At The Old Ball Game

#BigLeagueDadsI look forward every spring to the start of baseball season. Excited for the first time I hear the crack of the bat, the first roar of the crowd, and the first 7th inning stretch where the crowd sings “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. The same way I savor these experiences at the end of the season.

This year the @DoveMenCare folks sent my family along with a group of other Dad Bloggers and their families to one of the last games of the season as part of their #BigLeagueDads promotion. It was so much fun to get together with those guys and share our love of baseball with our families especially in the greatest baseball parks in the world… Wrigley Field. Last year I took my boys to their first game at Wrigley, and they got to experience a Cubs win to boot. This time the got the true “Cubs Fan” experience a loss with the hope of a win looming. Being a responsible father I have prepped them for this eventuality… After all my grandfather lived 80+ years and didn’t see the Cubs win a World Series…

Wrigley FieldMy oldest loves hearing the crowd, dancing to the music that get’s played, and cheering “Let’s go Cubbies!” at the top of his lungs… Largely oblivious to what is actually happening on the field. My youngest has my unfortunate optimism like me toward the end of the game he is working out the scenarios in which the Cubs might win. Now the reality is this game didn’t matter for the Cubs.  No amount of winning now would change their destiny… But true to form the Cubbies put on a final show of life… And the optimist in my youngest boy caused him to hop up and flip each of our hats inside out “rally cap” style…  and wouldn’t you know it in the bottom of the ninth the Cubs managed to get two runners on with one out remaining… they could tie the game and send us into extra innings… we might even push the Atlanta Braves on to their next stop before winning their division…

but…

We don’t before we knew it Atlanta was celebrating on the field and the Cubs were inching closer and closer to setting their own personal record for losing at home (Which they have since done…)

Now this post isn’t meant to be a downer… sure I’d love to see the Cubs win every game.  I’d love it if every season they were serious contenders for the pennant… but their not their the “Lovable Losers” that I have rooted for since I was about my boys’ age when I went to my first game at Wrigley Field.  I remember rooting for Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. I remember when we were in serious contention for the pennant.  I remember sitting with my grandpa reading stats in the newspaper and watching the games on TV.  Now I can tell my boys the wonderful memories that I have collected over the years of being a fan.  I can tell them why I still have hope for my team.  The memories are more than wins and losses they are experiences that are part of who I am.

And here is the life lesson…

you aren’t always a winner…

sometimes you have to slogg through some tough losses…

sometimes you have to endure a tough season…

but…

you don’t give up you come back and try again…

you make changes in your approach…

you rebuild…

and you look to the future!

Rally CapsWhy do I love the watching the Cubs as a father?  Because now when I sit with my boys and they know it is not likely that our team will win they flip their caps around rally cap style ’cause they’re not ready to give up, and when they lose despite all our hope… My kid now turns to me and says:

“Dad, that’s OK we can always come back and watch them win… next year.”

 

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