Beautiful day for a ballgame, Ernie! Let's play two!
What a day it was. The Cubbies were in town to put on a show for little Rigley's first game.
It was a hot, hot day. (I am convinced though that my mother still would have insisted on Rigley putting on a hat, socks, and wrapped in two blankets. Sheesh, grandparents.) Hard to say if it was hotter in the sun or under the breast feeding shield we used to keep her skin from melting off. She seemed completely content and happy to eat and sleep through all the action.
And how about that action! Sweet Lou (the "gentleman" manager) got ejected right away. The Cubs had 17 hits, but only scored five runs. They tied their season high with 3 errors and the pitching staff gave up 11 runs. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
I have to say a big thank you to the Cubs. Thanks for being real out there. Thanks for not going out there and being something you're not. Thanks for not setting Rigley up for disappointment. Now, anything better than what we saw today would be a real success.
2 errors instead of 3?
Wow, that's improvement!
10 runs instead of 11?
Things are really looking up!
Rigley's first game as a Cub fan could not have been more perfect. She will be the ideal Cub fan from now on. She KNOWS now what it's supposed to look like. It rarely gets better than this. But when it does, she can cheer on the mediocre crappiness (as opposed to the major crappiness that we saw today) for the rest of her life.
This was Cubs baseball in it's purest form. This is why we get so excited, even giddy at the beginning of each season. The slate is clean. Completely, crisply, fresh and clean. But the memories are there. We wear them like badges of honor.
Remember the Mark Prior game we saw where he struck out 16 and still lost?
I tell people all the time that I don't think I saw a Cubs win in person until I was 29 years old.
Now, Rigley can say, the first game I ever saw was the doozey at Colorado in 2009. But..., but..., wait until next year! (Now, Rigley, in order to be a true Cubs fan, you can't officially say, "Wait until next year," until an Alphonso Soriano strikeout on what would have been ball four, ends the season for us all.)
Eternally optimistic in spite of any supporting evidence.
Rigley, welcome to a lifetime of suffering.
Welcome to a lifetime of ridicule (especially from your fair-weather-fan grandfather, Pops Johnson).
Welcome to the most loyal, most dedicated, most steadfast, simply the best group of fans you will ever meet.
Rigley, welcome to a life as a Cub fan!