I’ve been away from posting the last two weeks, but I have an excellent baseball-related reason. I spent part of the time in Chicago on vacation, and that included an afternoon at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
Rather I should say the frigid confines, as we found them toward the back of Section 222 on the afternoon of Friday, May 27. Although the sun was shining brightly, we were seated in the shadow from the upper deck and a stiff wind bore down on us relentlessly. I ended up shelling out $80 for four blankets to try to keep my wife and assorted other family members warm.
This was my second trip to Wrigley Field, and it was also the first time I got to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play. My Modesto Nuts T-shirt was buried under a sweater and a windbreaker, but my San Francisco Giants’ world champs cap was in plain site. I spotted exactly one other Giants’ fan at the park that day, a minor triumph.
With my daughter yelling for the Pirates over my shoulder, I did my best to root for the home team. But the Cubbies were wretched, going several innings without a hit and flubbing a number of plays in the field to hand the Pirates a 4-2 victory.
Our view of the game was excellent, with the field spread magnificently before us. The ivy was in full bloom on the outfield wall, giving the park its signature feature. The upper deck clipped our view of the classic center field scoreboard, and a support post was a minor distraction in the view down the left field line.
As great as Wrigley is inside, I enjoyed equally the street scene outside. We went to the game the proper way – on the El. The minute we emerged from the train station, the scalpers were right there offering tickets for sale. We checked out what the hawkers had to offer (I was tempted by a “Cub Style” T-shirt aping the Old Style beer logo) and scouted the souvenir stands. I bought a scorecard for a buck and a Cubs pen for 50 cents. (It doesn’t take much to make me happy.)
We cast a fond glance across the street to the Cubbie Bear bar and posed for photos with the bronze statues of Billy Williams and Ernie “Let’s play two!” Banks.
Wrigley Field is a classic, inside and out. I went to the game with four generations of my wife’s family. I hope the confines are still friendly four generations from now.