4-9-12 (@ Chicago Cubs)

Monday morning started off with somewhat of a scare. I wanted to rip the commemorative DVD that the Brewers gave out on Sunday to my computer. I wanted to be able to watch it on my iPad on Friday’s flight to Atlanta. I had my laptop on my Alex’s table, and it was resting on a cloth placemat. When ripping a disc my computer works pretty hard, heats up, and the cooling fan is noisy enough that you can hear it from another room. When I was leaving for lunch it wasn’t done yet and I was a little concerned that it could potentially start a fire. Nonetheless I walked to lunch and was on my way back when I saw a fire truck sitting on a street corner just a half block from Alex’s apartment. My heart sunk and I rushed back only to find the building still standing. Whew, I don’t think I would’ve been invited back for the other series if I had burned the place down.

I ate lunch at Revolution Brewing on Milwaukee Avenue, and was not disappointed. As you can see from the pictures below, they use a closed fist as their calling card. Going clockwise from top left you have; the exterior of the building, the bar (with wooden fists supporting the structure above the bar), my lunch, and the tap handles.

I had their Anti-Hero IPA, and the Smoked Pulled Pork, which had a South Carolina mustard sauce and was topped with honey-jalepeño slaw. After my first bite I swear I had barbecue sauce all the way over on my ear, ok, maybe not that far, but it was messy, and delicious.

Earlier in the day a columnist asked for a short interview at Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago. Since I was meeting Alex on Michigan Avenue anyways, it worked out well. I took the Blue Line into the city, and made my way up Michigan Ave. Below are four pictures I took on my walk, it’s Tribune Tower, the lobby of Tribune tower, a very large Marilyn Monroe statue, and 225 Michigan Ave, where my friend works, which has a large red overhang outside of the entrance.

The interview was with Matt Lindner, and he said the profile piece will be up on espn.com sometime next week. After the interview I went up and got a quick tour of Alex’s office, and then we got a key made for his apartment. Since I’ll be staying here 10 more nights this season, he was kind enough to offer.  It allows me to leave the apartment during the day without having to borrow his keys, and I don’t have to wake him and Jess when I get back after a night game.

We jumped on the Red Line on State Street, and headed up towards Wrigley. Shortly after arriving we spent some time trying to get a good game number 4 picture. With all the traffic, it makes it a little tricky. We tried a few different spots, and thought we had a good one, but there’s a taxi van right below the Wrigley Field sign, so we settled with this:

After agreeing it wasn’t going to get any easier as we got closer to game time, we had some time to kill and went over to Moe’s Cantina on Clark Street. I know it’s Chicago, but it still hurts to see your bill of $26 after having four beers (two were mine). I checked foursquare and Moe’s Cantina was offering free guacamole on your first check-in, so that was a plus.

At 5:30 Alex I headed back to Wrigley, got a hot dog, and found our seats. I think it’s crazy that I was able to get the seats I did, seeing that I bought them just 10 days ago. We met up with Katie, a friend from UW-Madison. Alex, Katie, and I all lived in the same dorm freshman year. Katie lives in Wrigleyville and can probably smell the ballpark food from her apartment that is just a half block away. Before the game we got our picture taken, we were standing but the guy taking the picture was sitting, so you can’t really tell where we are. Telly Hughes, who I’ll be speaking with on Brewers Live later today, is (unintentionally) photo bombing the picture.

Seeing that I was four rows behind the Brewers dugout, I was able to get some good action shots during the game. This is Braun connecting on a double to left in the first inning.

This was the view from my seats, not too shabby. I took this photo in the 9th when Braun was getting booed profusely. It’s going to be a long year for him on the road, hopefully he can produce like he always has, and quiet all the skeptics.

The Brewers bullpen definitely tested my nerves with the rocky 9th inning. Thankfully Axford provided a great three pitch sequence to Castro and ended the rally.

My favorite line from the day had to come from a Cubs fan. First off, one of my favorite, albeit frustrating things is when people think any ball hit in the air is going to be a home run. At home and on the road there is a large percentage of people who think everything is gone. When one of the Cubs hitters popped one foul down the right field line, a Cubs fan two rows back said: “That’s what’s up!” He was surely disappointed when the ball landed 100 feet short and 150 feet foul. I wish every ball the Brewers hit in the air would land in the outfield seats as well, but I judge the trajectory and don’t jump to conclusions. Ok, rant over.

I’ll be back at Wrigley in six and half hours, and am already dreading the interview. I know it’s great for raising awareness for the registry and what I’m trying to do, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Personal Stats:

Daily:

Time inside Wrigley Field: 4 hours 2 minutes
Time on Wrigley Field grounds: 4 hours 10 minutes
Public Transit Miles: 13.7
Sausages: 1 (Hot Dog)
Pitches missed: 0 (3 Straight!!!)
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (303/303)

Season:

Time inside stadiums: 17 hours 15 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 26 hours 27 minutes
Miles driven: 292.3
Miles riding in car but not driving: 121
Public Transit miles: 13.7
Sausages: 5 (Italian, Bratwurst, Cheddarwurst, Polish, Hot Dog)
Pitches missed: 1
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.92% (1,218/1,219)
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3 Comments

Just saw you on FSN, Great Job! Very exciting to see a Fort grad on tv. Friends of mine have gone to a different away game the last few summers. I’ve never been able to go. So I am looking forward to living vicariously through you as you travel to all the parks for such a great cause.

Mr. Johnson told us about your mission. I’m a teacher from Fort. I couldn’t remember if I had you as a student (I don’t think I did), but I was told I would remember having you in class:) Keep up the great blogs and enjoy the games!

Take Care,
Andrea Feutz

Awesome writing Ben! Keep up the personal stories and photos. You are doing a fantastic job!

OMG I miss Chicago. Glad to see you are taking advantage of being in one of the best foodie cities! (Oh and if you’re lucky, you get 2.5 beers for that price down here in Oz… don’t stress it too much!!) Good luck with the interview – you’re going to ROCK it🙂 xx

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