Lucky For Me, I’m A Pig

(Quick aside: I want to thank Rob and the other TCRers for inviting me to play with them. Going back to the days when Ruz was the one and only Cub Reporter, I have marveled at both the quality and quantity of information available here. I hope to measure up.) I have a throwing-things-out problem, as in, I can’t make myself do it. WIFE: What are those? ME: Hockey cards…from 1973. WIFE: Are you saving them? ME: Of course. WIFE: Why? ME: What if one of the kids asks what Henry Boucha looked like when he played for the Detroit Red Wings? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an answer? And so on. As a result of this disorder, a few years ago when I was helping my dad clean out the attic of the house I grew up in, I found a number of Cub treasures I was never able to part with, but had long ago forgotten. The prize of prizes was a 1968 program from the first game I ever attended in Wrigley Field. July 30th. Cubs vs. Giants. Ernie Banks. Ron Santo. Willie Mays. Willie McCovey. Hal Lanier! Jim Davenport!! ADOLPHO PHILLIPS!!! For nearly 40 years, I have had a memory of that day and here was proof I was really there. Today, I pride myself on keeping a neat, comprehensive scorecard. On that first magical afternoon, I marked the outs with an O, the singles with a 1, the homers with an HR, and I was in business. Earlier tonight, I went to Retrosheet and pulled up the box score and play-by-play summary of that game, and the site dutifully provides every detail of the Cubs’ 10-4 victory on 7/30/68: Santo’s homer in the first; Banks’ homer in the third; Bobby Bonds entering the game to replace Mays in center field in the fifth; Hands fanning Lanier on a called third strike in the ninth to end the game. Retrosheet is really a glorious resource. But all in all, I like my old scorecard better.
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Comments

Hey, welcome Cubnut. Nice post!

from ye olde world of roto:

"Cedeno is now 9-for-21 in the series and has played some terrific defense at time. However, he was both picked off and thrown out stealing tonight."

he went 3-4 in the game tonight.

btw, hi cubnut...woo content

Welcome Cubnut, your story prompted me to go to Retrosheet and find my first game. June 30, 1968, Cubs 6, Cards 2. (we must be about the same age)...Jim Hickman homered. Even though in my mind, Banks also homered -- retrosheet indicates he merely doubled, perhaps it was another game. I, however, am certain that was the right game as it was near my birthday and I remember that it was the Cards and the score. The game featured a Cards lineup including Lou Brock while the Cubs sported the famous Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Santo, Banks, etc. that I remember. For the longest time, I didn't understand it when teams didn't have their SS bat leadoff, it's just how I thought it was done.

Welcome to the Show, Cubnut

I didn't keep score at my first game, but it was the very early 80's and we played the Phillies. I remember Ivan Dejusus hitting a triple and I loved him for it...

welcome

adolfo phillips + 35 years = corey patterson

i've been reading a bunch the last few months but too much time at work to really get involved in the posting stuff until games start.....hi all

kept score at the first game I remember going to*, which was a cubs-mets game in 1988....the fact that a person could be named "daryl strawberry" was the first thing that interested me at age 5....8 months later i was sprinting from the bus to my house to see the late innings of the 89 division winner on wgn.

* -- my dad snuck me into the 84 playoff games under his jacket. i was one year old. the good part of being that young of course is i don't remember the next three games....

rest was history.

Adolfo = Corey?

Adolfo walked more than once a month; in fact, he walked more than any Cub then except Santo.

If only he had played shortstop, Leo might have considered moving him out of the 8th spot in the lineup.

A better comparison for Corey might be to '64 Billy Cowan or '66 Byron Browne, if you adjust for the hitting-starved environment then.

Welcome aboard Cubnut

My first Cubs game (Dad was a Sox fan): June 17, 1988; Cubs 7, Expos 3.

Gotta love Les Lancaster and the old-school save!

Congrats on the new blog. As a former Chicagoan and still unrepentant Cubbie fan, I really enjoyed your insights. And yet, I cannot help but feel for your long-suffering, clutter-surrounded wife... She must be a fine, young Cub supporter in her own right...

I too used retrosheet to find the box for my first game which was eons before you guys....6/1/52, lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers 3-2, saw Jackie Robinson for the Dodgers and Player-mgr, Phil Caveretta pinch hit and hit a triple. It was sold out.

I wish I could remember the day of my first Cubs game. I was 2. The first game I know I was at was the home opener of 1976. Jerry Morales smacked a pair of homers and Rick Monday singled home Manny Trillo with the winning run in the ninth for a 5-4 Cubs victory.

My first game was in September of 1985. The Reds were in town and Rose was on the verge of breaking the all time hit record. I was sure that I would see history being made. Rose went hitless that day, Parker hit a grand slam off of Smith in the 9th, but the Cubs still won 9 - 7.

I still remember that feeling the first time I saw the field in person.

I remember it too "Some Guy", I'm pretty sure that in 1967 I had yet to see Wrigley on a color TV. So very green.

I'm interested in the number of posters whose first game was a win when you consider the history of the team, that seems statistically impossible! Maybe we just remember it that way? Maybe if you see a win in your first game you're more inclined to remain a fan?

whats intresting is that the first game people attended is usually indicative of their age - or stated another way how much Cub misery they have indured. It makes for intresting read on experiences for those who post.

Welcome CubNut I enjoyed reading your blog and I really like your writing style. By the way i still have my fav Chicago BlackHawks 72 cards. Every now and then its fun to see what Tony O looked like.

