I’ve been in Philadelphia the last couple days and yesterday I took the family – that’d be the wife and our two extremely fun, very entertaining and high energy boys, age 2 and 4 – to a pre-game read-along for kids with Ryan Howard and a few other players reading a children’s book for around 2,500 kids. It started at 10:30 am and went for about an hour and a half.
As the read-along was entering the Q&A portion, I noticed some Cubs’ players meandering about on the field. I got up and went over to see who it was, hoping that maybe I’d see Albert Almora, but I got better. I got Jake. He was walking to the bullpen, which is very close to the fans in the outfield at Citizens Bank Park, when I spotted him. So, naturally, I thanked the baseball gods and then I hustled over to the bullpen.
And there, in all his glory, all of maybe 10 feet from me and a few other, ridiculously lucky fans, was Jake. I was so stinking excited, seriously.
He started to toss the ball as Chris Bosio chatted with him and gave him spots to hit, which, as you’ll see, he nailed. It was a rare treat that I wanted to share with you all.
Here’s Jake starting the bullpen session with a few practice tosses.
As Jake continued his bullpen session, a fan – an idiot, really – decides it would be a good idea to heckle Jake and make noise every time he throws. Well, as you’ll see, Jake and Chris didn’t like it very much. Chris points the guy out and Jake asks him ‘You wanna throw one?’ Classic. And for the record, if Jake ever asks me if I wanna throw one, I’d be in that bullpen in a second. Just sayin’.
It started to rain, so the bullpen session ended. Jake was kind enough to stop and sign some balls for a few lucky kids.