Cubs Caravan Attacked by Sand People
January 14, 2009
(Chicago, IL) – There is a popular misconception floating around that the “Cubs Caravan,” an event that takes place during the week leading up the Cubs Convention, is simply a cute way to describe a group of the Cubs players and staff going to schools, neighborhoods, and communities offering themselves up for a meet and greet – traveling together as in a “caravan,” if you will.
But in fact, the name is quite literal, and so is the danger that comes with traveling in a caravan across the treacherous and dusty plains of Illinois and Indiana. And this year, that danger was realized.
The Cubs Caravan was making its way to Smokey Hillis Elementary school in downstate Edwardsville when it was attacked by a roving group of grunting beasts.
The band of Tusken Raiders, or Sand People as they are colloquially known, drunk on power and Bantha excrement, descended upon the caravan on an isolated stretch of highway. The Sand People separated the lead wagons, and attacked the rearmost, manned by youngsters Jeff Samardzija and Kevin Hart.
“It was obvious that they were going after us because of our youth and inexperience,” Samardzija said. “It all happened so fast, and we just couldn’t believe it was happening. I mean, far be it from me to judge, but it’s just like a whole other planet down there [in southern Illinois]. You know, what with the foothills, the sparse population, and the jawas.”
Hart and Samardzija said the harrowing attack lasted but a few minutes before Cubs manager Lou Piniella made his way back to their immobilized wagon, wearing a frightening cloak and howling ominously.
“Fortunately for us, Sand People scare easily,” Piniella said. “But we had to get the hell out there, because we knew that they’d be back. And in greater numbers.”
In the end, the players and coaches made it to the school for their scheduled appearance, albeit bloodied and bruised.
“Next year, I think we’ll do some things differently,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “We’ll probably avoid long stretches of open highway, utilize fortified wagons, and nobody travels without a flashlight they can pretend is a light saber.”