If this was discussed elsewhere I apologize, but even then, I think it deserves its own mention. Yesterday, 104 year old Leo Hildebrand threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches. Mr. Hildebrand has been a Cub fan for 85 years. He was at Wrigley when Babe Ruth called his shot. Mr. Hildebrand has been through it all. Apparently, there was an article in the paper about him as friends and relatives have been lobbying to get him to throw the first pitch. He had even been practicing. The Cubs weren't able to accomodate him, but did give him free tickets for yesterday's game.
Enter Kerry Wood. As part of the free ticket compromise, Mr. Hildebrand and family got to go on the field and meet the players. Wood apparently took it upon himself and surprised Mr. Hildebrand by telling him he would catch Mr. Hildebrand's first pitch. So when Mr. Hildebrand got out of his wheelchair and threw the ball 30 feet to Wood, that was the culmination of a dream for the 104 year old gentleman and the big heart of Wood.
As a sidebar to this, listening to the extended post game radio show yesterday, Billy Williams told a story about meeting Mr. Hildebrand before the game. He noticed that he appeared to be crying. Williams asked him if he was okay, and Mr. Hildebrand replied that he was crying because he wished his own father could have been there to see all this. As Williams said, nothing could better describe being a long time Cub fan.
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