Wednesday, February 23, 2005

posted by James - 11:15 PM

The Line Stretches Down Waveland at 5 p.m. - 02/23/2005
The Line Stretches Down Waveland at 5 p.m. - 02/23/2005

The Way to the Wristbands - 02/23/2005
This Way to the Wristbands - 02/23/2005

I didn't get my wristband yesterday. The prior engagement (pun, intended) came through, so I got a late start on my adventures yesterday (but I'll have more on that soon). And by the time those adventures took me to the corner of Clark and Waveland, the line was longer than I had time for. No worries for me since the Cubs were nice enough to open up the Wristband Wracket nice and early tomorrow morning.

Since I have to work tomorrow as I said in the previous post, this works perfectly with my schedule. I'll be able to get my little Circle of Trust-y Baker (very bad, I know), not have to stand in line forever to do it (though that was actually a pretty fun part for me last year) and have enough time to get a work out in before I have to trudge my way back up to Casey's.

All of this was just to say I had done it and to pick up another collectible for my "Wrigleyville Scrapbook," not necessarily to try my luck for Cubs tickets on Friday... until the Cubs announced they will retire Ryne Sandberg's number this season after he's accepts induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sandberg is my second favorite player ever to don a Cubs uniform, a close second to the Hawk, Andre Dawson. I wear an '89 model, Sandberg road jersey - which would be a "throwback" if it weren't actually a hand-me-down from '89 - proudly, and it's now a mission of mine to have my tickets for that game in hand well before, unlike my usual day-of-game M.O.

So, I'll have my wristband by tomorrow morning, and I'll wait for them to call my number on Friday, and if I happen to be working at Casey's at the time, Casey will just have to live without me for a few minutes. I don't think anyone would begrudge me.

BTW... Wrigleyville Sports is an awesome store right across the corner from Wrigley Field on Sheffield and Addison. Between that store and their website, they have everything a Cubs fan could ask for... except those damn Cubs Believe Bracelets. I say this as a PSA on their behalf...

They don't have them, and they won't until mid-March. Stop opening their door, poking your head in, getting rebuffed and turning tail without even crossing the threshold or saying hello. I'm sure the pretty damn cool staff would appreciate it.

Also, when the dumbasses their warehouse contracts to customize their authentic jerseys misspell Sandberg, it ain't their fault. Don't call and harass the store. They had nothing to do with it. Don't ask them to send you a new jersey on the spot. They're definitely not going to do that 'cause morons, they ain't. I'm not kidding, somebody actually misspelled Sandberg.

The guys there last night were kind enough to let me size up a few jerseys for fit and style... like I said, I'm working out. I can't just depend on what my shirt tag says anymore.

I'm very close to taking the plunge on my first Cubs jersey. Kurt and I have had a pretty lively discussion about this on his blog. I'm getting really close on my redesign to where I can implement comments on this version. After that, I might even reach the pinnacle of blogging that is polls (for more pole... I mean poll enlightenment visit the Sloth) where I could ask something like what I should get on my Cubs jersey.

I could always get a jersey with my name and a football number on it (I would never pick a baseball number 'cause me was really, really bad at anything baseball related, except the getting hurt part), but that would have a hard time living up to the awesomeness that is the Bears jersey my great friend David, who be re-exiled to So Cal as we speak, gave me.

I've leaned heavily towards a Nomar Garciaparra jersey ever since his acquisition, not only because he'll be a leading force on this team in production and presence, but because he means something special... a paradigm shift for the Cubs. In an otherwise dreary season, his acquisition was a major highlight. I'll never forget where I was on July 31, or who was sitting in the seat next to me on August 1 when he donned Cubs pinstripes for the first time. A Nomar jersey would be more of a collector's item for me than anything; something to symbolize and commemorate my first year in Wrigleyville and possibly frame and hang on my wall, if I don't wear it out. But to do it right, I need to get a 2004 edition instead of the new, home-model jersey for this year with just the numbers and no names on the back. And I'll have to act pretty fast on that, if my tip from the Wrigleyville Sports guys comes correct.

Which brings up other possibilities such as Derrek Lee, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano, etc... if the unthinkable happened, and they didn't maintain their Cubness for the long term, I don't think any of these guys will have built a legacy that would make me want to still wear one of their jerseys after they've signed with another team.

And as far as "just the numbers on the back" goes, it would be like a game of jersey roulette if, for example, Zammer vacated the number 38. I could end up with a very expensive Renyel Pinto jersey.

There is one current, short-timer who I probably lean towards most of all. Again, I wouldn't want just the number 16, but there are several reasons why Aramis Ramirez is the front runner right now.

Now kiddos, do like Skippy does when he's trying to look even more like a monkey than he already is and put your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and say, "la, la, la, la" while I say reason number 1:


Ok kids, you can stop. DAMMIT SKIPPY! THAT MEANS YOU TOO! Don't make me come over there in May.

Reason number 2: He's my wife's favorite Cub. Yes, her favorite player is still the Mariner Moose, but at least she has a favorite Cub and that's more than I could have ever hoped for.

Reason number 3: well... I'm not going to say for it might ruin the surprise. Let's just say if, again, the unthinkable happened, I'd be able to find it a suitable home with someone who'd appreciate it and still be able to wear it proudly, until this person changes their name. That's way too many hints, but I'll give bonus points to the person who figrues that out.

...but when it comes time to make your jersey decision, I implore everyone to shop at the local business instead of just shelling your money over to the Tribune Co. and MLB. We're all giving them plenty already, and they already made their money on this with the license fees. And even better, do it online where it will take shorter to process the order (with free shipping, since we're already shelling out the big bucks) and make sure to click to their site from someone in the Cubs Blog Army. That way they get a commission off the sale and everybody wins on this!

I have a lot more to come in the next couple days, but that's plenty enough of this for one night, but I stand by my declaration in the since-circulated CBA e-mail. I'll be hanging around Wrigleyville most of tomorrow and Friday. If anybody wanted to send a salute my way, send me an e-mail and I'll let you know how to get a hold of me.

Good Luck, everybody!

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