Life in the Afternoon

Wrigley Field.jpgUnlike Ernest Hemingway’s poignant parlay into the world of non-fiction, mine hath not the slightest utterance of death today… unless, of course, you consider the thousands of Cub fans who felt stabbed through the heart after their sloppy loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

For today was a celebration, not only for the Redbirds’ ultimate triumph, but also for good company.  Indeed, dear readers, I have friends who don the Cubby blue, like one soon-to-be-wed Adam Marshall — talented author of Our Man In Los Angeles — who was crazy enough to arrange for 22 Cub fans and one Cardinal fan (me!) to stake our claim amongst the bleacher bums at Wrigley Field on what may have been the most beautiful day of the year.

Ozzie Smith Ryne Sandberg.jpgMy first stop was to pay homage to the wondrous artwork to the right, found at the Addison Red Line stop, depicting heroic Hall of Fame icons Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith in a too-close-to-call play at second base.  I scrounged through the melee of already drunk Cub fans and snapped this amateur photo, hoping it would bring me good luck.

It did.

Dear readers, I have been going to Major League Baseball games my entire life and I have never, ever caught one ball, be it foul, fair, or B.P.  Never. 

Once inside the cathedral dump also known as Wrigley Field, I went straight for the beer man, bought myself a cold one and swarmed through the slew of drunkards to find an open seat.  Entering to an onslaught of “F*** your mother”, “Go back to St. Louis”, and “Cardinals su<k”, I did my very best to make sure my Bud Light did not spilleth over.  While perfecting this baseball ballet, I noticed the crowd around me take to a chorus of oohs and ahhs, duck and spread.  I looked up and there it was: a ball coming straight towards me at a rifling speed.  With no time to react, I simply stuck my chest out, felt a thump, looked down, and in my left hand was a baseball!

After 30 years, folks,  I finally caught one.

A Colby Rasmus batting practice homerun at Wrigley.

And my beer did not spill one drop.

Colby Rasmus Homerun.jpgFrom there I knew it was going to be a good game.

And it was, if you consider sloppy defense good.  In fact, Cardinals left fielder Chris Duncan put on a clinic of how not to play the position.  Then again, so did Alfonso Soriano.  And in the end, Duncan’s bat powered the Redbirds to a win.

Of course, no Cub game would be complete without crying; and Milton Bradley came on late with the bases loaded, looked at six straight pitches without swinging the bat, then whined like the spoiled brat child he is before getting tossed.

Cards win.  Cubs lose.  I live.

Oh, and those crazy bleacher bums oft known to take an afternoon dip down the urinal trough?  They were out in full force.  There were a few tiffs and tussles, some skiffs and struggles.  They were loud.  They were obnoxious.  They were obscene.  Business as usual… like this clever diva who scribbled out some nonsense on a piece of cardboard and passed it off as truth:

Cards Suck Nuts.jpg(If you look closely, you’ll see it says: “Cardinals su<k nuts”)

Apparently she was too intoxicated to realize that the Cardinals won the game… or the fact that Wrigley Field’s peanuts are quite savory and that any Redbird would be a fool to not at least try them… just once.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.





  1. redbirdchatter

    I can’t believe you caught a fly ball in the same manner that a catcher blocks a pitch–off the chest protector and into the glove. Sans the chest protector and glove, of course. Must have been the #4 jersey. It was a beautiful day to be a Cardinals fan. Glad you got to be there!

  2. redstatebluestate

    Kathy — It WAS the Molina jersey! I tell ya… what a rush!
    Melissa — Thanks. I saw that 9 spot on the scoreboard and did two, no, THREE double takes. Wow! Congrats!
    Julia — Me too… living is good.


    I hope you let the rest of the family hold and look at your ball. The last time that happened you were just a little baby. Oops that was a family secret wasn’t it. Sorry I do hope to see it soon though. Baba

  4. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    Congrats on catching that! And congrats on not getting beaten up in the bleachers. 🙂 I was about to ask what kind of person thinks their “Cardinals s*ck nuts” sign is gonna get on TV, but then I answered my own question. 🙂

  5. redstatebluestate

    Baba (that’s Chinese for “Dad”, Jane) — You’re a weirdo.
    Jen — Besides the sunburn, I escaped unscathed!
    She-Fan/Jane — My day was a lot better than the Yankees’ bullpen. That’s for sure!

  6. redstatebluestate

    Paige — Whenever the Cardinals beat the Cubbies, it’s definitely a BEAUTIFUL day. Hope for another this afternoon.
    Kaybee — I don’t like to brag, but yeah, I’m talented. Haha.

  7. prescora

    Nice catch! Too bad there is no video of this feat to confirm this magical catch.

    Yesterday’s win was great, but today’s game will be a true test to see how the team can hold up without Carp for a month. Go Cards!


    P.S. There is nothing better than a Cubs fan trash talking after the Fukudome HR only for the Cardinals to win and I get to return the trash talk all night…

  8. raysrenegade

    There you go.
    Now you are offically a ballhawk-in-training. Not that you tried to get the ball, but you are an offical member of the pack now and will yearn for another ball again as soon as you enter the park.
    it is a drug I tell you, and it can comcume your entire baseball experience if you do not tame the beast. I know, I am at every BP and snag a few, but they end up going to kids that do not have the long arms and skill to face the high speed ball coming at their heads.
    Me, I do not fear for the concrete in my skull will protect me.
    Seriously, tell me the rush of adreniline did not make you want to climb the ivy after that catch.

    Rays Renegade

  9. zelig888

    Bob — Unfortunately, they don’t tape BP. Good game going now… wish I were there and not stuck in the office.
    RR — You’re right. A rush it was… I’m still giddy over it. I would’ve climbed the ivy, but I had a beer in my hand… and that seemed more important.


    Jeff, Your guys let one slip away today. That sucks!!! Damn I hate that Soriano. Maybe someday we can catch a game at Comisky and get you your 2nd ball of your life.
    Mike D

  11. redstatebluestate

    Mike D — I know it. I was ripping my own guts out while at work, listening to the game. Sori should stick to playing crappy defense. I’m all for the goin’ to the Park. Show me the way…

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