It’s the last week of February — guess what that means!😁

No, it doesn’t mean there will be no more snow in Chicago — in fact, it snowed Saturday night!🥶

No, it doesn’t mean I can give up on my Lenten promise of no desserts or alcohol until Easter — I still have 35 days to go!🐣

No, it doesn’t mean the Kellogg Winter MBA quarter is over — there are two weeks left and a lot of papers to grade still! 🥲

Give up?

Well, the good news is that it is time for BASEBALL! ⚾️ Yes, it is time for Spring training as the teams begin to assemble in Florida and Arizona!!! 👍👍👍👍

Ever since I was a young boy, as soon as February came around, I would find my baseball glove in the garage and start playing catch with my brothers. I would pretend I was one of my favorite ballplayers, Willie Mays or Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants. The fact that I was living in Scranton, PA, and they were playing in San Francisco really didn’t matter.

I would study the box scores in the newspaper every morning and calculate (BA) batting averages and (ERA) earned run averages, and I’d try to guess who the MVP (most valuable player) would be that year. I loved calculating all the player statistics. No wonder I became a math major! 🤣

And then, of course, let’s not forget about BASEBALL CARDS! My brothers and friends would buy, trade, flip, and study each card for hours. If I opened a pack of Topps cards and found a Mickey Mantle or Hank Aaron or Roberto Clemente card, I literally thought I had won the lottery!!!

So what happened? Well, after graduating from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, I moved to Chicago and fell in love…, not with a girl (I had already found Julie)…..with the Chicago Cubs!!!

Yes, it was true that arriving in Chicago in 1977 was the 69th consecutive year that the Cubs had not won a World Series. However, it really didn’t matter since I had the opportunity to go to the most amazing ballpark in the world, Wrigley Field. With Fergie Jenkins on the mound, Billy Williams in the outfield, and Ron Santo on 3rd base, what more could you need? Especially since Ernie Banks always reminded us: “It’s a great day for baseball. Let’s play two!!!”

Well, it did take a while for the Cubs to win the World Series (2016), but it was worth waiting those 108 years. And even though it was only 7 years ago that we won the World Series, I am beginning to think that, once again, “this could be the year!” (I am very aware this may be an overly optimistic statement to make at this point!😁)

Coincidentally, the Spring training opener against the Cleveland Guardians in Mesa, Arizona starts today, and opening day at Wrigley is just a month away on Thursday, March 30th! So get your glove oiled, find your baseball cap, and “let’s play two!”👍😁⚾️