The first regular season Cubs game I ever attended was June 20, 1961, It was a Tuesday. Cubs versus Dodgers. I was six going on seven, and some guy named Sandy Koufax (who dat?) pitched a two-hit shutout with 14 Ks and the Cubs lost. (I guess it's kind of hard to win when you get shut out). Don Zimmer played 2B for the Cubs that day. After the game, my friend Bruce and I (and BTW, a big "Hi" to Bruce, wherever you are) stood on the ramp to the upper deck opposite the WGN-TV broadcast booth and watched (couldn't hear, though) Jack Brickhouse interview Maury Wills on the 10th Inning Show (sponsored by HFC). I believe that was the game where I popped my first beer cup, most probably while standing on the ramp watching Jack & Maury. And I'm sure we both laughed uproariously because that was SO FUNNY!

But prior to that,on the last Saturday before Opening Day in 1961, I attended a Cubs-White Sox exhibition game at Wrigley Field, and Dick Ellsworth pitched a shutout for the Cubs that day.

Wow, you guys are old. The first game I can remember (though I'm sure I'd gone to others) must have been between 1992-1995 because only thing I can remember vividly is Steve Buechele handing a foul ball to an old lady.

My first Cub game was in 1963, I believe, probably in June or July. Coulda' been '64. We drove up with a friend of my father and his two kids. It was a Friday doubleheader against the Dodgers. I remember my Dad commenting it was a pretty good crowd for a Friday, about 10,000 in attendance.
Joe Moeller started the first game for the Dodgers. I believe Ellis Burton was in center field for the Cubs, along with their usual lineup (Santo, Williams, Banks, Hubbs, Rodgers, Brock, and a catcher). As I recall, Billy Williams hit a walkoff home run in the 9th inning off Ron Perranoski to win the game.
We left early into the second game. We were frozen, hungry and had a three hour ride home. All in all, it was a good day.

My favorite cub game, and I will admit that I have not gone to a lot of them, was in 2003. The labor day game against the Cards. I went on a bus trip with a friend and we sat through the LONG rain delay. What was supposed to be a day game turned into a nite game and I think that Wrigley looks better under the lights when you are sitting in the stands than it does on TV. Prior won that game, Larussa pulled Pujols out in about the seventh inning and a drunk Card fan started yelling at Larussa. I was laughing pretty hard at the whole thing. It was late when we finally got back home that night, it is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours away, but I was not at all tired the next day at work. It is amazing how much a good day at the ball park (and I don't think there is any other kind of day) can make you feel.

First game was.... ah... I think 1988? I have a photo of Palmeiro warming up down the LF line. My dad was never a baseball fan, but took me, my brother and sister, and my mom. Very cool of him, in retrospect.

Born in Oak Park, raised in Glen Ellyn, yet STILL never attended an actual game at Wrigley all those years (1962-1970) before moving downstate. I did however absorb Jack Brickhouse and the Cubs theme song from "in utero" exposure to their telecasts. And I fondly remember all those day games from about 1966 on, because my Grandma put me into the back bedroom with WGN on the old B&W TV, when it was "my" naptime (really her naptime) and so I could memorize Beckert, Kessinger, Santo, Jenkins, Hickman, etc before I could read or write.

First (and still only) actual game at Wrigley: 35 years later in 2000, with my own four daughters, on Father's Day. Sammy hit one out in the bottom of the first.

Maybe some youngster will go to his/her first game this year and fondly remember years from now. "I saw Soriano hit two homers and Prior pitch a four-hit shutout to beat the Cards. That, of course,was 2007, the year the Cubs finally won the World Series in a magical season. The Cubs spent a lot of money the off-season before and hired Lou Pinella to replace some old guy who didn't work out. Each of those moves really paid off, and though not expected to be much above .500 that club really had it going, not like those overpaid, lazy Cubs we have now."

Hey, I can dream, that's what February's about.

Thanks, you just put a smile on my face.

Ahh, first games... I grew up a Cubs fan in L.A. (thanks, Dad) in the mid '70's, just after the breakup of the '69 Cubs. The Cubs were terrible; the Dodgers very good (this was 1974 and they'd go on to lose the World Series that year). I had latched on to Bill Madlock as my "favorite player", maybe because he was the bounty for Ferguson Jenkins, who had a cool name. When the starting lineups were announced, Madlock wasn't there and I was crestfallen. Despite a Rick Monday HR (for the Cubs), the Cubs were trailing 6-2 late in the top of the 8th. They loaded the bases, with Carmen Fanzone due up. Madlock was announced as a pinch hitter and I went nuts. He delivered; a pinch-hit grand slam to tie up the game. I was the happiest 9 year old in the world for that moment. Of course, Steve Garvey scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth (I've hated him ever since) and the Cubs lost 7-6, but I was hooked. I love that memory...

first cub game was at riverfront (we lived in columbus when i was young before dad moved the fam back to rockford). it was 1978, i was 4, and i dont remember much. i do though clearly remember crying at one point when a scoring play brought on sudden thunderous clapping and shouting. all these adults going bonkers scared the crap out of me. i remember my dad doing his earth-shaking wolf whistle and smiling down at me clapping like mad before picking me up to comfort me.
all i remember about my first game at wrigley (later that year) is being blown away by the park when walking out into the stands (i know its cliche, but wrigley is beautiful) and the plastic kiddie batting helmet dad bought me, which became permanently attached to my head. it was cool cuz you could even wear it in the bath, being plastic and all. i dont have a scorecard from my first game at wrigley, but even better in my wallet i have the picture of me dwarfed in my new helmet with dad at that game.

welcom to TCR cubnut!

I'm glad Trans...maybe in my future scenario I should have called him Mayor Pinella.

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