All about the team: Part 3
MESA, Ariz.–This morning the Cubs had a big team meeting, so the clubhouse closed at 9 am. But I was able to get a few flip video promos done with Ted Lilly, Jeff Samardzija and Randy Wells. So be sure to check it out on our new landing page on cubs.com soon.
It seems like this has been a running theme during my hectic week here. Yesterday during the game, I took the time to just wander around and talk to fans during the game. Hohokam Park was giving away the March issue of Vine Line, and I think my column “Praising Arizona” struck a nerve.
09_VL_210.p1.PDF (Click here to read the column)
I never have had as many people approach me in Arizona as I did yesterday. Surely the headline caught their eyes. But the sentiment for the Cubs to stay in Arizona is very strong.
They’ve got pins and signs up everywhere about preserving the Cactus League and keeping the Cubs in Mesa.
Indeed, the allegiance to the Cubs is strong. People make the Cubs their way of life. It was interesting talk to so many people who based their lives and daily routines around the Cubs.
Or even name their kids based on the Cubs.
Take Andrea and Stephan Fields, for example. I met them out in the rightfield berm. I was sitting on the grass just after Brad Snyder hit a monstrous 490-foot homer into the second level of the berm when I felt a little pair of hands on my back.
A 15-month old little lady, cute as a button, was standing there in full Cubs regalia (with juice stains, of course). She had a big ol’ smile toddling around on a bright Arizona afternoon. It was then when I heard her mother, Andrea, yell: “Rigley! Rigley, honey–come over here!”
Rigley? I introduced myself to Andrea and asked if she indeed named her daughter after our historic ballpark.
“Well, our last name is Fields, so yes,” she said. “We just took the ‘W’ off because she’s a girl. But we call her ‘Rigs’ for short. But if we ever win it, perhaps we’ll put the ‘W’ back on.”
Pleased to meet you, Miss Rigley Fields.
“At first we thought she’d get made fun of, but then we said, why is [naming her after a ballpark] such a bad thing? We were thinking of all the different fields,” added Andrea, who is a native of Munster, Ind. “Of course, we couldn’t name her ‘Soldier.'”
Andrea moved to Mesa in 2002, and met her husband in Arizona. But both are die-hard Cubs fans.
And now, so is Rigley.
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