During the Iowa Cub’s 2016 season, I was lucky enough to get a video team internship with the team. I spent hours and hours with the team at Principal Park. Throughout the season players were getting moved up and down between Chicago and Des Moines, so I was able to meet a lot of players throughout the season.
Going into the season, I was never a big baseball fan, and by a big fan I mean I have never watched a full game. Ever. So I came into the job knowing nothing about anyone on the team. Sometime within the first couple weeks, it became very evident I didn’t know any players or their history.
One day I was on the mobile camera in a photo well by the Iowa Cubs dugout, when a pitcher started talking in Spanish to me. He didn’t know I knew a little bit of Spanish, so I responded in very, very bad Spanish. It had been a year or so since I had thought about Spanish, but we managed to have a simple conversation. Later on I found out I was talking to Jean Machi, who had won a World Series, apparently. After finding out he had been so successful, I decided I should probably learn a bit about the guys.
Throughout the season players would continue to move up and down, and I didn’t think much about it while we were still in season, but as the Chicago Cubs were moving towards the World Series, it was getting pretty interesting. I started watching some of their games because so many of them had been playing here in Des Moines just a month or two ago.
Wilson Contras and Almora Jr. really stick out when I think back to the players from Des Moines that have moved up. It really changed watching baseball for me. I would be watching the games and see Munenori Kawasaki in the dugouts and think back to the summer when his kid was running around our cameras completely oblivious to the game that was going on. Being able to watch the World Series games and actually know the guys playing is probably the coolest thing to take away from my internship. This year was such a special year for the Cubs and I can say that in certain ways, I was actually a part of that.