Summer afternoon, cold beer and fresh cut grass. Two of my baseball worlds came crashing together today in a much anticipated baseball match-up between my first-love Texas Rangers and my adopted Chicago Cubs. We took in game 3 of the series today at the Ballpark at Arlington. I was so excited, I sported a Chicago-style mustache to welcome all the visiting fans.

I grew up a Rangers fan, though the sport was never my first choice. But, I always enjoyed following our own lovable losers – which is a bit of a family tradition with my grandfather and my mom. I followed them through thick and thin, remembering vividly favorite players like Pete Incaviglia, Jim Sundberg, Julio Franco, Ruben Sierra and Charlie Hough, everything about Nolan Ryan…

…and the few successful division championships. Pretty anemic compared to say, the yankees.

Fast forward to adulthood. I realized quickly upon moving to Chicago, that there’s nothing quite like taking in a summer afternoon game in the heart of Chicago at Wrigley Field. It was always on my itinerary for visiting friends like Mike and Chuck.

It’s magical. It’s fantastic. It’s the toast of the town – and I believe the reason for summer work hours. Full Wrigleyville bars spilling into the streets, pageantry of bands and true blue fans milling around the stadium.


And that timeless field and scoreboard, seen here behind my parents several years ago.

Unfortunately, the Cubs are THE lovable losers of baseball. I was blessed with some successful seasons in Chicago, inlcuding the Bartman debacle. But the championship drought continues – curse that billy goat! Didn’t matter though. Each game was a priviledge in itself.

I was pumped to see the teams play each other today in a rare interleague game. If I was a betting man, this would be the last match-up I’d put mony on for the World Series. So I had to catch them now.

The game didn’t disappoint. Came down to a final hit to score the winning run for Texas. Long drive back to Illinois, Cub fans!

And there were many sporting Chicago gear – more than half the fans were Cubs fans. They must have been horribly disappointed in our 7th inning stretch rendition of “take me out to the ball game.” It’s a celebrity tradition up north.

They also must have wondered where our local bar district is, how so many seats can be empty, and how a stadium can feel so darned hot at 80 degrees.

It’s a little different here. But, hey, when it comes to teams that just can’t seem to win, I’m sure the Cubbie fans felt right at home. And, was it a little bittersweet to see longtime Cubbie Sammy Sosa hit his 600th home run in a Rangers uniform? Not to mention, a silly banner under the scoreboard to rub it in.