it’s that time of year again
16 July, 2009
The Cubs are in town. This year they are here for four whole games, which is a lot to attend (two is no problem, three is a bit much). I haven’t done four in a while. OTOH, 3/4 of them are at night, which is not true for weekend four-game series in Wrigley. So I got that going for me. Less heatstroke.
I don’t buy tix in advance in DC. I show up, decide how much to spend, and spend it. It feels so reckless to show up without tickets! It’s not, of course, considering that the Nats are suck and DC does not give a rat’s ass about baseball and the only sellout ever was one of the nights when the Red Sox were in town. But to Cubs fans, who need to secure their tickets over the winter, it is bizarre.
Since DC thoughtfully acquired an NL baseball team before I relocated here, I can mark my DC time by Cubs series. In 2006, I had gone to Chicago for Opening Weekend, and my friend and fellow Cub sufferer Jake came to DC for their series in July. We went to all three, I think…two at least. My strongest memory of those games is that the Cubs sucked. I took my favorite “agony of defeat” photo:
hee hee! God, I love that photo. It actually made me feel better to look at it last fall when…well, you know. (and if you don’t, look back a few posts on the blog.)
I don’t remember 2007 too well, I didn’t make it to many games that year. It was the Nats’ last year in RFK, that I do recall. On July 4, I went down for a last-minute ticket and happened to run into my friend the LA native and Dodgers fan. DC is like that–go out relatively often and be relatively social and you will see people you know everywhere.
2008 was memorable in many ways:
1) I made a “baseball friend” a week or so before the series. She was selling me shoes and happened to have a team bracelet on, which began a conversation, etc. Our chats helped me psych myself up for the series.
2) After a game I ran into Len Kasper and Bob Brenly in the Metro. They didn’t want to wait for the bus, they said, because “the guys take forever in the showers.” (In case you are wondering, the team stays at the Mayflower Hotel.) I thought of something intelligent to say to them about 10 minutes later.
3) What with ballpark food and tickets, I had budgeted myself a pile of cash for the weekend, and on Sunday found myself with a lot left over. Hmm…why save what you can spend? I bought myself nice seats right next to the visitors dugout.
So all in all, last year set a high bar for Cubs series awesomeness. My materialist goals for this year are:
–Have Carlos Zambrano sign my hat.
–Have Aramis Ramirez sign something. My hat? My Ramirez jersey? Not sure…
–Spring for awesome seats again at least once.
But it’s the intangibles that count, and in that department I am already on track. Tonight: I bought good seats in my favorite area and jumped to even better seats in said area. I was surrounded by the best kind of fans: knowledgeable enough to respect the other team, chatty but not overbearing, and hilarious. The Cubs won handily, D-Lee hit a nice home run right to our area of right field. And on the way home, despite us leaving at different times and taking different trains, I ran into the same fans! DC is like that. We had a lovely chat about the Nats’ patheticness (too easy a target), the President’s skill in sports picks, and general Chicago baseball fandom–they had grown up as near Comiskey as I had near Wrigley. (They weren’t the hating kind of Sox fans, but there was something odd about them. “I’m a Sox fan,” one said, “but I root for the Cubs when they’re in the playoffs.” …huh?)
OK…better get to bed, I have a long evening of baseball tomorrow.