The Twins took two out of three in Toronto, even in a depleted state. And if the Twins were playing without players, then the St. Paul Saints were stripped down to the bone as well. I wasn't sure what to expect from them when we watched them take on the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. I know I didn't expect a record-setting day for home runs and a near double-digit victory for the Saints, but I was glad to see it.
I sported my Rosario shirsey and Twins hat, but I'm sad to say my daughter did not match me. She came to the game in her Cubs shirt, ready to cheer for the opposing team. Her grandmother got to her and turned her into a Cubs fan right under my nose. Now, she loves the Cubs. She cheers for the Cubs against any other teams. The Twins. the Minnesota Vikings. the Iowa Hawkeyes football AND basketball teams. "Go Cubs, Go" the whole way for her.
The plan was to bring up Evelyn the Twins Way. We'd start by watching games on the TV together, maybe attending a game or two as father and daughter. We'd play catch. Eventually, over time, we'd get to more complicated things like advanced statistics. By the time she hit high school, we would be analyzing Twins roster moves and cheering them on to victory.
Except she's a Cubs fan.
I wondered if this rivalry would get in the way of a good time, but as usual, baseball finds a way to work magic. On a bright summer Sunday, there was plenty of magic to be had for everyone. She got some lemonade and cotton candy. After she inhaled a football-sized clump of cotton candy, she settled into the game. Kirilloff tossed a ball into the stands and it bounced over her head. The man in front of her caught the ball and handed it to her. She beamed and held it up for a picture. Then she got a new Cubs hat, bracelet, and keychain from the team store. Finally, a T-shirt landed right next to me in the stands and I gave that to her, too.
The game score didn't work out for her, but that didn't matter in the end. Through the glory of baseball magic and some disposable cash, my daughter got to live it up as a Cubs fan, amongst other Cubs fans. She went to bed wearing her new Cubs shirt, which was so big on her it fit like a dress. She was grinning from ear to ear.
Is she backing the wrong team? Heck yes, she's backing the wrong team! But at the end of the day, we were all fans of baseball and everybody won.
It's just one team had eight home runs and scored sixteen times. That felt pretty good.