ken

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