It was early in spring training, perhaps the very first day, for the Cubs. I was standing at about shortstop position, albeit in front of the infield dirt, fielding ground balls that were being softly hit to me.
I looked down to see that I was wearing a blue Cubs jersey and that my number was either 36 or 38. (You may note that the blue Cubs jerseys don’t actually have numbers on the front, and that both 36 and 38 are currently in use by actual Cubs players.)
I was slow getting to a ball, and by the time I reached it, someone had already thrown the pitcher a new ball. I kept trying to kick the ball away, but it only went a very short distance no matter how hard I kicked it.
Then they opened the gates of the stadium and I stood in a small group of players in the infield — one of whom was hanger-on Maura while a group of fans walked over to us. The first fan to reach us was a woman who shook everyone’s hand. Behind her was another woman to whom I said, “Happy new year!”, which made her giggle. (Now that I’ve thought about it, that is exactly what baseball players should say to fans at the beginning of spring training!)
At that point, the first woman turned back to me to say that she’d been looking for the song “Stand Up for Peoria” by either Jane Rogers or Jane Douglas. I mumbled something noncommittal. Once that woman went away, I reached down to get the notebook that was lying on the
ground at my feet. I opened it and pointed out to Maura that I had it on my list of CDs I’d like to buy used. I started wondering how, even if I found that song, I was going to get a copy of it to that woman. (Peoria is home to a Cubs minor-league team. I am impressed by that association being in the dream.)
Then I woke up and it was about
a half hour until my alarm was set to go off.
A troubling thing here is that, although the playoffs are about to begin — with my team in them — my
subconscious is already looking forward to spring training, and thinking about a non-playoff team.