Friday, August 30, 2013

2013 August Happiness Challenge -- Day 30

Today's happiness: Feeling connected. My grandmother, who died in 1997, was a major Cub fan who loved Ryne Sandberg. She proudly wore his #23 jersey on her annual trip to Wrigley Field -- a Mother's Day gift from my cousins. I have that jersey ... my cousin Ryan gave it to me recently.

Today Ryne Sandberg returned to Wrigley Field. He's older now. What hair he still has is gray. And he's wearing a red jersey befitting the manager of the Phillies, not Cubbie blue. But he's still the square-jawed hero Grandma loved.* He took a moment before the game to sign autographs for fans in the bleachers who displayed a massive #23 banner.

When I saw the crowd cheer him when he presented the lineup card to the umpire, I thought of how much my Grandma would love to applaud her "Ryno" one more time and I got a little misty. His new team beat his old team, and I bet she would have approved of that, too.

People who say that baseball is just a game, that the Cubs are just a team and Wrigley Field is just a ballpark just don't get it. Grandma got it, and I got it from her (and my dad). It is in Grandma's memory that I replace Augie the August Happiness Cat with her all-time #1 favorite Cub.

*She used to say he looked like the cartoon of Dick Tracy come to life.

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