Smile, say cheese!

Lost amid yesterday’s fantastic comeback win against the Phillies was that it happened to be team photo day. This annual ritual showcases the team against the beautful backdrop of Wrigley Field. And every year we pray–especially team photographer Steve Green–the weather cooperates.

Turns out several of the trainers forgot which shirts to wear and had to go back into the clubhouse and change into white polo shirts–all to the playfully sarcastic applause of the rest of the team.

In years past, the front office would wander out into centerfield and mingle amid the team for an organizational photo, but last year marked the first time that we’ve done the org photo in the stands.

The photo is a bit of a thrill for some in the front office. I can remember one very enthusiastic front office employee wanted to stand next to Sammy Sosa every year. She’d push and shove her way through–nicely, of course–eliciting good-natured giggles from fellow employees and Sosa himself!

It’s hard to expect office people to know the things players do and vice versa. We might be a team, but our duties and repsonsibilies are diverse. Some of the do’s and don’ts aren’t apparent to office people. 

In 2000, after the team photo was completed, I remember utility infielder Jeff Huson, who didn’t have a mean bone in his body, yell out to a couple of unknowing front office employees:

“Hey!” he cried. “You don’t see me walking across your desk in cleats, do you?”

The employees were walking across the newly manicured infield dirt and quickly jumped off and back onto the grass like they were playing hopscotch. Everybody got a chuckle out of it, but in a way, Huson, especially as an infielder, was right. The diamond is where they work, so they want it kept in as well manicured as possible. Not sure I’d want my desk and media guide perforated by a pair of cleats.

Yesterday I was smushed between 6-7 Sean Marshall and 6-4 Bob Howry in the very last row. It was snug and not a lot of elbow room. But when team doctor Stephen Adams, who stands about 6-5 folded himself in there, a fly couldn’t squeeze through the row.

Steve Green sat perched on a tall ladder to get the entire group in, which numbered over 100 strong.A couple of the local television stations were able to capture the shoot. Poor Steve–he never gets to be in the photo.

After the final snap, a nice round of applause echoed through the stadium. The annual team photo might seem perfunctory to some, but to most, it’s a treat.

–Mike Huang

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