4-10-12 (@ Chicago Cubs)

Tuesday was a lazy day leading up to the game. Since I had gotten a $60 parking ticket the day before, I figured it would be wise to make up for it by just having a PB&J at Alex’s place. A short nap followed and I was ready for game number five. I think naps are going to become my new best friend over the next 176 days. After working for 14 months, and getting up at 7:20 every day, I think my internal clock is set to wake up at that time no matter what.

I left Alex’s place at 4 to head up to the game. I got off the Red Line a stop early and hit up Jimmy John’s to get a sub for the game. My usual is the Big John, and I add cucumbers and onions. I didn’t really need or want anything for Christmas, and seeing that I’d be on the move during the baseball season, I asked for Jimmy John’s gift cards. I think I wound up with $150 worth of Jimmy John’s and $75 worth of Noodles gift cards. Most of the major cities I’ll be in have JJ’s near the ballparks.

I walked up Clark to Wrigley and arrived at 5:35, which was 25 minutes early. That probably wasn’t the smartest idea since it was going to be the coldest game of the year for me. On second thought, I guess I’d rather be early than late, so I can’t complain. At six I met outside the will call windows with Tyler Barnes, and Joan Watkins, the Director of Public Engagement for Be The Match. We picked up our tickets from the player will call window, and put on our credentials which allowed for field access.

We made our way down to the camera well to the right of the Brewers’ (1st base) dugout. We talked there for a bit with Tyler and he introduced us to Craig Coshun, I probably should’ve gotten a picture with him but didn’t. Since I had field access, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get game number 5 taken on the field.

Craig informed us that we wouldn’t be on until 6:45 so we had some time to kill. Joan had a friend with her, who is from Chicago and is a Cubs fan. His name is Mick and he’s actually friends with Mark, the guy who sits right behind the visitors tunnel at Miller Park. If you watch the games on TV, every time they show a right handed batter hit a home run, he’s the guy in the background standing up and putting his arms in the air. Small world.

Craig and Auggie were doing Brewers Live, and at 6:45 Auggie came off the field and sent Joan and myself down. I think the cold actually helped calm my nerves, since it gave me something else to think about. I gave Mick my camera and instructed him to take some pictures when I was out there. I also told him to move a little closer to home plate so the sun wouldn’t ruin the shots. I probably should have instructed him to stay there for when I was actually on air, but I failed to do so. This first photo is when we were waiting for the show to get back from commercials.

And this is the best shot of me during the interview. As you can see the angle from above would have made for a much better picture. I can’t blame Mick for trying, and he did say as I was giving him my camera that he might not be the best person for the job. I didn’t have any other options, so I’m still grateful for his willingness to help.

I was only on air for a minute or two. They were announcing the starting lineups as Craig was introducing the viewers to what I was doing. I honestly did not hear much of what he said because of the announcer and the crowd’s reactions. I luckily heard the last bit of what he said, so I at least could start my answer in the right format. If not it could have been one of those awkward situations similar to when someone asks “How are you doing?” and you answer “Nothing”, because you expected them to ask “What’s up?” I looked for the video online but couldn’t find it, and I’m not sure if they’ll put it up anywhere. A few friends said I did fine, so that’s good enough for me. A male friend of mine from high school texted “You look soooooo dreamy live on TV!”. A little strange, I’ll admit.

After the interview I headed over to my seat which was right behind home plate. This was the first time I was using a ticket that the Brewers provided. I will admit it’s a great view of the field.

For some reason my DSLR and point and shoot cameras produced horrid results, and the previous photo was taken with my iPhone. The field looks like it is made up of flood lights. An example would be this picture of myself, Mick and Joan.

I’m guessing you just have to use the manual option to find a setting that works, it might also have to do with the protective screen deflecting light or something like that. I think sitting behind the screen is going to take some getting used to. I’ll be using the Brewers provided tickets 50 or so times this season on the road, and will likely be located behind the screen at each game. I’ll be sitting near the family and friends of the players, and they want to keep them safe from screaming line drives and flying bats.

I did miss one pitch at the game. My seat was two rows behind Mick and Joan’s, and I moved down to sit with them. We were in somebody else’s seats and had to slide down the row. In the commotion I was distracted and missed the 3-0 pitch to Soriano in the bottom of the first. I’ll just have to start a new streak. I’m not sure which pitch I missed on opening day, so I don’t know what the streak was, but I know it was around 1,050 pitches.

The game itself was enjoyable, a five run first is never a bad thing. We had chances to tack on more but didn’t take advantage, and left 10 on base. The Crew made it interesting in the 9th for the second straight night. It felt like 34 degrees at 10:20 and I was ready to be some place warm. I wish I could say I was shaking because I was nervous K-rod might blow it, but I was shaking because I was absolutely freezing. He got the job done and the Brewers improved to 3-2, hopefully Gallardo can keep the momentum going with his start today, and erase the troubles he had on opening day.

My favorite “uneducated fans” moment came when a Cubs fan behind me said “we should get a hit off this guy, he’s got a 4.5 ERA.” This was in the fifth inning, and he was referring to Narveson. I don’t think he realizes that the 4.5 ERA is based solely on the first four and 2/3 of the ONE game, since it was Narveson’s first start of the year. Wow. I wonder what would’v happened if Axford came in and he saw his bloated early season ERA of 13.50, he probably would’ve claimed that he could get a hit off of Ax.

First pitch is in 2 hours 20 minutes, so that’s all for today.

Personal Stats:

Daily:

Time inside Wrigley Field: 4 hours 22 minutes
Time on Wrigley Field grounds: 4 hours 52 minutes
Public Transit Miles: 7.9
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 1 (Argh!!)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.68% (310/311)

Season:

Time inside stadiums: 21 hours 37 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 31 hours 19 minutes
Miles driven: 292.3
Miles riding in car but not driving: 121
Public Transit miles: 21.6
Sausages: 5 (Italian, Bratwurst, Cheddarwurst, Polish, Hot Dog)
Pitches missed: 2
Longest Streak of Pitches seen: ~ 1,050
Current Streak of Pitches seen: 251
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.87% (1,528/1,530)
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE

1 Comment

Ben-

Great thing you’re doing! You met my buddy Mick down in Chicago, and he mentioned that he knows me. Connect to me on my twitter account @RickeyH35 and I’ll set you up with tickets in my seats for a game.

The Doorman

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