Memoirs From Cubs Spring Training – Coronavirus

Welcome to the newly designed (work in progress) One Million Cubs Project website. When I blogged about making less trades in 2020, it was supposed to be strategic to focus on larger trades. Well, it has become difficult as I am not visiting the post office during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

On the bright side I have been able to catch up on getting trade packages ready to send as well as organizing my Cubs baseball card collection. The focus on this post is going back to better times – sunshine, baseball, and COVID-19 was just a Coronavirus in China.

I spent four mornings of my Cubs Spring Training trip on the back fields at Sloan Park watching minor league workouts. It was great to just spend time outside in the warm weather and sunshine and watching baseball. I was also tracking down some players for autographs.

Meeting other fans was one of my favorite parts of my six days in Mesa, Arizona. Rich was a local resident and fantastic photographer that I spent quite a bit of time hanging out with at the diamonds. I photo bombed him in this image he took during the Cubs/Angels game.

Rich lives in Arizona and is originally from Bloomington/Normal. He showed me the ropes and offered plenty of tips while I was there.

Byron was another fan I hung out with, and he’s a fellow Illinoisan from my neck of the woods – the Quad Cities. We also share the same alma mater, Western Illinois University, and he was college buddies with my high school English teacher. It’s such a small world. Byron was also getting autographs and below is pictured with Aramis Ademan.

Another fan I chatted with, and I forget his name, lives near Green Bay, Wisconsin. How is he a Cubs fan? Well, he grew up a Milwaukee Braves fan and when they moved to Atlanta he needed a new team to root for. That team became the Chicago Cubs, and even when Milwaukee regained a Major League Baseball team he stuck with the Cubs.

The final morning I was in Arizona we were talking between the minor league drills. He was leaving a couple days later. Coronavirus was gaining some steam in the headlines by this point, though it had not yet begun its spread in the United States.

My Wisconsin Cubs fan friend said he asked the rental car company how much it would cost if he had to drive back to Green Bay from Phoenix. That thought was in the event flights were cancelled due to a pandemic. Yeah, right, I thought. In my head I’m thinking that would never, ever happen. And yet…here we are. Basically locked in our homes secluded from the world because of Coronavirus. My how things have changed in just a couple weeks.

In case you were wondering. His quote from the rental car company was $2,100 to drive the car back to Green Bay from Phoenix (on top of his $500 cost for the time he was in Arizona).

Be safe out there. Do not go out in public if you don’t have to. We will get through this, and it’s going to be a celebration when this is all over.

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