Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Road Trip: Wrigley Field...

Summer is now a bit more than half over. With my canon law classes taking the summer off, I have been keeping busy with several things here at home: working at the Tribunal office, filling-in at various parishes (Immaculate Conception in LaGrange last weekend...), and various other activities. This past Spring, thinking about what I would like to do over the break, I came up with a kind of "bucket list" for my Summer. Being a baseball fan, one item was to take the opportunity to catch a few baseball games here and there. So far it has materialized into one trip to Cincinnati (Reds lost to the Phillies) and one trip to St. Louis (Cardinals beat the Royals in interleague play).

Yesterday we checked another one off that list: the Cubs beat the Braves 4-2 at the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field. I had been there before, back in high school on a family trip, but I forgot just how cool Wrigley Field is: quaint, old-fashioned, representing everything that is "good and holy" in the game. The fans armed with their gloves, standing along Waveland Avenue just beyond the left field wall waiting to catch homeruns during batting practice; the people wearing t-shirts decrying the evils of night games; the cool breeze coming-in off Lake Michigan and thinking that the term "southpaw" was coined on that mound. Babe Ruth stood at that plate in 1932 and called his shot! Why, O why, did baseball ever abandon such places for Astroturf and the designated hitter?

-Catching batting practice homeruns along Waveland Avenue with the classic hand-operated scoreboard in the distance:

-A pre-game beer at Harry Caray's:

Wrigley, unlike other parks, isn't as pricey as you'd first think (it ain't as cheap as Cincinnati, though). 30 bucks bought a seat directly behind home plate on the lower level, not more than 100 feet from the plate - and there was only one support beam that just barely blocked my view of the right field corner. Concession prices weren't outrageous either (like St. Louis!): a beer and a dog cost $10. Heck, they even have a well-organized score card to keep track of the game with (I'm getting back into the routine of keeping score during ball games this summer - a practice I had quit). I have to hand it to Cubs fans too (as much as I would prefer not to...). While they can be a bit obnoxious, you have to say that they are truly fan-atical. I forgot just how loud a Wrigley Field crowd is. They pack the park for a Monday evening game, and it seemed that every single one of them was dressed in some Cub paraphernalia. No doubt - they are into the game. And I assure you, unlike most other parks I've been to, not a soul left that game until the final out was made. Even with my allegiance as a Reds fan, Wrigley has my vote as baseball heaven.

-The Classic Wrigley Scene; A Classic Baseball Scene:

-"The Sign" Cubs Win:

With roughly another month and a half of the summer left, where will I end up next? All indications are that I will probably be catching a Rockies game while on an upcoming trip to Denver, as well as a Red Sox game at Fenway with my sister Katie.

No comments: