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Cubs: The Day My Sister Gave Sammy Sosa The Corked Bat

With Cubs-Sox almost here, Typical Chicago Fan's podcast host Zach Lilja recounts the story of his involvement in Sammy Sosa's infamous corked bat incident.

It was a just a normal game at Wrigley Field on June 3, 2003, until Sammy Sosa hit a little ground ball to second base and the umpires noticed while examining the shattered bat, it had been corked. They then ejected Sammy from the game.

Now let’s rewind a few hours….I’m standing in the first few rows at Wrigley Field while my sister gets to go in the dugout and meet all the players (specifically Sammy Sosa). She even got her name announced to all of Wrigley Field and waved the crowd. I was very jealous in the moment that my sister got to meet the one and only Sammy Sosa, who at the time was the hitting yabos at a crazy rate.

Side note from my sister: Sammy was actually an ass, but not to the us kids. He was coming down from batting practice with a bat in hand, heading to the dugout, and the tour guide with us said “Sammy, will you take a picture with the kids?” He stopped, gave him a dirty look, and exclaimed “Excuse me?” The poor guy back pedaled and stammered “Sorry, Mr Sosa”. Then Sammy smiled, paused putting the bat he intended to take in clubhouse in his slot, and came and took pictures and signed autograph. I always wonder if that bat that was headed for the clubhouse was the corked one.

The Cubs gave us great seats for my sister being the celebrity bat kid, which I don’t think they do anymore, so I was very excited for the game. The game gets going and the crazy bottom of the first comes around and Sammy gets ejected for the corked bat. I will never forget looking at my sister in the moment after it happened and just thinking how crazy it was that she was the one of two celebrity bat kids on the day something crazy like this happens. Remember this was the days before smartphones so we didn’t know exactly what happened until we left the game and my uncle called us.

When we started headed home I started to bug my sister by saying she must’ve messed with the bats and got Sammy ejected. A few weeks later, a newspaper ended up calling my sister for an interview and made an article about the whole thing and how she was a part of something pretty crazy. Looking back, I really can’t believe my sister will always be able to say she was the celebrity bat girl the day Sammy Sosa got ejected for a corked bat. I know my sister had nothing to do with the fact that Sammy either grabbed the wrong bat or was actually just corking his bat. But, I will forever blame her for ruining his career because I still have a soft spot for Sammy and cause I’m mean younger brother.

Follow Zach Lilja on Twitter–Feature Photo Credit: CBS Sports 

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