I returned to Dodger Stadium to support my beloved Cubs after missing last year due to coronavirus – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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I’m a die-hard Chicago Cubs baseball fan that I can’t stand watching them play on TV lest they lose and make my life miserable that day. My nervous system can’t stand this kind of uncertainty.

So what was I doing at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, June 27, when my beloved Cubs were in town playing their tormentors, the Los Angeles Dodgers?

When I was invited to the game by Doug Otto, a Long Beach lawyer and longtime friend (and current member of the LBUSD Education Council), I put my nerves aside and said that I would go.

After all, we Cub fans are eternal optimists. Look, we’ve waited patiently for 108 years for the Cubs to finally win the World Series in 2016. So any day I think the Cubs have a 50-50 chance of winning. Better than my chances in Las Vegas.

I also love baseball and I couldn’t wait to get out of the house after being locked up for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic to see a real Major League Baseball game in person. My last MLB game was at Dodger Stadium in 2019, with the same Dodgers and Cubs battling it out. The pandemic and MLB’s decision to lead last season without fans meant I couldn’t make my annual stay at Dodger Stadium to see the Cubs in 2020.

I donned one of my many Cubs uniform jerseys – the road jersey with the bear cub in the middle of the big C – and braved the highway traffic with Otto, who could compete in the Acura Grand Prix. of Long Beach if it wasn’t. busy in court.

As the song goes, it was a beautiful day for a ball game – a little hot at 82 degrees, but no one was complaining.

We arrived at Dodger Stadium about an hour before the 4pm start time to take advantage of the new Centerfield Plaza, offering a myriad of spectacular dining and entertainment options provided by Jamie Cuellar’s Mariachi Garibaldi, playing under a huge billboard indicating: “BLUE Heaven on Earth. “

Thousands of fans gathered, many wearing Cub accessories, giving me high fives and shouting “Cubs win”, even though the game hadn’t started yet.

Nearby was a life-size Bobblehead statue of Tommy Lasorda, the late grand manager of the Dodgers. Of course, I had to take a photo with a smiling Tommy. I have lived in Long Beach for decades and have always supported the Dodgers except when they play my Cubbies.

  • Rich Archbold gives the sign of victory at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, June 27, even though his beloved Cubs lost 7-1. (Photo courtesy of Doug Otto.)

  • The sight of Rich Archbold from his seats at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, June 27, when Los Angeles faced their beloved Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Rich Archbold, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Rich Archbold poses next to a huge bobblehead from the late Tommy Lasorda on Sunday, June 27 at the new Centerfield Plaza at Dodger Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Doug Otto)

  • Fans enjoy a mariachi band playing at the new Centerfield Plaza at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, June 27. (Photo by Rich Archbold, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

Another photo op happened when I spotted an oversized cartoon character wearing a Dodgers uniform, with a huge head and a big tuft of hair in the middle of his forehead. People were lining up to take a picture with him. I was one of them.

When I got to him, I could almost feel the heat coming from inside his big head.

“Are you hot in there?” I asked.

The cartoon’s head nodded up and down.

I asked the character manager if he had a name.

“It’s Dodger Bob,” she replied.

Oh, somehow I had missed the creation of Dodger Bob.

A few yards away was Manny Mota, a 34-year-old pinch specialist and Dodgers coach, posing for photos with fans. The mariachi music continued to sound. It was a happy and festive atmosphere.

Then, unfortunately for me and the rest of the Cubs fans out there, the game started.

It turned out to be a disaster for the Cubs. Dodgers pitcher and living legend Clayton Kershaw was at his best, striking out 13 Cubs and allowing just four hits and a run in eight innings. When he left the game, he received a well-deserved standing ovation from the 46,315 spectators announced, including many Cubs fans. Kershaw is definitely heading for Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.

I also enjoyed watching Albert Pujols, another great player now wearing the Dodgers uniform – and another great Cubs hangman when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. He is another future Hall of Famer.

The Cubs had two highlights: one was a solo homerun of their incredible shortstop, Javier Baez, in the fourth inning. The other was an exceptional relief appearance from Tommy Nance, who struck out five and allowed just one run in three relief innings. Nance is a 30-year-old rookie who shined at Wilson High School in Long Beach before playing for Long Beach State and University of Santa Clara.

But, alas, Cub’s bats remained silent and they quietly lost the game 7-1, much to the delight of happy Dodgers fans.

I have to give credit to the hometown fans. I was surrounded by them but I never heard a mean word, sneers or jubilations. Maybe they felt sorry for the long-suffering Cubs fans. It seemed like everyone was there to have a good time on a sunny Sunday afternoon. As I left the stadium with Otto and another friend, Long Beach lawyer Erich Wise, I said how terrible it was that the Cubs lost so weakly.

Wise, another die-hard Cubs fan, said he was sorry the Cubs lost. But he also said it was great to go out and enjoy a baseball game surrounded by thousands of others, whether the Cubs won or lost. Spoken like a real statesman.

I remain optimistic. The Cubs still have a lot of games to play this season. I remember when I was 10 and first walked Wrigley Field with my older brother Dave over seven decades ago. I was fascinated by the beautiful terrain and became a Cubs fan, never knowing how much I let go.

But the Cubs finally made it in 2016 and became World Series champions. It took patience but it finally happened.

Then I remembered another highlight from Sunday’s game. It happened in the seventh inning when everyone, Cubs fans and Dodgers fans, stood up to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. In unison we sang about buying peanuts and Cracker Jack and never worrying about coming back.

It was a joyous and happy time that made everything worth it, win or lose.

Life seemed almost normal again.

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