CHICAGO -- Blake Lalli was buying breakfast on Friday when he got a phone call telling him he was going to join the Cubs. He was to pack his gear and catch a 12:50 p.m. CT flight out of Des Moines to Chicago. Then he got a call two minutes later.
"They said, 'We're going to try to get you on a flight in 18 minutes,'" Lalli said.
He got dressed, threw some clothes in a bag, was rushed to the airport, sprinted to the gate and was too late. The plane was backing away from the gate. No big deal. When you've waited 29 years for the chance, what's another hour?
Lalli, who turned 29 on May 12, arrived in the sixth inning of Friday's game, watched Kerry Wood's final outing, then found himself catching in the ninth for his Major League debut. Lalli, who was batting .178 at Triple-A Iowa, was called up because catcher Geovany Soto needed arthroscopic surgery on his knee and backup Welington Castillo had knee problems, too.
Was Lalli nervous?
"Everyone's got butterflies, however, the way I got put into the game, I didn't have time to think," Lalli said. "It was not ideal but in a way it was very good. I was sitting here watching the game, and it was like, 'All right, you're in.'"