The Feel of Wrigley Field
Av quoted Joe Green to me (I assume that this is not the Mean one, nor the Clue Professor) that Wrigley is “baseball tahara (purity).” There is a lot to be said for that. Wrigley feels like you are just going to a baseball game. In Pittsburgh we were headed to a Mets game, in The Jake- it was about the luxury suite. Wrigley was about the game of baseball.
There is no video board anywhere in Wrigley. As such, there are no replays. There are no in-between inning games or entertainment of any sort. It’s even difficult to find who is up and what the count is. You are there to watch the game. And the feel is so old-school. The out of town scoreboard is still changed by hand. The ivy and the brick are so simple, and so classy. It had the awe inspiring feel of an ancient relic while still being very much alive with baseball, directly in front of us.
If the Field of Dreams would ever take place in a baseball stadium in America, it would happen at Wrigley. If it would ever take place not in a baseball stadium, it would still be on a farm in Iowa.
Life in the Bleachers
Well, for the first time on this road trip, we split up. New Harold and Booch sat 6 rows above the first base dugout and Av, Abie, and I sat in the bleachers. The bleachers at Wrigley felt like getting a hug from a grandmother you’ve never seen before. Even though it was new, it felt both familiar and warm. The atmosphere was fantastic.
There are no assigned seats; you just call out for an opening. No one treats you like Forrest Gump when you are seat searching. Everyone is immediately friends with everyone else. The guy behind me yelled “Anyone need sunscreen… I have some” The guy to the right spilled some beer on the seats in front of him, but we all just helped clean it up. After all, there’s no sense in yelling at a friend.
It’s the perfect place to watch a baseball game. If Wrigley is baseball purity, than the Bleachers are the inner sanctum. (Yep, “sanctum”)
Cards vs. Cubs
As baseball fans, we are well aware that this is a huge rivalry. We are familiar with Red Sox-Yankees. We knew what to expect. Accordingly, Abie and I wagered a little beforehand… the price: Your Soul! Well, your Cubs soul… the loser (read: Abie) had to wear a Cardinals hat to the Wrigley Bleachers. We did not expect him to leave with all of his appendages.
It really wasn’t as crazy as we had assumed for two reasons: 1. There were a ton of Cardinals fans at this game. There were Red seas around the stadium. 2. I don’t know if it’s a mid-west vs. east coast thing, or a history of the team things, but the rivalry, although great, is much less mean spirited than it is in New York or Boston. You got the impression that the whole thing was in good taste, and that even the “Hitler was a Cubs fan” shirt was tongue in cheek. Note: I did not have a chance to wikipedia Hitler to see if the shirt was factual.So Abie wore a cards hat, but the worst thing that happened to him was me getting patted on the back for making fun of him. And him getting the “asshole” chant once. This chant, though, came from Av and I. So in that sense, it was the same as every other day of the road trip.
By the way – to counter Abie, Av and I played the roles of old time Cubs fans. Double play? “Same Old Cubs” we yelled. Ah, the agony of being a Cubs fan for one day.
This was an old style ball game. This had great pitching, good defense, and smart ball playing. The only runs were a solo homerun by Albert Pujols, (according to a t shirt outside the stadium, the Cards take it in their Pujols) and a two run homer by Jaque Jones, giving the Cubs the victory. There was also a great catch by Jaque Jones when he crashed into the ivy to save an extra base hit and some runs. We hope he doesn’t get a rash.
Some of the kids may want to earmuff the rest of this. The other significant part of the game was that I have no idea whether the fifth inning happened. I am assuming that it did because I saw both the fourth and the sixth, but there is just no way to be certain. I didn’t leave, nor was I temporarily blinded. Rather, a Cards fan, with significant sized (very significant), medically enhanced, breasts entered our area of the bleachers. I would say that she was wearing jeans and a bikini top, but that is an insult to bikini tops. She was wearing the kind of top that would have been allowed in the SI swimsuit issue.
Two bleacher sections stood up and turned to watch her for an inning. Men, Women, children, vendors, animals, ball players, people further away with zoom on their cameras, planes overhead, and aliens from other planets all paused their activities to stare at this woman’s chest. Trying to fit in with my fellow Cubs fans, I said “Now that’s the kind of Cardinals fan, I don’t mind.” The response from a row below: “I’d rather kill myself than suck on those.” In his defense… that guy was clearly gay.
In summary – Chicago residents enjoy breasts, Cards-Cubs is a fun rivalry, and you should try and see a baseball game at Wrigley Field in your lifetime.