All I Want for Christmas…
I’m sure most of us will be getting Cubs World Series “stuff” this Christmas. I have already received a great t-shirt for St. Nick’s Day. World Series gear aside, what was your favorite Cubs related Christmas gift prior to this year?
My favorite was a frame that showed a baseball field that held baseball cards at each of the positions. I received the Cubs 1990 team with cards included for:
1B Mark Grace
3B Luis Salazar
OF Dwight Smith
OF Andre Dawson
SP Steve Wilson
Coming off the excitement from the 1989 playoff run, this was a huge gift for me. I proudly hung it on my wall through high school and college.
In his defense, Wilson had the best year of his short career in 1990 starting 15 games for the Cubs and finishing with a WAR of 1.1 according to baseball-reference.com.
Most importantly, Wilson played minor league baseball in Burlington, Iowa in 1985. Coincidentally, a young writer by the name of Doug Saye was a batboy for that same minor league team. That year the team was an affiliate of the Texas Rangers and while Wilson wasn’t the most prominent player from that team, he was very supportive of the young batboy. He and his roommate, future big-leaguer Chad Kreuter, visited my house occasionally to play ping-pong, pool, and enjoy a free dinner.
As I recall, the team had a horrible year record wise, but had future major leaguers including Wilson, Kreuter, Kenny Rogers, Kevin Reimer, and Mike Stanley on the team. Also on the team was 1984 Olympian Sid Akins, a player with his own 1985 Topps baseball card of which I had numerous autographed copies. Akins was also, by far, the best ping-pong player of the bunch.
I was a batboy for three years in Burlington. During that time the team switched alliances a couple of times. I was able to see minor leaguers from Texas, Montreal, and Kansas City. The most famous person to play during this time was 19 year old, future Hall of Famer (in this humble writer’s opinion), Larry Walker.
This was a long journey to get to the main point of the article, besides tickets, what was your favorite Cub related Christmas gift?