BASEBALL

Lowell baseball coach was groundskeeper for a day at Wrigley Field

2013-07-12T17:00:00Z 2013-07-13T01:04:13Z Lowell baseball coach was groundskeeper for a day at Wrigley FieldJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
July 12, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

At 33, Bobby Wong is a little young to have a bucket list.

That hasn't stopped the Lowell baseball coach and teacher from compiling an agenda of activities he wants to do in his life.

Thursday at Wrigley Field, Wong was able to check one of them as done, serving as an honorary Cubs groundskeeper after winning a Menard's-sponsored contest.

"I had a blast," Wong said following the game. "I talked to my wife about wanting to do it some time before I died. It was fun."

Wong saw the Menard's commercial and went to a store to fill out an entry form. When he found out he had to mail it in rather than just drop it in a box, he wasn't going to bother, but his wife Arianne put it in an envelope and sent it. Wong was called Monday to inform him he had been chosen.

He was accompanied by his wife, children (Elizabeth, 4, and James, 2), who were attending their first major league game, and his in-laws.

The group arrived at 5:30 and spent time on the field while St. Louis did its pre-game hitting. At 6:25, Wong went to work, helping take down the batting practice equipment and prepare the field for the 7:05 start. He raked the home plate area, cleaned the plate and made the chalk lines for the batter's and umpire's boxes.

"Being a coach, I always knew how hard it is, what they have to do," Wong said. "Actually having to do it in a short amount of time -- it took them 20 minutes to get the whole field ready -- was impressive. Everything was moving really fast. Everyone was like clockwork with where to go and what to get done."

Wong spent the first inning in the press box with the scoreboard operator, who let his daughter enter the numbers for batters. After that, he went to the media room behind the Cubs dugout. In the bottom of the third, he picked up his field drag and hung out in the tunnel, awaiting go time.

"I stood at the top step (going up) to the dugout," Wong said. "I looked next to me and there was (Alfonso) Soriano. (Darwin) Barney was on the other side. (Jeff) Samardzija was a few spots away. One of the guys had me switch spots to try get a high five. (Luis) Valbuena came by, gave me a high five, and kind of looked back like, 'Who's this guy?'"

As the top of the fourth approached, Wong got in line in the tunnel to head to the field.

"A lot of them were shocked to see me do it," he said. "They said I was the youngest guy to ever do it. Most of them they get are over 50."

After doing his dragging, Wong exited through the first-base dugout, passing Carlos Beltran. He dropped off his equipment and headed to his seats in section 120, where he watched the rest of the Cubs' 3-0 win with his family.

"It was a good game," he said. "It was all about the experience, being out there. I told while we were sitting around that it was the one time I wish it had actually rained."

Wong, who is a Sox fan, DVR'd the game and took a bunch of pictures for keepsakes.

Next up on his list is driving a Zamboni, if it's possible.

"I'm going to find out," he said.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News