My goal is to add perspective to subjects other than the regular headlines.
Contact Stephanie at s.betweenthelines@yahoo.com



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tommy Lasorda

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the one and only, Mr. Tommy Lasorda, a couple weeks ago. I intern on a morning sports show in Chicago called Monsters in the Morning, and he happened to be our guest on a day that the dodgers were in town! I don't remember the last time I was this nervous about meeting someone. I read his book, I Live for This, about a year ago and it quickly became my favorite book. It encompassed the true nature of Tommy, his beliefs and his passion for Dodger baseball. To me, he is one of the baseball gods.

(Tommy Lasorda and S, in studio)

With the help of Bill Plaschke, Tommy Lasorda's book, I Live for This, is an exceptionally easy and fast read while remaining entertaining and genuine throughout. I found it in the clearance section at Barnes and Noble one day while browsing, and after reading just a few chapters from it I was back at the store buying the remaining copies. I finished the book a few days later, and by then my copy was all marked up- chapters circled and quotes underlined all over. It's rare that I find a quote I love that moves me to underline it in a book, but with his book it must have been every other page with some type of mark or annotation on it. His passion for the game was so obvious and raw. If I didn't love him before this book, then I definitely had a new hero after the read. Baseball lives within his soul, and his personality reflects it- it is one with the purest of love for the game of baseball.

To be honest, I was nervous when the opportunity presented itself for me to meet him. I'm always scared that I have built these people up in my head to be greater than what they really are. But, for once, I was not let down. He is the person portrayed in that book, in every single way. In the book it talks about how he treats women and even that was apparent when I met him- I tried a number of times to hold the door for him, but he wouldn't allow it- that was "the man's job" he'd say. He also never swears in front of women. He is a respectable man in every way. But, despite me being such a big fan I didn't sit there and gush. With Tommy, you listen. He'll go on for hours telling stories from his life, to anyone who will listen. It was an honor to sit with him and talk to him.

This is an excerpt from his book, which encompasses him not only as a player, but as a person:
As hard as Lasorda tried, he pitched the way he fought -- too aggressively, with blood everywhere. Lasorda's first major league start was in 1955 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the greatest teams ever, a roster boasting future Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, and Pee Wee Reese. This was the first Brooklyn team to win a world championship. This was also the perfect team on which Lasorda could get that first big-league start, because the Dodgers had such a commanding win-loss record that even a junk-throwing lefty couldn't mess it up.

With the team leading in the standings by double-digit games, Lasorda took the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals. He wanted to show his nemesis, Walter Alston, that he was more than just a mouth. He was eager to show he could be a big part of a team that he knew would win a championship. Alas, he did neither.

He walked the first batter, Wally Moon. He bounced his next pitch past Campanella to the backstop, moving Moon to second. He stepped off the mound. He wiped the sweat from his nose. Oh, no, he was thinking. Not again. Please, not again.

He stared down the next batter, Bill Virdon. He growled at him. He shook his head at him. It didn't matter. He couldn't fight his way through this. He walked Virdon. This brought up the great Stan Musial, and now Lasorda's head was back in Norristown.
He was a third-string pitcher again. He wasn't good enough again. Forget his fastball, forget his curveball. Lasorda would have to trick his way out of this jam. So he threw, of all things, a knuckleball. Campanella couldn't catch it. The ball bounced to the backstop, and now the runners were on second and third.
A Hall of Famer at the plate, two runners in scoring position on two walks and two wild pitches, and Lasorda's mind continued to spin. He had worked all of his life for this? He had fought from Cuba to Greenville for the right to do this? Embarrass himself in his first big chance? Show Alston that he was right? That Tommy Lasorda was a better heckler than a pitcher? Life was so unfair. Those trick pitches worked in the minor leagues. Why not now? Why didn't I get the big arm that could blow hitters away? Why didn't I get the great legs that could push me toward a strikeout? Why was my body not as strong as my heart? It was so unfair.
"Then," Lasorda remembers, "I threw the greatest curveball of my career."
And in the greatest out of his career, he quite unbelievably whiffed the Man, striking out the swinging Musial.
If only the story ended here. But the stories of Lasorda's play ing career never ended here. They never ended in a strikeout. They never ended in triumph. As with many great sports motivators, all Lasorda's playing stories ended in misery.
With Ken Boyer at the plate, Lasorda threw another wild pitch -- his third of the inning -- and Moon raced toward home. Lasorda ran in from the mound and blocked the plate like a catcher -- except he forgot he wasn't wearing shin guards. Moon slid toward the plate and sliced up Lasorda's leg. The kneecap was cut open. Blood dripped from his knee into his sock. Lasorda finished the inning, hobbled to the dugout, and tried to hide the gaping wound. But Pee Wee Reese saw it. And Jackie Robinson, who grew sick at the sight of blood, smelled it. And Alston, looking for any excuse to rid himself of Lasorda, immediately ordered Clem Labine to take over on the mound. Lasorda protested until a team doctor warned him that he would be risking his future ability to walk if he returned to action. This only made Lasorda protest more, until finally his teammates Don Newcombe and Russ Meyer grabbed him by the arms and dragged him screaming into the dugout.
"I was twenty-seven years old. I had been working my entire life for that moment. I knew how precious it might be," Lasorda recalls. "And then it was gone. Forever."
He was right. That was his only start that season, his only start for the Dodgers, and one of only six starts in a career during which he was 0 4 with a 6.48 ERA.
"Now you see why I wanted to go back to that mound?" he says. "Being able to walk right for the rest of my life didn't really matter. Being able to pitch for the Dodgers did."
(To read the rest of this chapter, CLICK HERE)

