Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cubs Caravan - 2012

I didn't buy a ticket for this year's Chicago Cubs Caravan at the Riverplex.  Last year I had to coach my freshmen girls in Galesburg, and this year Galesburg was to visit us during the time the meet & greet event was to take place.  No need to purchase a ticket for something I couldn't attend.

Enter Mother Nature.

"All after school activities are cancelled!"  Huh, what am I going to do this evening?

Not more than a half-hour later Sandra asked me if I wanted her ticket to go along with Vince.  The rest is history.  Damn, I love those Iadipaolos!

Program, Vine Line, and IPMR Chiefs advertisement.
Vince and I made it down to the Riverplex just after 5:00 and we headed to the food line. It was short, featured a chocolate chip cookie, potato chips, and... wait for it... WONDER DOGS!  Man, those were some awfully tasty hot dogs.  I had built up quite an appetite during the day while trying to convince five classes of students that we were not going to have a snow day tomorrow.  After that workout those wonder dogs didn't stand a chance.

Off I went to grab my autographs.  I wasn't really interested in grabbing Dave Otto's signature, because he's only a sportscaster for Comcast Sports Net.  After you get used to Harry Caray, Ron Santo, and Pat Hughes supplying you with your Cubs fix, Dave Otto just doesn't really have a fighting chance.  He was really cool though.  I had brought along a baseball card of Otto in a batting stance, but Dave was a pitcher.  I asked what the reason was behind him posing like that and he told me a pretty cool story behind the pose.  Dave Otto, I will stop comparing you to the Cubs great broadcasters and give you the chance to win me over that you so rightfully deserve.  You earned it tonight.

I was standing in line to obtain autos from Chris Carpenter and Casey Coleman and we were right in front of Tony Campana and Jamie Quirk.  Jamie wasn't really busy as everyone wanted to get a piece of all 165 pounds of the fastest man in the Cubs organization.  Still in line for Chris and Casey I asked Jamie if he wouldn't mind answering a question for me.  He obliged and I asked why he only got one at-bat for the 1984 Indians.  I showed him the card and the stat line I was referencing.  He smiled.  "The Indians didn't know what they had.  I hit a walk-off homerun in my only at-bat for them. I went to Kansas City and won the World Series with them the next year."  Oh yeah, he signed my card, too!  Sweet deal, especially since I wasn't given a ticket to receive an autograph from Mr. Quirk.
Autographs of guys I didn't have cards of on a nice glossy stock.

After the autograph session there was a Q&A session with all of the players.  I spent some time talking to Vince, Jim, Megan, and Craig.  Really fun evening for me after originally being bent all out of shape about not being able to go.

Janers was missed from the baseball outing.  Usually I rely on her to talk to the players for me, because I tend to freeze up a bit around baseball players.  But, since she wasn't there I was forced to come out of my shell a bit.  

Oh, and I guess I'm supposedly going to have my photo in the Princeville/Dunlap newspaper.  It's not a large paper, and it doesn't have a huge circulation count, but the photographer was there and he said he was always looking for people from the two communities to take pictures of and run in the paper.  He recognized me from my coaching at DHS and even knew my full name.  I'll have to see if I can somehow score a copy so that I can show off my cheesy grin while being sandwiched in between Carpenter and Coleman.  Good times.

We were home around 7 o'clock, yet I somehow managed to get a large enough baseball fix to maybe get me through the rest of this winter. 

And even though I just finished shoveling the driveway it feels like spring!  Baseball will do that to a guy.
More Autographs.


  1. It was a fun time. Glad it all worked out that you could go. I cant wait to see the pic of you in the paper

  2. yep, I didn't get home until about 6pm that night. work has sucked lately, but I guess you'll have that. glad you had a good time.