Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On becoming a baseball fan

It wasn't so very long ago that I held my breath on days when the Cubbies weren't doing well. Matt will deny that those days had any affect on his mood...I know differently. But last Thursday as we watched the Brewers score four runs in the seventh inning, I suddenly realized that my own interest in the Cubs has become a dangerous thing. Instead of worrying about Matt's countenance, I was genuinely concerned that I might not be able to thoroughly enjoy the rest of our time in Chicago if the Cubs were to lose. What has become of this un-athletic girl who used to care less about sports?! It seems I've been captured by the American Pastime.

It was the perfect day at Wrigley. The crisp September day permitted short sleeves, the sun was in full view, and the breeze off the lake was cool, not cold as it often is this time of year. Even better, the Cubs have been playing consistently well all season, and Matt and I couldn't wait to disprove those stupid Completely Useless By September signs that start showing up this time in the season. We sat in someone else's abandoned 10th row seats and marveled at what a wonderful day it was shaping up to be. But in the ninth inning with the Brewers up by four runs, Cubs fans started leaving the park.

All I can say is that anyone who left missed the chance to see "the game of the year" as Matt called it, because in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, the Cubbies got four runs to tie up the score. What are the chances?! It was exhilarating! Three innings later and after an exhausting hour of standing every time the Cubs were at bat, we had seen nearly every pitcher in the bullpen. The crowd went wild when finally Derek Lee hit a line drive to send Marquis home. (Matt, in particular, was exulting because the Cubs fans behind us had been trash-talking Lee's hitting ability for a good bit of the game.) We hugged and cheered with the people around us and then quickly made our way closer to the dugout. What a blast! When it was over, the day culminated with a fabulous dinner in Wrigleyville and new Cubs t-shirts (see below).

In terms of hardcore Cubs fanship, I felt as though I had been pledging all year, and this was I-week (initiation). After a game like that, there's no turning back. I don't anticipate blogging much about baseball--I'll leave that to Matt. But for all those in my life who have been/will be surprised at my new interest (I'll leave obsession to Matt, too), it seemed an explanation was in order.

Matt's recap of the 12th inning, published with permission:
Daryle Ward pinch hit for Kerry Wood to start the inning, and drew a walk.
Jason Marquis entered the game to pinch run for Ward.
Reed johnson successfully put down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquis to 2nd base.
The Brewers intentionally walked Soriano to make it to 1st and 2nd, one out.
Theriot hit a deep fly ball to right, allowing Marquis to tag up and move to 3rd.
Then Lee lined/looped a single to center to score Marquis.
Then the Cubs stormed the field and celebrated with Lee.
And the fans went nuts.
And we went nuts

For Matt's lengthier description of the day, visit Matt's blog.


mowens said...

You made me proud as a Cub-goat, but congrats on your initiation! It was truly life-changing. Phi-Alfonso.

Chelsea said...

best. comment. EVER.

Derek "Bob" Evans said...

C.B.C. (cool blog chels) :)

mmkat said...

I'm proud of you also, Chelsea! Welcome to the Cub-interested (or obsessed, depending on which of us you're talking about) pack! May Wrigley Field always hold such exhilarating memories for you!