I have passed his book on to many friends. After I went back to Barnes and Noble to buy the remaining copies, I thought of all my friends in the minors and in college ball who would benefit from his book, and I sent it to them. His story reached deeper than baseball. If possible, it gave me an even deeper admiration and appreciation for the men who play the game. One of my good friends in the minors had been struggling a lot, so I sent him the book. For a guy who never reads, he finished that book in one sitting while on the team bus to Albuquerque, and his book was just as marked up as mine. Tommy's passion helped him forgot about the contract and ignore the numbers he was struggling with. The next day he stepped on the field and remembered how fun high school ball was, and how lucky he was to be given the opportunity to be playing professional league ball. He's been a different person since that book, and so have I.

Tommy is a big reason I am the way I am today. His book reinforced the way I felt about the game. I realized that I wasn't the only one that looked at baseball as a lifestyle and not just a hobby. Baseball has given him everything in life, from paying the bills to teaching him life lessons. But more than anything, it gave his life meaning and passion. He has remained humble his whole life, never letting fame or fortune change him.

I have the up most respect for this man, and I love him for never letting anyone change him. I feel blessed to have been able to meet one of my heroes- it's something I will never forget. If you are interested in reading the book check out Amazon.com or a local book store. If you love baseball, you'll love this book and you'll love this man. Without Tommy, baseball would not be the same for me.

-S

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Zambrano Gets 6 Games

It has been announced that the Cubs starting pitcher, Carlos Zambrano will receive a 6 game suspension for his actions on Thursday, May 27th. I was in the bleachers at Wrigley when Big Z entertained the crowd of 38,000 by voicing his displeasure with the officials in a highly emotional and dramatic scene. Major League officials said that the 6-game ruling came from his "inappropriate and violent actions on the field and in the dugout."

CLICK HERE for a link to the video of Z's ejection, provided by Cubs.com

I do agree that what Z did was inappropriate but I'm not going to lie and say I didn't love it. Everyone in the ballpark was entertained to say the least, but I loved it for a different reason. I have always supported Lou Piniella and, for the most part, I love the way he manages our team. But I was just in San Diego for the sweep and saw this lifeless team on the field who couldn't score a run if their lives had depended on it. In fact, had they lost on Tuesday it would have been 9 straight losses which would have tied a record set back in 2002. Monday night (5/25/09), when they lost their 8th straight, it tied a record from 2006 when the team finished the season with a 66-96 record. Lou had the perfect opportunity in the loss on Monday night to ignite a flame for the team, the way any good manager would do to help his struggling team. With Freel playing third base he applied the tag to the runner coming in from second, but the ump ruled him safe. Replays showed it was clearly the wrong call, but the ump stuck to his decision. Of course at the time, the crowd could only go off what they saw as it was happening, and we watched as Freel made his case known to the ump. When Lou emerged from the dugout, everyone in the ballpark stood, even Me and Casey (we were only 15 rows from the incident), and we watched as Lou did nothing. No big outburst, nothing. He just stood there talking for less than a minute then retreated back to the dugout. Every single person around us thought this was the moment the team had needed- this was the moment Lou would make one of his famous tiraids to liven up the team and get us out of our slump. We needed our manager to be the leader of this team and we needed him to fire up the dismal offense. Nothing. We went on to lose that game.

