Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"It's a beautiful day for a ballgame...

Let's play two!" was his trademark cry, letting everyone know he so loved the game that he wanted to play a doubleheader every day.

After being signed in 1953, Ernie Banks spent his entire major league career as a Chicago Cub – thus giving him the moniker of “Mr. Cub”.

You can read about his stellar career here.

Dutchie Caray is the wife of the late Harry Caray, who has been gone for over 10 years, but is still larger than life in the hearts of Chicago Cub’s fans. Dutchie has become something of a First Lady of the Near North Side, a frequent sight at Harry Caray's restaurant downtown and an often visitor to all things Cubs.

Just a little Chicago history before I write about my amazing experience on Sunday with these two Chicago icons.

In being a member of the Chicago Cub’s West Side Rooter’s Social Club that I blogged about last year here, I receive emails about upcoming events.

Some weeks ago one such email was sent seeking members to ride on a Chicago Trolley in the Lombard Lilac Day Parade...Lombard, the hometown of Susan Snippets...and the parade that I have attended as a spectator throughout my life...I finally was being given an opportunity to be IN the parade.

And not only in it, but in it with the likes of Ernie Banks and Dutchie Caray!

How could I refuse?

I was allowed to bring three guests.

Keith and my 30-years-as-friends-and-life-long-Cub-fans, Jim and Patti were my picks.

We met at Harry Caray’s Restaurant in Lombard and due to the efforts of a young, gorgeous, talented (and as you can see below FUN) Sonja of Harry Caray's marketing department, we proceeded to have a blast!

A beautiful sunny parade day, shared by the gracious Ernie Banks and the warm-as-your-momma, Dutchie Caray.

There were plenty of fans asking for autographs and chatting away with both Mr. Cub and Dutchie.

Including us.

While we were in line awaiting the start of the parade – I pulled a clown into our mix and in doing so we found out that as a child, Ernie Banks wanted to be a clown or a hobo (good thing he didn’t follow those ambitions instead of baseball!).

Ernie sang this short snippet for us that I captured on video....

There are many stories still to tell from that day....but at the end of it all, Mr. Cub had a Snippet’s business card with my and Keith’s cell phone numbers scrawled on the back.....and for my dear friend Jim....well he fulfilled a lifelong dream of watching the Chicago Cub’s play while talking baseball with a legend of the game.

he will never again be the same


PattiS said...

You really captured the day, thanks again for including us in all the fun.

Liz said...

Oh my goodness... Matt would have LOVED that. What an exciting day! I touched Lorretta Lynn's hand once... that was my greatest celebrity moment.