Trip Notes: An Indians Fan Playing Ball In Wrigley

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You can read another version of this trip report on DDF here in the DDF Trip Reports board.

On July 8th I wrote about some neat SPG experiences that were being auctioned.

Shortly afterward DDF member Chapshnell started a thread in the DDF DO board to get 12 guys together to bid on playing softball in Wrigley Field. SPG even included personalized jerseys and other goodies for each player on the team.













View the rest of the trip report after the jump:

As the game was during the 9 days I had to get clearance from my Rabbi to participate, but I got the OK and was onboard.

Mind you that I’m an avid sports fan. But more of the spectator variety. I hadn’t played a game of softball since elementary school. But hey, how often do you get to play in Wrigley?

And so, on August 7th I flew to Chicago to play ball!

I met up with my Aunt, Uncle, and their 2 kids at Emma’s for breakfast where we shared a few dishes.

Their fresh squeezed OJ and cheese danish were excellent:














The Shakshuka was spicy and hit the spot:














And a chocolate chip Belgian waffle topped with caramelized bananas made sure that we wouldn’t be able to move for the rest of the day 😉














And what a gorgeous day it was for baseball, with clear sunny skies:















SPG was running a few minutes behind schedule, but that gave us time to get acquainted with our teammates and competition for the day. SPG auctioned off 2 full teams and they sold entries onto 4 other teams that cost 10K Starpoints for 2 players. The 2 player packages came with a T-Shirt instead of a personalized jersey and you get placed with a random team, though you can request to be placed together with other players.

When the DDF team was full, several other DansDeals readers decided to take part in the 10K packages and many joined together on another team.

Photo Aug 07, 11 51 19 AMa




















After entering the ballpark we signed waivers releasing SPG from liability and picked up our jerseys:



There was a SPG board to take pictures in front of, but despite asking SPG several times for the pictures they haven’t made them available yet.

The surprise for the day was that we weren’t playing regular softball. We would play Chicago style softball with a 16 inch ball.

I was under the impression that we would play on the actual diamond, but that was roped off from access. Instead we played in the outfield.

Each team plays 2 games and our first game was against the yellow team.
















Getting loose before the game:



























Our secret weapon was RedBull3, who helped propel us to a 14-5 victory in game 1:















And despite not playing softball in a couple decades, I didn’t do too bad myself with a couple of hits, RBIs, and a run scored in game 1:

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

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Taking the field:












The game ended with a slight mishap as one of our members decided to plow into the catcher to score a run. I do have a picture of that, but let’s just say it was embarrassing enough at the time to not warrant reliving that again.


After the first game we got a tour of Wrigley Field.














Ronald Reagan and Harry Caray:














Press box:




Me, JJ, and AJK in the dugout:


















I didn’t even think about it, but apparently wearing an Indians hat during an event at Wrigley with a Cubs jersey was controversial. When anyone asked me about the juxtoposition I just said, “What do you mean? I’m just previewing the 2016 World Series  matchup!”

Everyone laughed when I said that, but little did they know that 2 months later the 2 teams that hadn’t won a championship in a combined 176 years would indeed take place.
















Gimme the lefty, #ItsMillerTime













The winners of the first games face each other and for out 2nd game we faced the white team, which provided much stiffer competition. The game was all tied up 1-1 in the last inning but our right fielder made an error that allowed the winning run to score.

The teams that won both of their games moved on to the championship and the white team wound up taking home the grand prize of 10,000 Starpoints for each player on the team.

Game 2 at-bats:











































#TeamDansDeals at #WrigleyField #SPGMoments #WhereIsAJK?

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Despite not being able to play on the diamond, it was an awesome and surreal experience being able to play in the friendly confines.









































































SPG provided kosher meals upon request for our team:















SPG promised that a retired Cubs alumnus would be on hand to chat or sign autographs, etc. The player was David Otto, who played all of 36 games for the Cubbies. I almost felt bad that nobody seemed to even notice he was there.


My jersey was a magnet though. With 6 teams full of mileage and sports fans I had people from all of the teams come over to ask to take selfies with me all afternoon long, which was a completely bizarre experience. Some people even took selfies with my brother JJ and with AJK. It’s pretty surreal to see just who reads DansDeals in real life.


Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Wrigley without paying a visit to the trough:

Photo Aug 07, 12 00 55 PMa































After the game I took a shower in a DDF’ers house and we went out to Shallot’s.

Most of the guys took advantage of their excellent steaks with a siyum, but general Chabad custom is to avoid meat during the 9 days even with a siyum, so I stuck with the fish.

The Lion King roll is always a hit:
















The rice crackers were not as great as I remembered them:














The avocado egg rolls were very good, though it’s missing the sublime cilantro dipping sauce that comes with the version in LA’s La Gondola:















The Fish Tacos were dry and not appealing at all as I salivated at the other guys’ steaks:















But it’s impossible to go wrong with Shallot’s awesome strawberry shortcake:

















And after a day of playing ball it was time to grab an Uber and fly home. For a couple days afterward I was still sore from the ballgames, but I was happy to hear from the other guys that it wasn’t just me. AJK said that he could barely move his arm in the days afterward.

Perhaps it was a good thing that we didn’t play that championship game after all 😉 . As AJK said, we would have had to limp home if we did.

Besides, there’s only 1 team that can win a real championship in Wrigley in 2016. But even if it doesn’t happen there, I sure hope to be marching at my 2nd parade of the year down Cleveland’s city streets later this week!

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28 Comments On "Trip Notes: An Indians Fan Playing Ball In Wrigley"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Wow, that was quick!!!

"THE" Right fielder

Thanks for the shout out! Perhaps you forgot to mention my 5 RBI’s in game 1;)
All in all was a fun time. See you there again in a few months where you will be “sore” from the indians WS loss:)


Lol, was waiting for the series 🙂

@“THE” Right fielder:
Heh. Actually I couldn’t remember who made the error.


How many star points did you use for this??


Oh,reading the headline I was anticipating to see how much you paid to watch today’s game @Wrigly !


So it’s almost game 5 and you still haven’t been to any of these HISTORIC W.S.Games? I’m sure you have tickets to gm 6 or 7….Although it might be too late by then..


Thanks Dan for another great TR! So glad you guys had such a great time.


We wound up using about 180K Starpoints for 12 people.

I went to games 1 and 2 so far.

Had a blast!


Oh, it didn’t happen unless you read about it on Dansdeals….:)


I don’t like the tri-fecta odds of a Browns Super Bowl title.

Ernie Banks

Sounds like a great use of 15,000 starpoints!


I was hoping they would go 0-16 but the Jets are ruining that at the moment.

@Ernie Banks:
It was!


what a difference a quarter makes


@Dan: looks like the Jets read that ;p


My favorite story from this years trip was….. a guy on Dan’s team learned that there could be balls hiding in the ivy, he skipped the games but I steades walked the warning track and tried to “shake” the balls out the ivy.

btw, he was told to stop pretty quickly.


There is NO chabad minhag to avoid meat even with a siyum! This is a common misconception.


Perfect season intact.
Got scared there for a bit.

Didn’t see that happening.

My understanding is that the problem is with making a siyum for the sole purpose of eating meat rather than happening to eat meat at a siyum.

Regardless, I asked what to do and was told to stick with fish.


@Dan: There is indeed a problem with that, and your rabbi’s ruling makes perfect sense. However this is not a Chabad minhag as no Chabad source talks about this issue.

The misconception about Chabad minhag originates in the custom of the Rebbe Rashab to make a siyum even without a meal of meat and wine, which was understood incorrectly to mean that he intentionally refrained from meat and wine even when making a siyum.


hey baruch akiva can you please clear this up with rabbi leshes.


I read that aderaba, the rebbe said to make siyumim during the nine days and to eat meat…


Hey Dan,
Where are you sitting for game 6?
Since Fox tries to show every fan in the stadium, maybe we’ll see you…:)


Did you know that Dave Otto played 2 years with your favorite team in 1991 and 1992? It all comes full circle.


@Ted: I don’t remember that happening. Although I did take a piece of the ivy not sure what happened to it


hey dan how confident are you?


@Dan: why do you want them to go 0-16? Is there a franchise quarterback available at #1?


As a native clevelander and former chicagoan that looks like a blast. But they let u play 16″ with mitts??? Go Tribe!


Oh man – How come I didn’t know about this one? Just seeing this now. If this happens again please let me know. I’m a lIfelong Cubs fan and former Wrigley Vendor. I worked over 500 games in high school and College.