Now skip ahead to Thursday, May 28th, when Nyger Morgan scored on the wild pitch from Zambrano. It was an extremely close play. The replays looked as if he was out, but in all fairness it was a tough call for the home plate ump, Mark Carlson. Nonetheless, it tied the game in the 7th inning. Zambrano, known for the high emotions he holds when playing, reacted. It started with him accidentally bumping the ump, which is an automatic ejection from the game and a future suspension. But, once he got tossed, he got his money's worth.

No one will ever know if he just reacted to the situation or if he saw it as an opportunity. Either way, he showed how much he cared and how could I not support that? Sure he may have made it into a circus act by "throwing the ump out of the game" then taking the game ball and throwing it into deep left center field. But he showed that fire he holds in his soul. He is a passionate player and he let it all out. Now maybe all that was a little much, especially when he capped it off by throwing his mitt into the side of the dugout and taking a bat to the recently repaired Gatorade machine. But, did you get the point? He was mad- not only for himself but for his struggling team. You may not agree with his actions but the reactions from the players were unanimous- they support Big Z. It livened them up! That next inning the Cubs came up to bat and Reed Johnson, who was in center when Z threw the ball out there, came up big with a solo shot into the bleachers to retake the lead and put the stadium into bliss. The Cubs went on to score two more runs in the inning and when the 3rd out was made the entire stadium rose to their feet to give the Cubs a much deserved standing ovation for finally showing some life! It was perfect. Z is a leader on this team. He lit the fire under the team and did what Lou failed to do on Monday. The Cubs are on a 2 game win streak and it feels great. Part of me thinks that Lou sat back on purpose to let the leaders on this team make their own fate, but part of me also feels that Z merely took it upon himself to step up for his team.

I know a lot of people disagree with this. Some reactions I've already gotten from people is that they hate Zambrano and his silly antics, but that's the beauty in thinking for yourself. I have my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. I'll support Big Z because he gave us our first no hitter since 1972. I'll support Big Z because he continually pulls through for my team, and we are a better team because of him in our rotation. I'll support Big Z because he is a Cub and he's a part of my team. Watching this lifeless team when I went to San Diego made me question why I spend so much money on a team that looks like they could care less. Then I see what Zambrano did at Wrigley, and how his passion and genuine care about the outcome of the game affected him and it reminds me that these guys do care. They want to win just as much as we do. We don't get to see what goes on in the clubhouse and we don't get to talk to the guys ourselves, so when a player shows his frustration out on the field its an easy way we can actually see for ourselves that they do care. Z has done a good job controlling himself for the better part of the season, so I'm not going to hold this against him. And, yes, he may have gone over board with all the antics, but .... that's Zambrano.

-S

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PetCo Park

Talk about a beautiful stadium- PetCo Park has it all. I just got back from a trip on Memorial Day weekend to San Diego to see the Cubs play the Padres and I absolutely loved the park. There were great views from all over the stadium, good food, lively atmosphere, cheap and close parking, friendly staff, and to top it off fantastic weather. If I had anything negative to say about the stadium, it would be minimal. Their "Friarworks" were kind of lame (nothing compared to the White Sox fireworks) and the fans were referring to "stupid cubs fans" around the ballpark- I guess there were so many of us, that was their only reaction. Also, it was probably because the series featured the 1984 celebration of the Padres beating the Cubs. I'm still undecided if I really think this was "unclassy" or just to get a rise out of Cubs fans. I understand why the Padres chose this weekend to do it, but it brought out an ugly side to some of the typically mellow and friendly west coast fans. As you may of guessed, I opted out of watching the Jumbotron show video after video of the NLCS from '84. Talk about a stab in the heart- we were there to just have a good time- cheer for our team, heckle the other, ya know? Then all that garbage about us losing 25 years ago, like we aren't reminded of that (and every previous and preceding year) day after day.

