Shooting the hotdog gun at an Iowa Cubs game was one of the big ticket items on my “30 before 30” list. I got to cross it off on Friday night with 13 months left to go! I have a LOT to accomplish in the next year, though.
Before hot dog gun shooters go out onto the field, they wait in a shed-type area under the bleachers. If you’re a big dork like me, you have a huge smile on your face and ask one of the staff to take your picture.
I would say I scored a B- in my hot dog shooting. I was supposed to wait until the Cubs staffer riding in the back of the gator tapped my shoulder before shooting, but I saw a group of people I knew standing in an area and… well, I got excited and pushed the button. It was premature. I also had another dud that didn’t get over the fence along the third base line.
The way the gun is positioned, you’re really aiming back over your shoulder. As a spectator I’d never realized that!
My family and Joe’s family both were in town, and my nephew Oscar was able to nab one of the hot dogs. Emmett didn’t make it long enough to see the Friday night fireworks, but he was a trooper.
Watching the sun set over Des Moines from the cheap seats in Principal Park is a favorite pastime.
So, how’d I get to shoot the hot dog gun? It’s a super secret. Kidding. I just asked. They even sent me a certificate in the mail! Then you call and reserve your game.
Or, when the honor hasn’t been pre-reserved, a trick is to go hang out near the splash fountain by the bleachers between the first and second innings and again before the sixth. That’s where I hear they recruit people and you might just be able to walk up and ask.
P.S. Not on my “Before 30” list but something else cool that happened Friday: An piece I wrote for the Des Moines Business Record was published: Guest Opinion: Help foster nonprofit leadership.