Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Let Me Root, Root, Root for the Home Team


A few weekends ago, the FriedOkra family was out running errands and the subject of baseball came up. Al loves baseball. Specifically he loves the Atlanta Braves - he's a Georgia boy, afterall, Georgia born and bred, with red clay, Coca-Cola® and salted-in-the-shell peanuts coursing through those veins of his. Some of the best dates we had before we were married were at Braves games - sittin' in his favorite spot right behind Chipper Jones in the outfield, drinkin' ice cold beer, eatin' hotdogs and watchin' the game unfold before our eyes as we talked, laughed and basked in the bright, animated scenes of spring and summer fun all around us.

Al knows a lot about the Braves' history, having been a fan since before he could walk. And he keeps up with the current players and their stats, even livin' way off up here a thousand miles away on the Illinois prairie. (I say that like we don't have television or electricity or phones or like we get our newspapers delivered by Pony Express, three months late, faded and tattered from the journey.) Plus, he knows seasonal stats every year for all the MLB teams and will rattle them off with the neighborhood husbands when they're germane to the conversation. He's a baseball fan and a former highschool shortstop, so he's good at it, as he is at anything he decides to do. (I know. People like that really get on my nerves, too, but he's my husband, so in this case it usually works to my advantage. If you can't beat 'em, marry 'em. Or something like that.)

Anyway, so we got to talking about baseball, and the two local MLB teams, and I said, "I'd sure love to go to a Cubs game this year. I wonder how hard it'd be to get some tickets. I wonder if your firm has some - since they have a pretty big presence in Chicago."

"I think we're doing an event for clients at a game sometime this season. I'll probably have to go to that, and I'll see when it is and we can buy you a ticket if we need to."

PhotobucketHOT ZIGGITY! We're goin' to a Cubs game!

And Mama was happy. Goin' to a Cubs game with my husband. Gonna (watch him) drink beer, eat a hotdog, chew the fat and enjoy all new baseball-related scenery.

Two weeks later (this past Saturday) we're sitting at a table at Chili's® eating dinner and he's keeping one eye on a baseball game they've tuned into on a TV in the corner.

"Oh, before I forget again," he lets out casually, "That Cubs game I mentioned is datedy-date-date. Go ahead and see if you can get a babysitter that night and I'mthrowingoutthefirstpitch."

"Okay," I reply. "I'll get right on it. Oooh, I can't wait!"



Blink blink.

"You're whatting out the what WHAT?"

"You heard me."

"Is this a joke? Are you playin' with me, Al Lastname? You're throwing out the first pitch at the Cubs game?"

"No. I'm not kidding. It's no big deal, just a corporate thing. Jim told me a couple weeks ago."

I'm stymied into complete silence. Utterly speechless. For a minute.

"Are you SURE you're not teasing me?"

"Not teasing." Gives me his best wide-eyed Not Teasing, Serious look.

Photobucket "So what you're sayin' is, you're throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, you've known for two weeks, and you're just now getting around to telling me?"

"It's just the CUBS."

"But it's MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL! You're goin' to da show, kid!"

He smiles, eyebrows lifted in earnest, expressive humility. A little chuckle.

"Guess I need to buy a ball and throw a few practice pitches. Knock off the cobwebs. I want it to be a good one."


Oh, it'll be a good one, honey. I've no doubt about it.


Hey! There's a great giveaway over where I moonlight - Chic Critique. Pop over and register to win a $25 gift card to Sephora.


  1. When is that game? I wanna watch that first pitch--Aunt Joy

  2. I was at Chic Critique reading your endorsement for Burt's Bees and thought you'd want to know:
    The Clorox Company OWNES them can buy the stuff (on-line) with a 20% discount at:!

    Jasmine/UP (as in Michigan)

  3. I would have thrown a first pitch at him right there in Chilli's!

    That is so cool! But I guess the Cubs won't be playing the Braves that day otherwise he would have been bouncing off the walls with excitement.

  4. How awesome is that? Every baseball fan's dream.

    I love this: "If you can't beat 'em, marry 'em." I feel exactly the same way about my husband. I am all thumbs and he can fix anything. SCORE!

  5. "It's just the Cubs." That's classic. My husband is a huge Red Sox fan so he would probably have the same response.

    That is so cool! Which game is it? We have the MLB package so I oculd watch the game to see if they showed the first pitch. How cool would that be?

    I could tell my husband that it's Al, Megan from Fried Okra's husband, throwing out the first pitch and he would say, "It's just the Cubs."


  6. ohmygosh!!! too cool! And will you decide to take lil bean? Oh what thrill she would get!
    I so miss my Giants back in SF.

    We expect a dadgum good blog after that throw!! Gooooo! Al!!

  7. That's the best!!!
    I think, other than maybe a 5 year difference, Dave could totally take Al on Braves stats. He's a nerd, and we rarely find anyone germane to the conversation, so when he gets rolling, I'm usually the only ears available. Sigh.
    Very exciting for you guys!

  8. wow. kind of makes me wish I had tv. :)

  9. Wow! You go Al! yes, please let us know when the game is so we can try and see him.

    ps... GO BRAVES!!!! I hope to see the Braves when they come to town to play the Reds

  10. Oh yes - you have to tell us when it is!! How exciting is that?!?!?

    Go AL :-)

  11. oh my totally awesome is that. WOW! impressive. :)

  12. Wow, how cool is THAT!!!
    I tell ya, I got to do "oh say can you see..." a few years back at a basketball game & it was AWESOME! So much fun to be behind the scenes for a bit. And those basketball players are T.A.L.L. baby!

  13. That's crazy fun! I think I heard the cartoon-like sound effects of your eyes blinking over the complete silence. Not your everyday dinner conversation! How awesome!

  14. Can we come (batting of eyelashes)?!

    I can totally see all making that face.


  15. There is no such thing as "just the Cubs." Please tell me when the game is, would you?

  16. When I read your comment I had to race over here to read this for myself--I had exactly the same emotion while reading this and then I made my husband stop getting ready for work while I read it to him. Oh my! How did I miss this post?

    And the Braves are the only acceptable team to root for in my Dad's family too--he's always loved the Braves adn would brag how he like them no matter how they were doing even through the rough years and he was so thrilled when they were finally doing well again a few years ago. It's probably been more than a few years but I'm getting old enough 10 seems like nothing. :)