The main thing I didn't like about the stadium was the many, many, many different concourses. It was nothing like Wrigley Field or US Cellular where you can make a clean sweep of the park on a single concourse circling the field. At PetCo, there were stairs every which way, elevators, and what seemed to be a hundred different levels. The positive part of that is that the park was in no way boring. There was always something you hadn't seen before, but on a trip in which I was only able to see the stadium for three days I didn't want to miss anything. Impossible as it was to see it all, I did find some very cool parts of the park that are worth noting. The most unique part of the park is in right center field where they have a closed off bleacher section with a big sand area for kids to play in. It definitely fit in for the San Diego atmosphere. It reminded me of Chase Stadium in Arizona that has the pool in that spot, except unlike Chase it does not cost a fortune to go down in that area. At PetCo, it's $10 to sit there and the kids have a blast playing in the sand while parents can take their shoes off, stick their feet in the sand and just kick back and watch a game in the sun.

Another cool part of the stadium was behind the scoreboard and jumbotrons. They have a big lawn area behind the back concourse, where the view is completely blocked by the big screens and seating areas. Instead they have a giant TV set up, and for $5 you can watch the game with other fans while still being in the actual stadium. Another part I really liked was that they feature a pet adoption event through Pet Co. They bring 1 or 2 adoptable dogs to the ballpark, feature them on the jumbotron through the game and make 40,000 people aware of them which gives them a great shot at being adopted, while raising awareness to the public of humane societies.

Now for the best part of the stadium, the 5 for 5. Let me explain. For anyone that ever been to a ballpark before, you know how expensive food and drinks are. A hot dog can run from $4-6, a soda can go for the same, and don't even look at popcorn, nachos, peanuts, etc. Well, at PetCo they offer the 5-for-$5, which is a hot dog, regular soda, gourmet chocolate chip cookie, bag of popcorn, and a bag of peanuts for only $5. Since the results of the game were far from our favor, I am pretty sure this was the best part of the park. We were in shock, to say the least. Also, if you want a beer instead of a soda, it turns into a 5-for-$10 deal, which still isn't bad.

So, we made the trip from May 22-25th, right while the Padres were on an amazing hot streak, and coincidentally while the Cubs were on their worst slump of the season (both of which are still going on). We still had a good time at the game, despite the lack of offense from our team. It was unfortunate that we spent a couple hundred dollars to see our team get swept, but experiencing San Diego and seeing PetCo at this time of the year was perfect, especially the weather which was no higher than 70 degrees each day and sunny. Most of the Padres fans were very friendly, asking us about Chicago and sharing some insights on their beautiful hometown. For the most part, they were amazed at the number of Cub fans that showed up and our enthusiasm, despite our slump. We also sat in a different area of the ballpark each night. Friday night we sat up in the Toyota Terrace up on the second level. They were pretty decent seats, even had waiters, but we felt too far away from the game and ended up moving down to behind the visitors dugout on the third base side. On Saturday night we had the best seats of the trip- second row in left field, section 128. From here we had the absolute best view of the stadium, and it was full of Cub fans. Only downside to that game, besides the loss, was the absence of Soriano from the lineup. We were so close to the left fielder (Micah Hoffpauir) that it would have been fun to Soriano there as he always talks to the crowd and has a good time with the fans. Finally, for the afternoon game on Sunday, we sat in the corner of right field by the foul pole. There was little obstruction from the foul pole (which was never told to us when purchasing the tickets or noted on the actual tickets) but it was in direct sunlight the whole game which I loved, and it was within heckling distance from the right fielder.
In the end, it was a great trip. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a Cubs win. But with our undying optimism, we will tell you that we had fun watching D. Lee hit one outta the park right by our seats on Saturday. And we'll also tell you that Reed's 2 run blast still gave us hope during game 3. In a trip that consisted surfing, sightseeing, Sea World, Shamu, Sea Lions, cubs games, fantastic weather, sunshine, friends, and hundreds of cub fans taking over another stadium chanting "LETS GO CUBS," I can safely say that it was one of the best times of my life. That San Diego atmosphere is rewarding in itself, and if anyone is looking for a new stadium to visit I'd definitely suggest going back to SD in August when the Cubs make another trip west. Also, if you are a Cubs fan make sure you go to Tivoli, the Cub friendly bar right down the street from the park.

