Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs honored U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Amrit Sandhu, of the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, during a Memorial Day home game versus the Tampa Bay Rays at Wrigley Field in Chicago, May 29, 2023.
A nationally televised game with 38,163 in attendance, Sandhu was publicly honored on the field for the game’s “Military Salute”. He was presented with an official game ball by the Cubs organization and received a standing ovation from tens of thousands of spectators.
Recognition for Sandhu came in conjunction with multiple Memorial Day honors at Wrigley Field, including the unfurling of a large American flag that covered the outfield section, a moment of silence for our nation’s fallen heroes, and a spotlight honor to a “Gold Star” Marine family.
Sandhu was joined by his two sons, Timur (12) and Edward (8). It was their first MLB baseball game.
Sandhu immigrated to the United States from Gurdaspur, Punjab, India in 2008. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in September 2015 as a Financial Management Technician, and in January of 2017 Sandhu was sworn in as a United States citizen. He is currently serving as Budget Analyst for the 85th USARSC, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, outside Chicago.
Reflecting on his 8-year career in the Army Reserve, Sandhu noted he “loves to wear the uniform, and to be a part of a strong team in the U.S. Army.”
“I plan to extend my contract – I’ll feel like I’m missing something if I don’t,” said Sandhu.
Sandhu also elaborated on the feeling of receiving the honor at the game.
“Here today at Wrigley, it feels very special to be supported and respected by the crowd. I appreciate the opportunity to be honored on this special day – Memorial Day,” Sandhu said. “My boys will have a unique memory for the rest of their lives. Every kid wants to be out on that field, and they made it out there.”
Sandhu took the field, along the 3rd base line in the second inning, just prior to the Cubs batting. As Sandhu appeared on the Wrigley jumbotron in left field, and broadcast nationwide, Timur and Edward remarked “It feels pretty cool to see dad get cheered by the crowd, and to see him up on the big screen”.
From his vantage position a few feet from the Chicago Cubs dugout, Edward later noted “I bet I’m better at baseball than they are”. Edward plays grade school baseball.
Many spectators were displaying their support for members of the military during the Memorial Day game at Wrigley. One spectator, John, wearing a camouflage Army baseball cap and dog tags, said he was honoring his parents – both World War II Army veterans that served in hospitals and treated Soldiers coming back from the Pacific.
“It’s incredible to see the Cubs honor Sergeant Sandhu on the field,” said John.
As the game neared its end, Timur said he wanted to play baseball with his dad when they got home.
While enjoying a ballpark hotdog a few feet from Chicago Cubs’ Miles Mastrobuoni’s 3rd base position, when asked if he was going to play with the baseball the Cubs gave him, Timur remarked “No, I’m saving that”.
The Chicago Cubs defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 in the 9th inning.