My Favorite Games: #20

This is another Cub game that I attended on my birthday. This time though I drove down to St. Louis to see the Cubs play the Cardinals. I really wanted to see a game in Busch Stadium, and I knew that it was going to be torn down in a couple of years. I bought a cheap bleacher ticket and made the 4 1/2 hour drive. I like nothing more than to see a ballgame on my birthday. It is just a relaxing way to spend my time, and every year I try and get to one. This was the summer of 2003 were it seems like everyone that I went to a ballgame with came home with a baseball. I was always barely in the wrong spot. With that in mind I got to the park early to watch batting practice. The Cubs went around with nobody hitting one near me. My seat was in right so I wasn’t expected too much. When the cardinals came to bat nobody was even coming close so I started to fill out my scorecard. I heard some commotion, looked up, and saw the ball hit off a woman’s hands. It came right at me and I snagged it. I took a lot of heat because I did not give the woman the ball, but this was the first ball that I ever caught at a ball game. If it was a kid I bet peer pressure would have won, but this was a grown, drunk woman. The language was bad enough and I am stubborn enough that she did not get the ball. I still have it displayed in a ball cube with my other balls. I am damn proud of that ball. The fans giving me crap kept calling me a Cubs fan, but then I pointed to my Sox hat and explained the situation. Some of them got better, and some did not.
Besides getting the ball this was a great game to watch. In the top of the first Sammy Sosa hit a two out home run that was just to my right. The Cubs scored again in the third when a Cardinals fan took the ball away from Tino Martinez. If Tino would have caught the foul ball the inning would have been over. The Cardinals scored two runs on Carlos Zambrano in seven innings and he was pulled for Mike Remlinger. Remlinger pitched a perfect eighth inning and the Cubs could not score in the top of the ninth. The leadoff batter for the Cardinals in the ninth was Kerry Robinson. He was a left fielder who had Ozzie Smith power. He clubbed the ball, and it barely made it over the right field fence to win the game for the Cards. The fans in the stadium were split about evenly, and the Cardinals half went crazy.
For some reason I did not take my camera to the stadium, but I did get a great view of history. Because of construction I was also able to come in on McGwire’s stretch of I-70 twice. I thought I was pulling into the parking lot next to the stadium when in fact I was re-entering the highway. I had to turn around and come back into the stadium. At least I had some practice when the game was over. I would like to get back down to St. Louis to see the new stadium. I had tickets for a game on my 30th birthday, but it was raining and I did not want to drive down there for nothing. Maybe the Sox will play in the new Busch Stadium soon. The Cardinals have come to Comiskey twice in the two years that their stadium has existed. We need a series down there. With my luck it will be a series during the week.


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