Tag Archives: Baseball

My “Cubs Week 2010” Starts Off Nicely at National’s Park

Ok, I know it and you know it…the Cubs suck this year.  The team is a shell of its former self with a lot of the core players traded away and Sweet Lou retiring a few days ago.  So the midsummer visit, to DC, of my beloved Cubbies isn’t quite the draw it has been in passed years.  But I am still going to all 3 games.  And you could not have asked for a more perfect night for a ball game than we got last night.  An August night in the DC metro that is around 70 degrees and with a nice cool breeze is almost unheard of but we had it last night.

Game 1 of the series was my “Anniversary” game.  Every year since the Nationals moved to town my buddy P and I attend at least one of the Cubs games together.  We drink a bunch and he cheers on the Nats while I (and about 2/3rds of the stands) cheer on the Cubbies.  We like to refer to our once a year trip to the ballpark as tradition.  His wife and Deb both refer to it as our Anniversary.  They make fun of us and love to giggle at their little jokes.  Asshats.  (It is kinda funny though)

5th "Anniversary" Photo

We did have really good seats along the first baseline where we saw Teddy get cheated…yet again.  F U Abe!!!  Let Teddy Win!!!

We had this Japanese couple in front of us that was really cracking us up.  The popped collar on the dude…the one he kept checking to make sure it was still in the upright position all night…was so 80s and kept us laughing at him throughout the first 5 innings.  It wasn’t until we texted a pic of the “Popped Collar Dude” to P’s wife that we noticed the little girl in the background of this pic.  Photobombed!


After the Cubbies have lost 20 of their last 25 games I was not expecting much from this series.  But being up 6-0 in the 5th is a good feeling.

One thing about going to pretty much any sporting event with P…you will never stay in your seats for long.  He is a wizard at spying the ‘movin’ on up’ seats.  I don’t think I have ever been to a baseball game with him where we didn’t end up pretty much on the field by somewhere around the 7th inning.  This year was no different.

The final score on night one of the Cubbies visit was 9-1.  It is such a great feeling when you leave the ballpark after your team just obliterates the competition.   We hopped on the metro and headed back to Clarendon and stopped in at Spider Kelly’s for a couple rounds of drinks to celebrate.

What a great way to start the 3 day visit.  Hopefully both tonight and tomorrow night’s games are just the same.  Lets Go Cubs!

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Summers in The Cornfield

Sandlot is pretty much The Cornfield

I grew up an army brat and our family traveled all over the world as we tagged along with Dad as he was moved from post to post. We lived in some great places over those early years and it always seemed like a new adventure when you would move from city to city or country to country. The one constant in my life was the summers spent in Bloomington, Illinois.

Bloomington is where my parents grew up and where just about every single member of my extended family has lived their entire lives. We would visit there in the summers and stay at my granparents house on Jackson Street. My granparents and my aunt and uncle lived right next to each other…so my sister and I had our two cousins to play with every day. And we played…all day…every day.

Bloomington is a medium sized town in the dead center of Illinois. A town that was full of hard working, baseball loving, middle-Americans. An oasis surrounded by corn. And in “The Cornfield” is where we spent most of our time during those summers.

The Cornfield wasn’t really a cornfield at all and, to tell you the truth, I never actually knew why we called it that. It was actually a vacant lot at the end of my grandparents street that we converted into our own little baseball diamond. The lot itself wasn’t much bigger than just the infield on a little league field so there was a ton of improvisation and “rule making” when we were playing. And the rules changed (as did the game) from summer to summer as we grew up.

When we started we were really young and our game was Wiffle ball. You can’t really hit a wiffle ball all that far so most of the rules were simple and the game was contained within The Cornfield. At this point there was still an old wooden fence surrounding the lot and hitting the ball over that fence was a homerun. Simple rules for a very simple version of the game.

As we started to grow up though we moved on to real bats and tennis balls. Now the field had to be extended. At first hitting a homerun meant you had to hit the ball out of the field and across Jackson Street. But that didn’t last long. Pretty soon you had to not only hit the ball across the street but you had to hit it either beyond or onto Jason’s house (he was the kid that lived across the street and my cousin Joe’s best friend). If you were standing at homeplate Jason’s house would have been pretty much dead center field.

Like every kid’s backyard version of sports there was a ton of arguing over our made up rules, about balls and strikes, about who was out or safe and about whether or not someone had hit an actual homerun. I think that more time was spent arguing than playing but that was just part of the game; part of the fun of those summers.

We would wake up, eat breakfast and head over to The Cornfield to start playing. We would play until we were called in for lunch. We would scarf down our lunches and then head right back out to play some more. It was a very simple time with a very simple game with very complex rules.

Those were fun summers.

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