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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Away-zing!

Today was a serious day of firsts. Walking up to Wrigley Field for the first time was a memory I won’t soon forget. The girls and I woke up early today to ensure we had plenty of time to take in the Wrigley experience. Walking to the stadium, and wearing out Nats gear we were a little nervous about the reaction we might generate from the Cubs fans. However, along the way we actually saw and received high fives from several Nationals fans. Walking into the stadium I couldn’t help but think of how many historical baseball moments have occurred at Wrigley. I imagined seeing Babe Ruth call his shot to the bleacher section and then hit a home run on the next pitch. Wrigley is also the second oldest ballpark in the major leagues, behind Boston’s Fenway Park. It still has a manually operated scoreboard which a batted ball has yet to hit. Just being in the stadium was enough for me, but we sat in the bleachers and found some fellow Nats fans to watch the game with. Strength in numbers really helped our cheering.

We sat directly in right field with Austin Kearns playing right in from of us. As he walked out we wished him a good game and were rewarded with a small wave. The Cubs started strong with a run in the first inning then followed with a home run from Amaris Ramirez and several (3) walked runs in a third inning we couldn’t seem to end. It was a rough start but the girls and I didn’t give up our heart. Zimmerman really came through today with a double, stolen base, and a scored run. It was nice to see him back in action. Catcher Jesus Florez was on today as well, he hit a great double and had an RBI. Austin Kearns also had a great day; he made a great catch off of a ball hit by Soriano. I was also happy to see Cordero back in action. He came in during the 8th inning and pitched well for the rest of the game. It was difficult to loose when most of the Cubs runs were scored from walks Speigner allowed in the third inning, but it was great to see my first game in Wrigley Field.

After the game the girls and I spotted the Nationals bus, and walked over in hopes of getting a few more autographs for our baseballs. Some players opted to explore Chicago instead of getting on the bus and simply walked out of the stadium. It was awesome to see the players outside of the game. I spotted Chad walking out and went to wish him a good game. He was gracious as he signed my ball; it was a high point of the day. We also got signatures from Austin Kearns, Brian Schnieder, Dmitri Young, Ryan Zimmerman, Saul Rivera, and Don Sutton. Our first away game this season despite the loss provided more memories than I ever expected. We thank Chicago and the fans and Wrigley for welcoming us and respecting our mutual love of baseball.

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