Had it not been for the friends I traveled with, the beauty of the ocean, and Sea World, our trip may have been a bust, as the Cubs got swept for the second series in a row,but I loved California. I actually questioned why I don't live there, but then I went back to Wrigley Field last night (5-25-09 vs Pirates) and was reminded that life without Wrigley just isn't complete. Even though the Cubs lose, we know how to deal with it. When I was younger, my dad told me that being a Cubs fan isn't always easy. "Don't expect a World Series," he told me. "Just enjoy the games." And that's my advice to every Cubs fan, new or old. People will always call this team a disappointment, but I'll never see it that way. I'm going on 22 years with this team, yet when I look back at my summers and the many road trips I've made with my friends, I see nothing but great memories of being at the ballpark, traveling to see my team play, and most of all meeting new people along the way. When our time finally comes- when hell finally freezes over- and the Cubs win the World Series, it will be epic. I'll be able to look back at the hundred of games I've been to, the thousands of dollars I've spent, and know that it was all worth it. I don't need a Championship to prove my money was well spent though, all I need are the memories of good times with great friends while watching a team that I love. But, you better believe how bad I want it. When our time finally comes, we will celebrate with our friends and with strangers, and we will share with each other the one thing we have longed for our whole lives. When that day comes, Cubs fans will finally be repaid for their lifetime of devotion. With that in our future, how can you call this team a disappointment? Just look what is to come. As Shamu says, Believe.
-S

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cubs vs Padres Series

VS

The 13-19 Padres take on the 17-14 Cubs tonight at Wrigley Field in what should be an ace match up featuring Jake Peavy and Rich Harden. Peavy, who is 2-4 this year with a 4.27 ERA looks to build on his last outing against Arizona, despite losing his 3rd straight outing in a start in which he struck out a season high 12 batters through 7 innings while only allowing 4 hits. His only miscue was in the top of the 6th when he walked the first batter he faced then gave up a two run homer to Justin Upton, which ended up costing his team the game. That home run also ended his streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings. In his last two starts Peavy has only allowed 2 runs in 15 innings pitched as his outing before this one was an 8 inning gem in which he shut out the dodger offense. Peavy's fastball consistently sits in the mid 90 as he paints the corners of the plate, and when his slider is on it's almost unhittable.
If the Padres want a chance at taking the first game of the series vs the Cubs they better get some run support for their ace. It might not be that easy, though, as Harden is coming off an outing against Houston in which he threw 7 strong innings before being pulled in the 8th when he gave up a 2 run bomb to the struggling Lance Berkman. In a performance where he only struck out 4, Harden ended up having his longest outing of the year. In 3 outing so far this year, Harden has only lasted 6 innings. He has never faced San Diego, so tonight's match up should be a good one.
I'll be out in the bleachers tonight with a few friends, and we'll be getting there early for Ernie Banks bobble head night. I expect tonight be a great match up of starting pitchers, and I also expect to see little offense. My prediction is Cubs 3, Padres 1 with Harden lasting 6 2/3 innings, and Peavy lasting 7. I'll be back again at Wrigley tomorrow night to watch Chris Young (2-1, 4.76), who has had some control issues, versus Ted Lilly (4-2, 3.11) who has been throwing pretty well. Finally, the series will close on Thursday with former Cub, Chad Gaudin (0-2, 4.08) dueling recent call up, Randy Wells (0-0, 0.00) who will be starting his 2nd game in place of the injured Carlos Zambrano. I'll also be in San Diego Memorial Day weekend to see the Cubs take on the Padres at Petco Park, so look for a different kind of blog post then, from San Diego!
See you at the ballpark!
-S

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bobby Scales

It's finally time to congratulate Bobby Scales on his first Major League hit! May 5th, 2009 will forever be a day that no one can take away from Scales. His first hit was a long single into the left field alley that came off a 91 mph fastball from reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum. That was a feat in itself, in which Scales contributed 1 of only 5 hits managed against Lincey today. What was even more memorable though, from his first Major League hit today, was that everyone in the friendly confines new it. When Emmanuel Burriss respectfully threw in the baseball that was Scales's first hit, it took a high bounce and landed in the hands of a fan in the first row behind the Cubs dugout. But without any hesitation the fan tossed it right back into the dugout and into the hands of Kosuke Fukudome who relayed it further down the dugout to be saved for Scales. If you know Scales's story then you realize the emotion that came with that hit. If you don't know the story then you are about to be surprised, because his is nothing short of unique.


