His lucky day: Cubs trade World Series tickets for home-run ball

SHARE His lucky day: Cubs trade World Series tickets for home-run ball

Rahul Khare, his 11-year-old son Dylan and their lucky ball. | Provided photo

Rahul Khare was ready this time.

A week earlier, Cubs left-fielder Ben Zobrist had tossed a ball into the stands, “and it hit my hands and ricocheted off,” Khare says. “I kept saying, ‘We almost had a ball!’ Until my son said, ‘Stop saying that. It makes me really sad.’ ”

He would not commit that same error again.

Saturday night, Khare and his 11-year-old son Dylan were in the stands along the left-field line for the sixth and, as it turned out, final game of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bottom of the fourth inning, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitching: Bam, Cubs rookie catcher Willson Contreras homers to left.

A fan in the bleachers fails to snag the ball, which Dodgers left-fielder Andrew Toles picks up and tosses into the stands near the foul pole. Khare wouldn’t miss this one.

“I had a glove and about three inches on the guy next to me,” says Khare, 41, a doctor who lives in Lakeview and runs an urgent-care center in Lincoln Park.

He and his son posed for pictures with the ball. Then, someone tapped Khare on the shoulder: The Cubs were asking for the ball so Contreras could have the memento.

In exchange, they offered Khare and Dylan an invitation to come to the Cubs locker room after the game to meet Contreras.

Khare knew he was holding a momentum-building home-run ball that helped clinch the Cubs’ first trip to the World Series in 71 years, clobbered against the league’s best pitcher.

“Listen, this ain’t a normal ball,” he said. “What do you think about World Series tickets?”

“And they said, ‘We can’t make any guarantees.’ And then later on they said, ‘We’ll take care of you,’ ” says Khare, who worked as an urgent-care doctor for Cubs home games at Wrigley Field from 2006 to 2012.

Cubs spokesman Julian Green confirmed Wednesday the Cubs are helping secure tickets for Khare to Game 4 Friday at Wrigley Field — the Cubs’ first World Series home game since 1945.

“They will be offered to Khare for face value — still a steal,” Green said.

Khare, who splits season tickets with friends, says he already would have gone to at least one World Series game at Wrigley, but he’s thrilled anyway.

Still, he says, “There is an ugly side to this: all the people who are telling me they want to go to the game.”

Among them are his 9-year old twins, Maya and Cameron, who he says complain, “Why do you always take Dylan?”

Khare says, sorry, Dylan is the obvious choice, that he checks the box-scores in the newspaper every day and understands the game.

“He doesn’t even want to eat at the ballpark, just watch the game,” he says. “I’d take him over any of my friends.”

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