Omg Omg Omg… I am still dying over the experience we had last night. It was beyond surreal and might be hard to put into words, but I’m going to try!
My husband, Chris, received an email from DraftKings offering him three complimentary tickets to Game 3 of the World Series as well as access to batting practice before the game. He forwarded the email to me immediately and the first thing out of my mouth was “omg, am I invited?!” Haha! He said yes and that he also wanted to ask our friend Andrew. If you read my previous post, I’m referring to the same Andrew – The Cubs Superfan. I obviously supported that idea completely and was thrilled to be included.
We left our place in Lincoln Park around 2:30 pm. The media has made Wrigleyville out to be a horrific place to get to right now. I was so afraid we would get stuck in Cubs chaos, but it actually wasn’t that bad at all. We were able to take a cab all the way down Sheffield until we reached Sheffield & Addison – the intersection Wrigley Field is on. I’d say that was a complete win! DraftKings asked that we arrive early and wait near the Cubs VIP Entrance. That entrance was on the opposite corner of where we were dropped off, but since we had loads of extra time it didn’t matter. We stopped to take photos along the way and met up with Andrew.
We were greeted by a woman who works for MLB. She was very friendly and found our names on the list right away. There were to be 11 total in our group and we were the first to check-in. She gave us these stickers to put on our shirts to easily identify us as fans allowed to be on the field.
We were quickly briefed on what to expect and how to behave on the field. Due to the high volume of media already on the field, we were told to watch our step for cords and to stay out of their way. We were told not interact with players so they could maintain their focus. And we were told a MLB official would be with us the entire time and to stay close to that person. If we somehow got separated, we would be at risk of being taken off the field regardless of our sticker. But… we could take lots and lots of photos and take any balls that roll our way! AHHHH! So excited!!!
It wasn’t much longer before our entire group was gathered and we were let in the VIP Entrance. We had to go through a metal detector and they scanned our tickets. Once everyone was in, it was a blur. We were rushed through special doors, raced through the concourse, and walked down the stadium steps until we were in the section behind home plate. There was a little gate, if you will, that opens from the stadium to the field. I couldn’t believe that was all that prevents fans from the field. There was a security person manning the gate, so I do think it is still quite difficult to get on – don’t get any crazy ideas.
When we stepped on the field, our MLB official said we were so lucky to be the first group of the day to access the field. We had about 20 minutes to relish in this incredible moment. It was a moment that I’m sure Chris and I will talk about for the rest of our lives and is so hard to put into words!
Our eyes were darting from player to player, media personality to media personality, stadium to field. I made eye contact on and off with Kris Bryant (such a babe) for about a solid minute. I tried so hard to snap my camera when he was looking at me, but failed every single time. Oh well. We took Snapchat videos and Facebook live videos. Chris ran into his friend who is a columnist for The Toronto Sun, so we chatted with him for a little bit. Find his article here. Andrew was able to grab a few pebbles from the field for his Jewish traditions. I mean, the experience was just awesome!
Not having much more time on the field, Andrew noticed Cubs coach, Henry Blanco, holding a ball in his mitt. He said, “Hey Henry, can ya toss us a ball?” and he did!!! Andrew said his technique as a child was to know all the lesser known players’ names. He would call their names out and they would toss him balls all the time. Andrew kindly handed us the ball and thanked us for taking him to this incredible fan experience.
In a blink of an eye, the coolest sports experience in the world was coming to an end and we were escorted off the field as quickly as we were brought on. Our tickets were scanned upon entering Wrigley Field, so we were not allowed to leave the stadium at this point. We had just under three hours until game time. It seems like a ridiculous amount of time to kill, but it went by so fast. We had our picture taken by Fanfoto.
We were able to walk through an empty concourse to easily grab food and beer. I should note, I was the only one who enjoyed an adult beverage. Haha. The guys said they could get food and beer anytime in their lives, but they didn’t want to miss a single pitch due to a bathroom break. I followed their lead and made sure to use the bathroom several times before the game started and did not have another sip of liquid (after I finished my beer, of course.)
Time continued to fly by. The Cubs had their operations staff walk the entire field before the game started. It was such a cool way to honor their employees. Local firemen and policemen rolled out the giant American flag.
Plus, they announced the entire Cubs lineup and their starters. It almost felt like we were at a Bulls game. Haha.
Ryan Dempster started the night out right by amping up the crowd and saying those three words… “Let’s play ball!” The crowd went wild. Although the game was incredibly low scoring, it was not boring. Everyone was on their feet the majority of the game. Bill Murray performed Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the Seventh Inning Stretch. This was kind of an odd performance… not gonna lie. The crowd was SO thrilled to have him sing and then he performed it as Daffy Duck. So weird.
We ended up losing 1-0 because of a player named Coco Crisp – seriously. What kind of name is that? The Cubs are down 2-1 in the series, but there is still plenty of time left to become World Series Champions. Good luck to the Cubbies tonight as they head into Game 4. Go Cubs Go!