Not alot going on Cubs-wise, so thought I'd tell a story I was reminded of because my daughter found these old photos you'll see in a second.
Sometime in 2000, my wife entered me in a Com Ed contest by filling out something on our electric bill.
She never told me, though.
One day out of the blue I just got this weird call from Com Ed saying I'd won 4 tickets to a Cubs/Sox game and a tour.
This is the kind of good fortune that's happened to me exactly once in my entire life.
It all happened very quickly, and I only invited my brother Grog (real name Greg, long story for the nickname) and buddy Flynn, and ate the other ticket.
We had to be there 3 hours early.
Have you ever been to Wrigley 3 hours early?
There's parking EVERYWHERE!
In fact, there was a parking place right in front of Bernie's on Clark just south of Waveland!
I knew it was gonna be a magic day.
We were told we'd get to meet "some of the Cubs", take a tour of Wrigley, and then watch the game.
So, she dragged us out to the field - we got to sit in the Cubs' dugout, walk around on the field, and then out came these Cubs: a guy who I think was the hitting coach, Sandy Alomar, Brant Brown, and Jeff Huson.
It was already head-spinningly weird just being on the field with Cubs, but then my brother goes, "Huson! How's it going?"
And Huson goes, "Grog? What are you doing here?" and they began to chit chat.
You know - what the hell, man?
Oh, turns out they went to highschool together at Mingus Union near Sedona, AZ.
Okay so that was weird.
Flynn and I tried to talk to Alomar, but he spoke really fast and we couldn't understand a thing he said.
Brant Brown was a super-nice guy, and 2000 was a couple years after the dropping the fly ball thing.
He would play his last game in the Bigs in August.
Then those guys went back to work and our guide took us over to the door that now says "Underarmour" on it in right field.
She opened it and it was all brightly lit in there...with batting cages.
We walked in and there was Billy Williams throwing pitches to some kid.
"That's Billy's grandson," said the guide.
They never acknowledged us, just kept throwing and swinging, and I felt kinda like a peeping Tom looking thru a history window.
That was unbelievably cool.
Then we went back in Wrigley, they treated us to lunch and escorted us to our seats right behind the Cub dugout while the pitchers were taking batting practice.
Kerry Wood just got finished and was standing about 10 feet away.
If you'll recall, he had a kind of mean reputation back then.
But I think it was Flynn who broke the ice, asked him to sign a ball (we brought a couple), and he signed one for my son too.
Immediately, the other people in the stands all climbed down and I felt idiotic and responsible for each ball he had to sign.
Then the game started and the Cubs beat up the Sox 9-6 - this is the box from Baseball Almanac - and you can see Huson got a pinch hit and scored, we saw Cub homers by Sosa and Henry Rodriguez, and Sox homers by Frank Thomas, Maggs Ordonez, and 2 by a young Carlos Lee, all off of Kevin Tapani. And of course the inning from Sox reliever Bob Howry.
So, THE MOST AWESOME DAY EVER!
Til we got right in front of Bernie's where my car used to be, right on Clark just South of Waveland.
We all noticed the giant sign that said "NO PARKING TOW ZONE" at about the same time.
That part is just SO freaking funny.