Close Encounters With Mr. Cub

Happy 77th Birthday Mr. Cub. My close encounter with Ernie was well after his hall of fame career was over. Take the "wayback machine" with me to May 19th, 1979. A group of my University of Chicago Med School classmates went with me to see a Cubs game that crisp May afternoon. Some of you might remember that unmemorable team...Buckner, Kingman, DeJesus, Ontiveros and Foote.

We sat behind home plate but about half way up the grandstands and the group had an entire row. About the 2nd inning one of my friends gets up and has this weird grin on his face as he moved down the row. Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed, coming up the aisle...Mr. Cub. That was cool enough, but he procedes to sit down next to me in the recently vacated seat from my friend. My classmates knew I was getting married in June and so I have to tell you that this was IMHO the worlds greatest batchelor party geeky me could have ever hoped for (although the Palomino Club in North Vegas would have been my 2nd choice). Ernie stayed there with me talking baseball for about 7 innings. Honest. I have a picture (that's me in the Cub hat) on my office wall to prove it. What does one talk about to his childhood hero? I don't remember much other than it was a very surreal experience. I do remember hearing him tell me his favorite number was 9 (not 14), as in 9 innings and 9 players on the field. Ernie philosophising Baseball Kaballah? Ernie was still under the Cubs employ for PR functions in that era and my med school pals had set this up, hence the goofy grins when the group knew he was on the way up to us. The Cubs were 3-hit and lost 3-0 that day to the Pirates. Jim Rooker over Mike Krukow. So much for surrealism.

To throw in my orthopedic two cents worth, Mr. Cub has had two total knee replacements (not by me, but I do know his orthopod) and they are working just fine. When the Ortho Academy meeting was in Chicago March 2006, Ernie was guest appearing in a promotion called "Champions for Patient Education" and was as bubbly as ever. Drumroll...and You Tube tributes to good ol' #14. May you have many more very happy birthdays. 

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  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 4 hours 32 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • "Tommy La Stella (hamstring) will remain on his minor league rehab assignment through at least Friday."

    should be an interesting roster shuffle once these guys trickle back in. i imagine patton or peralta are on the hot seat for la stella's return.

    crunch 4 hours 54 min ago view
  • 6 pitches, 2 run lead.

    neat.

    crunch 6 hours 2 min ago view
  • So am I. Point remains.

    Old and Blue 15 hours 52 min ago view
  • Not certain why the site has been slowed. Worked much of Wednesday on it and will continue today. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will probably take it offline for a while, but it will be up before the game against the Mets.

    WebAdmin 23 hours 59 min ago view