One of the best things about a summer-time (kind of) is spending the day drinking an ice cold beer and watching a baseball game. I started a fun tradition of going to a Cubs game on or around my birthday.
So 2016 is when this tradition sort of started. I saw that the Cubs were going to be in town playing the Phillies. I was excited that the Cubs would be in town and I had the day off from work to enjoy the game. Kyle Hendricks was the starting pitcher for the Cubs, and I was pretty excited. I took my friend to game with me. It was awesome to not only watch the game for my birthday, but also watch Hendricks get the win.
2017 was a fun experience, because I flew to LA to see the Cubs face the Dodgers. Jon Lester (who I affectionately call “Lefty”) was pitching, and I felt like it was a present from the Cubs for him to be pitching ON my birthday. So I donned my Korked “Authenti-city” shirt, my custom “Lefty” jersey (with the number 34, of course) and made my way to Dodger Stadium with my mom. Our seats were in the left field corner, and it was one of the coolest views. The Cubs ended up losing that game 9-4. It wasn’t fun to see Lester and the Cubs get rocked like they did, but it was still awesome to be in sunny SoCal to watch some baseball.
Year 3, and another Lester start on the mound. This year I rocked my “LOVE” shirt from Baseballism and my Tommy La Stella spring training jersey. Gimme hate, I don’t care. La Stella was the best pinch hitter for the Cubs. The Cubs gained another W against the San Francisco Giants, and Albert Almora Jr., my favorite center fielder, made an insane catch.
Last season was a rare tripleheader when it came to birthday baseball. I went to one of the Cubs – Phillies game at Wrigley, then flew down to Houston for the Cubs – Astros series. I went 0-3 for those games. Guess who was pitching for 2 of the games? Yeah, my boy Lester.
For the game against the Phillies, my best friend Sam and I spent the day in the bleachers. From pregame to the stretch, we were having the best time. Even though the game didn’t end in a chorus of “Go Cubs Go,” it was fun to have a day off to “relax” at a ballgame. We even got to take a photo on the on-deck circle with our friend Nick.
Then came the trip to Houston. I had sort of adopted the Astros in 2017 (I know, I know). Game 1 of the three-game series was a family trip, as my sister, brother-in-law, and niece made our way to Minute Maid Park. I was a little excited, because it was the first time since 2016 that the two teams played each other. I was even more excited because it was a Cole – Hamels match up, and my sister said, “I don’t know what that means, but I guess I’m happy for you.” We had a blast at the game all together, and I got to explain some of the rules and had a million anecdotes about both teams to annoy my sister with during the game. Unfortunately, the Cubs lost that game. I was a little bummed, but I still had a good time.
Game two was on my actual birthday, and my Lefty was back on the mound. I went to this game by myself because it was a night game, and my sister didn’t want to have the baby out in a loud environment after bedtime. This game was also super fun. David Bote hit two home runs, and I was super happy about that. The Astros had a t-shirt promotion, featuring one of their star bullpen arms, Ryan Pressly. I bought a scorecard, so I could keep score (obviously). This game ended in a L for the Cubs, and I was feeling a little more bummed about that – because it was a loss on my birthday and another Lester loss.
I’m pretty bummed that there’s no Cubs game to watch this year for my birthday, but I can always go and rewatch the 2016 World Series. We all know how that ends.