The Cubs postseason rally was held in Chicago today. The Cub’s radio station, The Score 670, hosted the rally with a live broadcast through the day. (I live-blogged the event with a dozen photos).
One part of the event in particular stood out—when Ryne Sandberg looked at my World Series scorecards an autographed one for me!
Here’s how it happened.
One of my fellow Cubs fans and friends at work, Martin, went down with me to the lobby to get a couple free rally towels they were handing out.
We knew there was a chance we might see Ryne Sandberg, because he was going to be on the radio for the “4 o’clock hour.” It was 3:15pm at the time, so it was a bit early.
Once we got our blue towels, Martin says to me, “look, there it’s Ryne Sandberg.” I thought he was kidding. But standing right at the foot of our escalator was the Hall of Famer! We were about to approach him, but he and a radio employee walked away down a hallway and into a room under the escalators.
We couldn’t believe it. Ryne Sandberg is hanging out underneath our escalators! It’s a tiny room down there too. We couldn’t imagine what he was doing. Probably have a soda?
After a couple minutes he emerged, but he headed straight to the broadcast table. I didn’t want to interrupt him with an autograph request. He’s doing business! You can’t interrupt someone while they are doing business!
Martin and I sat on the couches right in front of the broadcast table listening to Sandberg get interviewed on air. There was barely anyone there! A few people standing around in the public lobby of the Prudential Building. One of the people standing behind us took a photo and tweeted it. I’m awaiting permission from this person to include a screenshot of his tweet. But for now, you can follow this link to view the picture. The guy with the white hair is Martin. I’m sitting to his right.
He talked for about 15 minutes. The Score employees were trying to encourage people to clap and yell, to make it sound like there actual people at the rally. Of course, I wooped it up. I wanted to get on the good side of the Score employees, so I could get my autograph. I applauded. Wooped, and even swung my rally towel in the air. Then they took a commercial break.
Martin said I should slip my scorecard up to him. But Sandberg and the radio guys are surely busy talking about the show and what to discuss next. I didn’t want to interrupt.
He talked on air for another 15 minutes. And then they were wrapping it up. Now is our chance! We tried to position ourselves to be in the path of where he was walking. He took a couple more photos with the Score staff, and then yup, here was our chance.
Martin was very encouraging, “you gotta go up to him, you gotta do it.”
I approached THE Ryne Sandberg with my World Series scorecards.
The Score employees were not entirely pleased.
I said, “hello Mr. Sandberg, check this out World Series scorecards I did during the games.”
He said, “oh really, you did these in pencil?”
“Oh yes, I did!”
Then the Score employees said, “oh we don’t have time for that, we have to move him along.”
Ryne told me, “this is cool. I’ll come back to you. I’d like to check these out.”
I wasn’t sure if he would come back. Maybe he was just being nice.
So we stood off to the side while Sandberg took some photos at the Xfinity booth. He even did a little video promo for them. Bonus for Xfinity!
While quietly standing off to the side, I told Martin that it’s understandable that the Score employees didn’t want any autographs, because once he does one, it opens the floodgates, and then everyone flocks for an autograph.
Once Sandberg was done doing the little promos for Xfinity, he walked away from the booth, and searched out for me. Oh yes, Ryne Sandberg was approaching me. He kindly said to me, “Now about these scorecards. You did these?”
I said “oh yes, during the game I would add these drawings. Like here we have Zobrist with his double. And Dexter Fowler with his go-ahead homerun.”
Sandberg said, “this is amazing. Where do I sign it?”
I pointed along the top, and said that would be great.
He not only gave me an autograph, he wrote his number. He wrote his HOF ’05. And “Cubs Win!” Sweeet!
I told him, I did all seven games and I have an extra set of prints for him—if he would like to have them. He was a bit taken aback. He was like, “ok, I’ll be glad to take a closer look through all these. Thank you.”
I responded in pure delight, “My pleasure!” I wanted to go on and on about what an honor it is. But I was like in shock. I gave Sandberg a set of my scorecards—all nicely contained in a cardboard envelope for him to safely carry.
And then he went up OUR escalator.
Do we follow him? I don’t want to seem like we are stalking him! But that IS the escalator back to our work.
One of the Score employees asked if she could take my photo with my scorecard. OF COURSE! YAAAAAY!
And then we followed him up our escalator. He didn’t make the turn to go to the Chicago Tribune. He must have been going to the parking garage—or to the Score’s office.
So now I gotta take a pic of my scorecard and post it to my Instagram. Ryne Sandberg is on Instagram. I’ll tag Ryne Sandberg in my photo, so maybe he sees my Instagram account with all my scorecards. Wooooo!
Holy cow. How cool that Sandberg remembered and came back. And very cool that Sandberg now owns prints of my artwork! 🙂
Thank you, Ryne Sandberg!
Thankfully Martin was there with me. This would not have happened without Martin’s encouragement. (neat factoid: he’s the guy that lays every day’s comic pages for newspapers). Thank you, Martin for being reassuring about getting my scorecards to Sandberg.