When: August 14, 1990 at Wrigley Field
Box Score: Astros at Cubs August 14, 1990
Who: Mom and me
Why Wrigley Field
Although I was born outside of Chicago, I spent my childhood growing up in West Germany. Without any ties to the United States, I began following Chicago sports teams. My connection to “home” came from reading box scores in the Stars and Stripes and collecting baseball cards hoping to get any Cub. For the record – my first Cubs card.
Why this trip mattered
Growing up, it was always me and my mom. My parents split up when I was 9. Because of his work, my dad always lived a long ways away. After the divorce, my mom worked full-time, went to college full-time, learned to drive and was the parent full-time. She did a lot. I was always loved and taken care of by her. When she finally began to realize some of her career goals, she wanted to treat us to a trip that we weren’t able to take previously. It meant the world for her that she could put together a trip like this one. Sure, it was a blast. But, I was more proud that she had accomplished what she had set out to do. Her road wasn’t always easy, but she sure made it happen. Simply amazing.
Planning trips was a lot different in 1990. To find tickets to a Cubs game, I actually had to use a telephone to call the ticket office and talk to a real person. Without the benefit of a seating chart, the nice ticket lady had to describe the seats available. However, I knew there was one place I wanted to sit. The Bleachers. Hey – it’s my first game at Wrigley. Where else do I sit! (Actually, due to a ticketing error,we ended up with tickets for another section, but we were able to get over to CF without any trouble).
*This was not to be a baseball “connoisseur” experience. No mythical “Field of Dreams” journey. I was not there to take in the nuances of an old venerable park. This was to be a straight stereotypical Cubs fan game. We’re talking bleachers, Harry Caray shirts, the 7th Inning Stretch, Old Style and Chicago dogs. No subtlety. We were all in.
For a small ballpark, Home Plate sure seemed far away.
For a random August game between two teams a combined 22 games under .500, the talent was incredible. Could you imagine going to a game today that featured this level of talent?
For the Cubs: The SP that day was Greg Maddux. Also starting were Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Joe Girardi, Shawon Dunston with Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams pitching in relief.
For the Astros: Craig Biggio, Ken Caminiti, SP Mike Scott and UA Alum Casey Candaele.
Managers: Don Zimmer and Art “I Never Really Liked Moneyball” Howe.
That is a lot of Hall of Fame Plaques, World Series Trophies, MVP Awards, Cy Youngs, Batting Titles, Future MLB Managers, Blown Playoff Games and No-Hitters. Crazy.
The Actual Game
The only game action I remember is the home run hit by Ryne Sandberg into the Left Field Bleachers. Really, what else did I need?
What else do I remember? Being really happy. What a great day with my mom.
The Moment of the Game
Cheesy, yes, but it had to be singing “Take Me Out To The Ballpark” during the 7th inning stretch.
The Moment of the Trip
After a day of walking around Michigan Avenue, Mom holding a bottle of champagne in the hotel room. One of the happiest days we had together.
Awesome Souvenir Alert
Harry Caray Holy Cow T-Shirt (What can I say, it was the 90’s) and Cubs Hat. As pictured below:
Random Celebrity Sighting of the Week
Saw this guy running on the street trying to catch a train on the El.