A Crazy Day at Wrigley FieldHot, muggy weather? Check. A Cubs rally that was too little, too late? Check. An intense thunderstorm? Check.
Yes, the Cubs/Angels game on Friday had all of those. Friday was a hot and muggy day. Temperatures were in the 90s, but fortunately, our seats were in the shade for the duration of the game. Susan and I brought our 9-year-old nephew, Riley, to the game. It was the Christmas adventure he selected in late 2009. As I mentioned in my blog on Friday, this was the first game the Angels played at Wrigley Field since interleague play was adopted in the late 1990s. Not necessarily historic, but an interesting side note.
When the game started, the men who were sitting in the row in front of us were a little tall for our nephew. We asked if he wanted to switch seats with us, but it didn't make much of a difference. After a few innings, I asked if he wanted to walk around and be as close to the field as possible. My plan was to be as close to the plate as we could when Derrek Lee stepped up to bat. He's my nephew's favorite player. Unfortunately, the Cubs ended the third inning, and Lee would lead off the next inning. I told him we could stand in the aisle while the Cubs took the field. Once the new inning started we would be forced to move. Finally, a nice old lady told us we had to move. An usher was walking by and asked my nephew if he could see his baseball glove. Riley opened up his glove to show him. The usher dropped an official game ball into his glove. That made his day. We thanked the usher and returned to our seats.
When we returned to our seats, the outcome of the game didn't truly matter. Our nephew's day was already made. Still, the Cubs headed to the bottom of the ninth trailing 7-2. When we turned on the weather in the morning, all the reports suggested that rain would arrive later in the day. Based upon their estimates, I knew it would arrive close to the end of the game. At the end of the eighth inning, the public address announcer stated that a thunderstorm was approaching Wrigley Field and would arrive just after 4 p.m. Throughout the game, the skies changed from sunny and blue to overcast. In the ninth inning, the overcast skies turned to thunderstorms. The wind changed and started blowing straight to center field. I asked my nephew if he thought the Cubs could pull out a win. He said they were down too much. Sure enough, it was 4:01 p.m. There was thunder. There was lightning. There were still three outs to go. Tyler Colvin belted a 3-run homer to make the score 7-5. Derrek Lee added a solo home run to make it 7-6. As the heavy rain started, Geovany Soto grounded out to end the game. The Cubs lost, but what a rally. Now, the rain really picked up.
After the game, we stopped in the gift shop to buy our nephew his souvenir. He wanted a Starlin Castro t-shirt. We bought it and ran for the train. The sky was black and the thunder and lightning increased. By the time we made it safely to the Addison Red Line station, the rain picked up and was falling sideways. There was more thunder and even more lightning. Eventually, we were whisked away and had a great day at the ballpark.