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Boy plays hooky for Cubs’ home opener, runs into principal at Wrigley Field

Tucker Steckman, Pat Versluis

Fourth-grader Tucker Steckman, right, holds the sign he brought to Wrigley Field Tuesday for the Cubs Home Opener where he ran into his principal, Pat Versluis. Tucker and his little brother, Gunner, came with their parents. | Provided photo

Normally, if you ditch school to attend opening day at Wrigley Field, you keep a low profile.

Tucker Steckman, a fourth-grader at Wells Elementary School in East Moline, brought a cardboard sign that proclaimed: “Skipping school . . . Shhh. Don’t tell Principal Versluis.”

A photograph of the young outlaw fell into the hands of Major League Baseball, which tweeted the picture to 8.3 million followers.

And, oh, by the way, shortly after the picture was taken, Tucker ran into his principal, Pat Versluis, inside Wrigley Field.

“I saw him and I was kind of ducking down,” Versluis said with a laugh during a cell phone call from inside Wrigley Field.

“I didn’t want him to see me either,” he said. “I’m here with my son, Aiden, who’s in fifth grade and I called out sick for the day!”


Versluis and Tucker, who was attending the game with his Cubs crazy parents — who called him in sick at school for the day — came together for a memorable picture.

“It’s all good,” Versluis, 43, said of the absences.

“I haven’t missed a day in six years. I took yesterday off and when the game was postponed due to weather I got special permission from my superintendent to take another day.”

As for Tucker’s ditch day: “Doesn’t bother me. He’s a great kid. He was student leader of the year. I thought the sign was hilarious.”