Meeting Brett Jackson, Before Stardom
While looking for my wedding proofs, I stumbled upon our photos from a 2009 Chicago Cubs players and fans trip to the Dominican Republic. Fans visited the Cubs’ Dominican training facilities and watched a game. Then, many of the players changed, ate lunch with us, and met everyone back on the baseball diamond to play with the fans. There were stations for pitching, batting, and catching fly balls.
That was also the day my husband and I met young San Diego native Brett Jackson, outfielder for the Dominican Cubs. He was impressive even then, showing us how to get under a fly ball quickly. He spoke excellent Spanish to some nearby children standing outside the fence. Tall, dressed in a blue shirt with the walking bear Cubs logo, blue shorts and Cubs cap, wearing sunglasses, he even posed for pictures. Clearly, he was a promising player, even a future star.
Brett was a first-round draft pick for the Cubs in 2009. Now 23, he is one of their top ten minor league prospects, and fans eagerly await his arrival in the majors at Wrigley Field. With the Cubs’ Iowa affiliate, he has a .297 batting average and ten home runs. He bats left-handed and throws right. In 2011 in Triple-A Iowa, he posted 1.003 OPS with runners in scoring position.
Two months after first meeting Brett, my husband and I ran into him again, signing autographs at the 2010 Cubs Convention at the Hilton. He recognized us from before and graciously signed the photographs we had developed of him with each of us in the Dominican Republic. He introduced us to James Adduci, who is currently playing with another Cubs affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. No one is more excited than we are at his success, having met him at the very beginning of his career and seeing him blossom into such a talented player. As his earliest fans, we are looking forward to his MLB debut as a Chicago Cub.