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Arlington Heights family recalls '15 minutes of fame' at Wrigley
By Sheila Ahern | Daily Herald Staff

The Sluga family: Keith; Tammy; Wade and Trey meet the Ricketts family after throwing out the first pitch at opening day at Wrigley Field.

 

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

The Sluga family from Arlington Heights, Keith and Tammy with Trey,4, and Wade, 7, throw out the first pitch. They were picked out of the crowd by the Ricketts family.

 

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer The Sluga family, Keith, Tammy, Wade and Trey meet the Ricketts family after throwing out the first pitch at opening day at Wrigley Field.

 

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

The Sluga family from Arlington Heights, Keith and Tammy with Trey,4, and Wade,7, throwing out the first pitch to replace actor Bill Murray who could not appear.

 

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

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Published: 4/14/2010 12:02 AM | Updated: 4/14/2010 10:20 AM

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Thanks to one tap on dad's shoulder, the Sluga family's "15 minutes of fame" was lasting 24 hours and counting on Tuesday, said Keith Sluga of Arlington Heights.

"It's going to be tough to get back to normal," said Sluga after an appearance on ESPN. "I don't think the boys understand what a big of a deal yesterday was."

Sluga was watching batting practice before the Cubs game on Monday when Tom Ricketts tapped him on the shoulder and asked if Sluga and his family would like to throw out the first pitch of the 2010 season.

"Are you kidding me?" Sluga told Ricketts. "You're not joking, right? Of course, yes."

Sluga was with his wife, Tammy, and sons, Wade, 7, and Trey, 4. It was the first Cubs game for Wade and Trey, and the first opening day game for Tammy and Keith.

Actor Bill Murray was supposed to throw out the pitch but had to back out days before because of a reported family issue. The Ricketts instead decided to pick a family at random out of the Opening Day crowd, which turned out to be the Slugas.

Keith's brother-in-law and father-in-law split season Cubs tickets this year and gave Monday's opening day tickets to Slugas.

"Everything just worked out perfectly," Keith Sluga said. "We got the tickets and Wade wanted to get there early for batting practice. It's like it was meant to be."

After the pitch, the Sluga family found their seats and enjoyed the rest of the game - Wade, a student at Westgate Elementary School, more than anyone.

"He was sharing his peanuts with everyone sitting around us, telling them he threw out the first pitch," Sluga said. "He was loving it."