Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Big Birthday Moment

So, here's a funny story for you...

If you know me well, you know that I am the biggest Chicago Cubs fan that ever lived. Well, maybe not that ever lived, but you get the picture. I've followed the Cubs since I was a little girl, watching games with my whole family (back in the days of Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Shawon Dunston, and Mark Grace) and I've followed them faithfully since.

My husband is now a dedicated Cubs fan as well and our children are being trained in the ways of loyalty to the Cubbies. They've all got Cubbies attire and we regularly visit our local Iowa Cubs ball field (one of the Chicago farm teams) to get them in the spirit and to get a chance to see some Major Leaguers who are sent down for extra practice.

Well, as most of you know, I celebrated my 30th birthday a few weeks ago and as part of my birthday present my husband had a big surprise for me. In celebration of my love for baseball and for my beloved Cubbies, and also I believe partly to thouroughly embarrass me, he arranged for me to throw out the first pitch at the Iowa Cubs game last night.

After the initial horrifying shock of what embarrassment that would bring, I was coming around to seeing the thoughtfullness and originality of his gift. In fact, I was really starting to look forward to the big moment...that is until I got to the game last night.

Was it bad weather that made me start to dread the moment that I ran out to the mound to throw what I hoped would be an amazing curve ball, or was it that I knew a million people in the crowd and they tried to boo me off the field?

No, it was none of the above. It was, however, the fact that there were 5 of us who were throwing out a pitch that night and I was the ONLY one who was over the age of 10. That's right, I along with 4 children, were the lucky ones to trek out to the field and heave a ball toward the catcher's mitt.

When it was my turn, the woman in charge handed me a ball and said I could stand wherever I wanted to (as if I would stand closer to the catcher, like the kids did, and embarrass myself further). Absolutely mortified, I jogged out to the pitcher's mound and prayed that I would disappear into the ground if I couldn't get it to the catcher's mitt or if I threw a wild pitch and hit one of the preschoolers that I was sharing my "moment" with.

Praise God that I got it to the catcher with only a quick bounch on homeplate and I scurried back to my place on the side of the field. After the last kid had thrown his pitch, the catcher came toward us to give us each our memento baseball to take home. All the blood in my body had rushed to my head, rendoring me near deaf, making it nearly impossible to hear the catcher as he told each child in front of me "Great job kid". And then he handed my baseball to me, smirked, and said "Good job".

It could have been worse...he could have called me ma'am.


DK said...

I've always felt that it takes a lot of guts to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game, at any level. It's actually not that easy either considering most people get hit with the fear factor of being in public while in mid throw so I commend and congratulate on this, its a very cool thing to do (I wouldn't mind giving it a shot someday).

Jamie said...

Well, if you ever want to do it in Des Moines, we have connections at the I Cubs:)