Saturday, January 16, 2016
Surrounded by my people
I was raised in the Lutheran Church, but I converted. I was also raised to worship at the baseball cathedral on Clark and Addison, and that stuck. I can't remember a time when I didn't love the Cubs.
And so, Friday and Saturday, I was delighted to attend the Cubs Convention. It was terrific to find myself surrounded by others who love them as much as I do, talking baseball even as the Chicago River is frozen solid.
I wore my grandmother's Ryne Sandberg jersey. I wanted to get a photo of Ryno and me wearing it, but alas, that never happened. I did sit in an interview room where he and Sweet Swingin' Billy Williams talked about making The Hall of Fame. It meant a lot to me to be there, in her jersey, because I know how much she loved him and how happy it would make her.
I also saw Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant, today's biggest stars. And manager Joe Maddon, who may be favorite person in the universe.
I was accompanied to all this by my friend John, who gave me this trip for my birthday. He was not as into it as I was, and at times that annoyed me, but I had to get over myself. First of all, he thought to deliver this to me, which was a big deal. Secondly, he was outnumbered. Even more than at the ballpark -- where you will frequently find yourself sitting near an out of towner who just wants to see Wrigley Field but isn't a real fan -- this sold-out convention is filled with fans. Real fans. Passionate fans. Fans like me.
He also said something very sweet to me. He said that the times in life he's laughed the hardest have been the times he's been with me. "You know, when your face hurts from laughing." And he said he that in addition to giving me this experience for my birthday, he wanted to spend the time with me. How cool is that?