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.
I convinced Joe to make pancakes for Friday night dinner (which we smothered with Nutella and a banana), so it didn’t seem that wrong to have a hot dog for breakfast at the Iowa Cubs open house this morning.
Free hot dog, pop and chips in the Cub Club and you got to see the locker rooms (group shower!) and walk around the field. We met up with Ellen and Andy and the nieces and Caroline was pretty much in heaven. She took off around the warning track.
The franchise is going to have to re-think Cubbie Bear as a mascot, or hire Caroline as their Poster Child.
Polka dot leggings are the new baseball pants.
Oh! And Joe shaved his beard, per our standing marital agreement that he grows it from his b-day until Opening Day. Otherwise, I miss his face.
Bring it on, summer.
If you’ve never been to breakfast at the Cub Club, that’s a fun little weekday date you can take, overlooking the field. It’s pretty cheap, too. Otherwise, we finally tried Mullets for brunch a few weeks ago, and that’s greasyspoon-tastic.
Oh! And if you think baseball without brewskis is like a beach without sand, think about getting an Iowa Cubs Mug Club membership. It went up to $40 this year, but it’s still a decent deal:
- 5 tickets good for any 2013 Iowa Cubs home game
- First beer FREE every Thursday home game in 2013
- 2013 logo mug (will fit in stadium cup holders)
- Discounted refills at all 2013 Iowa Cubs home games
Tonight was our first Iowa Cubs game of the season, experienced with out friends Arin and Josh and about 12 other fans. The night was crisp, if windy, and the home team lost, but we still had fun.
It would be wrong of me to call myself a “big fan” of the Iowa Cubs when I don’t know the roster, but I do enjoy the games and pick one player every year to pay some attention to and cheer on. This year, it’s going to be Wellington Castillo, because I used to play catcher back in the day and because his name is awesome. Joe and I watched Sugar on Netflix last year, which offers an interesting perspective into minor league players’ lives — especially immigrant players. Go, Castillo!
Tonight was dollar night — a pretty darn good deal if you don’t go and buy lots of beer and hot dogs like we did. But I got Joe a mug club membership this year (his gift from me for doing our taxes) and so that means beer isn’t quite as expensive, over the course of the season. Plus, you get five tickets and a discount card for Jethro’s, which is one of two dangerously awesome barbecue places near us.
The most action in the stadium, though, didn’t happen on the field. Josh mauled another dude in a fight for one of the T-shirts launched out of the gun during a break in the innings. Luckily, it was awesome and a perfect fit:
The back reads: “Do you dare roll out the fun?” Definitely worth a bloody hand.
Check out the promotions for the 2011 season. And, pssst: One of my favorite secrets about Des Moines is that the Cub Club is open year-round for breakfast and lunch. It’s not gourmet, but it’s a different view compared to other restaurants downtown, and on the cheap side.