Monday, May 27, 2013

Give It to a Kid

Here's the nephew on the Wrigley Field tour, a few hours before the blessed events described below.
They haven't said good things about Greg Dobbs over the years. "Limited," "minimal," "failure," and "collapse" are words you often see used in descriptions of his performance and tenure in the Major Leagues. Now in his tenth season, Dobbs has appeared in only about 855 games over time with the Mariners, Phillies, and Marlins—making him on average a half-time player. But Dobbs—who today, to the surprise of many, is the regular first baseman for the Miami Marlins—now has a major fan in Lima, Ohio, and he's OK in my book, too.

Younger Nephew was in town this weekend to celebrate his (and my) birthday, and among other Second City delights he got a trip to the South Side to see the White Sox host the Marlins. For psychological reasons that remain obscure to me, Y.N. was perfectly obsessed with the idea of getting autographs on his glove. Over and over, he said, "I'm going to get an autograph." Over and over again, I replied, "Maybe, but don't bet on it." After one fairly forceful reminder that getting an autograph was an unlikely event, Y.N. replied, "I could just get the manager's, maybe."

View from the seventh row of section 119
We did have good seats just past the Marlins dugout, and Y.N. did get himself set up along the wall as various Marlins stretched out and mentally prepared themselves for another depressing loss. He had a shot at Justin Ruggiano, but a certain uncle neglected to get a Sharpie to him in time. Things were looking grim as various pregame festivities brought us closer and closer to the first pitch. There was but one Marlin left on the field. And then... a miracle. That Marlin—for it was he, Gregory Stuart Dobbs, graduate of Canyon Springs High School and Long Beach State University, husband of Heidi and father of Taylor (thanks, Wikipedia!)caught sight of the hyperactive ten-year-old with the open pen and the glove and... slowly jogged over to the wall... and... then... signed... the... glove!!!!

The heavens opened. Mean Joe Greene welcomed another compadre to the pantheon of heroes. And Younger Nephew dashed off in pursuit of Southpaw, the White Sox inexplicable mascot, who was also handing out Hancocks, even though one doubts his species can read.

What the hell is that, anyway?
Greg Dobbs, we salute you.

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