Any observant Cubs fan couldn't miss the gentleman in the pink baseball cap and bright green shirt sitting behind home plate at Wrigley Field.
If you did, sober up.
In my vivid imagination, he wore the green shirt because he's Irish and Cubs attire comes in a shade of Emerald Isle Green for those O'Brien and Mahoney fans. And the pink hat? Perhaps for breast cancer awareness?
No. Apparently he wears this ensemble to every game to prove to his wife he's actually at Wrigley Field.
She can't miss him.
Jim Anixter, from Highland Park, has been a season ticket holder since 1967. No fair weather fan under that pink hat.
Beginning in 1990, Jim began this fashion statement and he's become a part of Cubs lore along with the goat, Steve Goodman and a black cat.
Our son-in-law, Brian, dressed up like The Pink Hat Guy for Halloween a few years ago. Now that's certainly more clever than a Donald Trump mask.
When he's not in his seat I worry about him. Who is that stranger in The Pink Hat Guy's seat?
You won't find The Pink Hat Guy sloshing beer on his green shirt or taking selfies to prove to his jealous friends he's in the best seat in the house watching Bryant knock in a home run.
No. The Pink Hat Guy actually watches the game. He pays attention to the batter. His eyes follow the fielding. He knows the pitching rotation and could put together a winning lineup. This is a ballgame, not a social event. In his prime I'm quite certain he kept a scorecard during those double-headers when there were no night games.
He remembers the sound of Jack Brickhouse's voice and the crack of Ernie's bat.
He wouldn't dare leave peanut shells, empty beer cups or mustard stained napkins under his seat for the cleaning crews to have to deal with. He's a gentleman.
He always keeps his cool. No jumping up and down when Javy steals home. No booing the umpire for throwing Maddon out over a lousy call. No checking Facebook to see that you had meatloaf for dinner tonight. Focused on the game, he is there only to see good baseball.
I'd love to sit with him behind home plate. He'd be able to explain to me the whole infield fly rule in lay terms and not get flustered like my darling husband. He'd give me an expert's insight as to why Carl Edwards Jr. is still pitching in the top of the eighth. I wouldn't dare pester him unless it was between innings or a rain delay.
I'd love to attend a Cubs game with you, The Pink Hat Guy. I'd wear a hot pink shirt and a bright green cap and keep my cellphone buried in my purse on mute. Forgive me, but I would have a hot dog with an Old Style, but I'd throw my trash away and keep my mouth shut. Like you, I'm here to see a ballgame.
No, we don't have to stand and sing, "Go, Cubs, Go."
We don't have to fly a "W" flag on the way home.
We are just avid fans.
However, I will take that extra Schwarber bobblehead off your hands
Great game, The Pink Hat Guy. Thank you for taking me along.
I'll be watching for you in the next game to make sure you're there, just like your wife.
Then all will be right in Wrigley Field and we can play some ball.
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