Cubs offer Groupon to throw out first pitch


CHICAGO -- Buried beneath the bevy of bargains for Brazilian waxes and bar specials on popular daily deal site Groupon is a bodacious once-in-a-lifetime baseball experience for one very deep-pocketed fan.

For $30,000, you too could throw a first pitch before the team’s Aug. 30 game against the Brewers -- from the same rubber at Wrigley Field that once saw Kerry Wood strike out 20 Astros and Mark Prior stare in disbelief as his team unraveled in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS (OK, maybe that’s not the best example for Cubs fans).

You’re going to have to act fast, though -- there’s only one of these packages available and the team says it doesn’t plan to do anything similar the rest of this season.

“Since it was only announced [Wednesday], there’s been some buzz on Twitter and resulting media attention,” said Julian Green, the Cubs' vice president of communications and community affairs. But at the time this blog was posted, the package was still available for purchase.

Green said the team came up with the idea as a way to leverage its corporate partnership with Groupon to help do some good for the community.

“Groupon has been a partner of the Cubs since the beginning of the season, and this was an opportunity to raise money for Chicago Cubs Charities through their Epic Deal program,” Green said. “It made sense to leverage [Groupon’s] vast subscriber base and real-time ability to broadcast services.”

So what exactly does $30,000 get you these days? More than just a single pitch from the Wrigley Field mound.

The buyer, with 13 of his or her closest friends, will get to experience Wrigley as few fans have.

The total package includes a full Cubs uniform, the opportunity to watch batting practice before the game, and team memorabilia for everyone in your party. You’ll also face the same media scrutiny that players do after the game, holding your own personal press conference complete with fake reporters asking you real questions about the game.

“Given the unique elements of the deal, it’s a once-in-a lifetime opportunity,” Green said.