Well, my interest in Bobby came from back when I watched him play in Spring Training this year. I saw him compete at such a level that I found myself wondering what he was still doing in the minors. And behind his amazing talent comes a story that is nothing short of spectacular. It's one of those captivating stories that anyone, anywhere can relate to. It's a story of working hard and putting in grueling hours for something that may not even be attainable. It's a story in which all the odds where against the 14th rounder. And, it's a story where giving up seemed like a reoccuring option. Bobby Scales spent 11 years in the minors leagues before his debut today at the age of 31. He began his career with the San Diego Padres in their rookie farm system in 1999 at the age of 21 in Idaho Falls. The Padres had drafted him in the 14th round of the amateur draft (442nd overall). The next year Scales was promoted to Fort Wayne (short A season). In 2001 he played in extended single-A for Lake Elsinore, and in 2002 he made the double-A Mobile team. In 2003 he started in Mobile and after 100 games was promoted to triple-A Portland where he got in 11 games. In 2004, he once again started out in Mobile and once again was moved up to Portland, but this time the move was after only 20 games. 2005 was the first year he started in triple-A and he stayed there for the next four years, except with four different organizations. In 2006 he was traded to the Phillies where he played for their triple-A farm system in Scranton/Wiles-Barre for 105 games. In 2007 he once again found himself playing for another team, but this time with the Boston Red Sox triple-A team, the Pawtucket Sox, where he played 122 games. Finally, destiny set in when he became a minor league free agent and opted to sign with the Chicago Cubs in December of 2007. With the Cubs triple-A affiliate in Iowa in 2008, he posted the best numbers of his career while batting .320, hitting 15 home runs, and stealing 7 bases in 121 games played. Before he was called up yesterday, Scales had played in 21 games in Iowa this year while putting up a .303 average in 76 at bats. Eight different minor leagues teams, with four different organizations. That's a total of 1,013 games played, while totalling 3,303 at bats, 530 runs scored, 942 hits, 207 doubles, 41 triples, 65 home runs, 425 RBI's, 96 stolen bases, 437 walks, 51 hit by pitches, and a career batting average of .285, an on base percentage of .375, a .432 slugging percentage, and an 807 OPS. I can only imagine the damage he could cause in the Major Leagues, and now he finally has his chance to prove it.


(This is a picture taken today at his Major League debut)

For anyone who doesn't know the life of a minor leaguer, it is anything but glamorous. They spend long, grueling days in some of the harshest weather conditions where they work their butts off. Then they spend countless hours on an over sized bus with their entire team and coaching staff. Sometimes they can travel 16 hours at once, and they have to sleep and eat on the bus to top it off. Now on top of all that, they are constantly pushed to the limits both physically and mentally. Their life is constantly changing, they have no set routine, they are drained and pushed to the max, and they sleep in a different city every couple days leaving them little to no time to be with family and friends. Some players do it with a smile and a great attitude because they know it will pay off one day. They all hope that its only a few years until it's their turn in the majors- they're turn to experience the lavish lifestyle of 5 star hotels, private car services, gourmet food, and the ability to fly in their family and friends to share in the experiences. Well imagine doing it for 11 years. Working hard with the ceiling looming overheard. Scales did this with a great attitude and he topped it off by using his off season to make ends meet as a substitute teacher in Alphareeta, Georgia. Finally today, everyone was able to witness for themselves the hard working, and completely gracious man step up to the plate and make his dreams come true. And he did so in a humbling demeanor in which his charisma delighted reporters and fans around Chicago. His story is now in the public eyes, and not only for Chicagoans but for the world. Little kids everywhere will see his story on major sports outlets and they will remember him and they think twice about giving up. Current minor leaguers who feel it may never come for them, may go to the field tomorrow with a renewed sense of hope. Anyone who has ever worked hard, countless hours with a steadfast determination and strict effort, in hopes that one day it will pay off, now have someone to prove to them that it can happen. Anything is possible when you dream big and have the right attitude to take you to the top. Most people would quit after a few years with no reward, but not Bobby. Instead he defied the odds, worked hard, and reaped the benefits. His story is one of courage, hope, faith, hard work and determination. Congratulations Bobby and welcome to the Majors!



Click here for a video replay courtesy of Cubs.com featuring his first major league hit.
Special thanks go out to Brad Nolan for supplying the pictures that he took himself at the game today.

Thanks for reading!
-S