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franklin county times

A Wrigley Field of Dreams

By Staff
LIVING A DREAM Cubbie faithful S.M. Mitchell holds the broken Eric Karros bat that she received last Thursday as the batgirl for the Chicago Cubs. Mitchell has been a Cubs fan for several years and plans to attend college in Chicago after graduating from Lamar High School. Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star
By Kyle Carter / staff writer
July 3, 2003
In the movie Field of Dreams, John Kinsella (played by Dwier Brown) says, "Heaven is a place where dreams come true."
If he was correct, then one Meridian teenager not only has been to Heaven, but she even has the address to return.
On June 26, Lamar High School sophomore Sarah Millicent Mitchell, who is known to family and friends as S.M., stepped onto the field at 1060 West Addison and fulfilled a dream. She got to walk the Chicago Cubs dugout as a batgirl for the Cubbies.
Mitchell, among players like Shawn Estes and Kerry Wood, watched sophomore phenom Mark Prior set his own personal record as he struck out 16 Milwaukee Brewers in eight innings, but Chicago would give up the lead on a three-run homer off the bat of Geoff Jenkins.
Even though her favorite team didn't get the win, Mitchell says that it was, "the happiest I have ever been. It was incredible."
This 15 year-old's love for the Northsiders runs deep as she explained.
Before the game on the 25th Mitchell was out front collecting autographs when Cubs manager Dusty Baker rolled in.
Mitchell asked Baker if she could be the team's batgirl for the day. Baker responded with, "I will check into it for you."
After her family had entered the Friendly Confines' and made their way to the brick wall behind home plate, Mitchell continued to ask about being a batgirl.
Finally she was introduced to Chicago's clubhouse managers, who told her to "be back tomorrow."
Mitchell and her father Jeff arrived at Wrigley Field at 8 a.m. on Thursday and, "they told me to be back by noon.
When she returned to the field, Mitchell was taken down through the Cubbies locker room, explained what she must do on the day, and given a batgirl uniform to wear.
Then, she stepped into the dugout. "I was incredibly nervous the whole time and I even told them that I didn't want to go out and get the bats. I was happy just sitting where I was. Eventually though I had to take water out to the umpires."
During the game Mitchell said that she got to talk to several big leaguers, but she sat and chatted with
veteran starter Shawn Estes the most. "I didn't want to bother the players, but Estes and I talked for a little while, about everything from Wrigley Field to strategy."
This high school athlete also had a brief moment in the sun with one of the game's most legendary figures.
One of the major differences that Mitchell pointed out between Wednesday and Thursday's games, other than her immediate company, was the speed of the game.
The other major difference that Mitchell pointed out was in her behavior. "While in the stands with my parents on Wednesday, I screamed and yelled for the Cubs. Thursday, I sat in the dugout and didn't say anything until I was spoken to."
After the game, Mitchell said that she cried as they were leaving. "I really didn't want to leave I love that team and the town, but we had to get on our way," said Mitchell.
She didn't, however, come home empty-handed. This softball and basketball player came home with several autographs and a broken bat from Cubs first baseman Eric Karros.
Since Thursday's game was carried by WGN, many people here in Meridian got to watch her at the game.
Mitchell said that she has fallen so far in love with the real "Ivy Leaguers" that she has decorated her room in Cubs paraphernalia and is even planning to move to Chicago and attend the University of Illinois after high school. This Cubbies Loyalist even named one of her dogs Addison, after Wrigley's address, and started receiving Vine Line, the Chicago Cubs' official magazine, as a requested Christmas present.
Mitchell hopes to be a bat girl again for Chicago in the new future and even said that there was no other team she would want to do it for only the Cubbies.