As many of you know, I hang out on Waveland (and sometimes Sheffield) waiting to catch home run balls hit out of Wrigley, mostly from batting practice, but quite a few gamers too. I've been doing this since 1990 and after 18 seasons, suffice to say, I have a lot of balls <insert own joke here>. Most I've used to get autographs but I've also given away a fair number to family & friends, little kids I see after the games (especially if I can tell they're left-handed like me), and folks from all over the world that stop and talk a little baseball with me, be they cub fans or just tourists visiting Wrigley for the first time. I've also tossed a few to members of our armed forces over the years - seems like Wrigley is a popular place to go either while on leave or before shipping out.
With that last demographic in mind, I'd like to now go that extra mile - actually, several thousand miles - and do a little something for our troops serving overseas in harm's way.
I'm pretty sure there's gotta be at least a few die hard Cub fans serving over in Iraq or Afghanistan. So with the baseball season just around the corner, I'd like to send them some genuine, whomped-out-of-Wrigley-Field horsehide souvenirs. Hopefully having a little something that actually came out of Wrigley Field would be a morale boost, and give them a connection to the Cubs as they follow along throughout the season. I have no idea what the living conditions are over there, but a baseball is pretty small, so I don't think it would be a hardship to have it sitting around somewhere. Probably not very practical because in order to actually play baseball, you'd need a bunch of extra stuff (gloves, bats, etc.) whereas with a football you can easily play a game or just toss it around. But this isn't about being practical - it's about being a Cub fan!
Here's where you come in. I don't know anyone in the armed forces serving over there, but based on posts I've seen on BCB, I'm guessing you do. It sounds like some of you have actually been there, or have family/friends serving over there. Heck, maybe some of our troops are even able to access BCB themselves during downtime. Can't be easy to get online access all the time, and I'm guessing whatever bandwidth is available would go towards e-mail and video links with family back home, but there may be a few diehards out there who would do whatever it takes (adapt, improvise, and overcome) to get their Cubs fix. Those are the ones i want to help.
This is as far as I've gotten on my own - now I need your help. Please contact me if you know of any Cubs fans serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other hotspot that you think would want to have a little horsehide souvenir from Wrigley Field. I'd probably also need a crash course in sending packages to military personnel overseas because I'm sure it's gotten a lot more complicated. Don't know if this is realistic, but my goal is to have at least the first wave of baseballs over there by Opening Day, then others as time and conditions permit throughout the season. Right now, I have some time on my hands, and like I said, I have plenty of balls... ;-)
Let me know if you can help me out. And if you know that while this may sound like a great idea but it will never fly due to some regulation or code, I'll be bummed but I guess let me know that too. Thanks.
email: vangeloff (at) hotmail.com