Friday, July 29, 2011
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! About 60 Times A Season!
I love ball parks. I have books about ball parks. There's nothing like a ball park, an old ball park. You know, the kind of ball park where you have to walk up the cow chute and see the fresh grass when you emerge. That sight is as good as it gets. And that sight is disappearing as these new ball parks spring up.
The cookie cutter ball parks built in the 70's were hideous concrete tombs. Three Rivers, Veterans, Riverfront, Busch, The Metrodome, The Kingdome, Fulton County were all spawns of hell. Shitholes. They destroyed the baseball experience. Oh, they were fine for football since most football fans are closet fascists bent on jailing anybody to the left of Ayn Rand (look it up gridiron guy).
But a couple of places from the past remain. Wrigley Field is one of them. I haven't been to Wrigley Field for a ball game since the early 1990's. Back before the 1984 season it was easy to walk up to the ticket window on gameday, plunk down $5 and sit by the bullpen and chat with the relief pitchers. I once bought Dickie Noles a hot dog while Lee Smith blocked Manager Charlie Fox's view from the Cubs dugout when I gave it to him. There ya go, a good 1983 Cubs reference. Nowadays, it'd cost ya $100 to sit there, and you'd be stuck next to some "young professional" eating sushi and sipping a nice merlot. Fuck that.
We went to Wrigley on Sunday and sat in seats normally reserved for poor people. High up and on the aisle under the overhang out of the sun. Heaven! For $50 each, it oughta be heaven. Oh it was. Old Style Beer, Vienna hot dogs, and baseball in a stadium built in 1914. 23 skidoo this was the bees knees! All we needed was Rudy Vallee shouting Go Cubs Go from a megaphone.
The game, ah who cares. The Cubs won in 10 over the Astros. The two worst teams in baseball duking it out into extra innings at a 97 year old neighborhood baseball park. A yawner to you football folks. The best day ever for us national pasttime people. But it's not the same as when I was younger because the Cubs have become trendy and the ownership couldn't care less if they win or not because 40,000 idiots will show up to see the Astros, a team nobody should want to watch. The place only holds 40,000 so what is the incentive to win? None. No wonder it's been 103 years since that team has won a World Series.
But I have to admit. Wrigley is falling down. The cement is old and cracked. The bathrooms still have troughs. But it's still Wrigley Field, the place my Dad took me in 1964 for my first major league ball game. A moment that hooked me for a lifetime.
Hey, the new ball parks are super. Target Field is the best stadium I've ever been in. The remodeled Kauffman Stadium In KC is wonderful. Our new stadium here in Omaha is phenomenal. Saw Journey there two weeks ago. But nothing will ever ttop Wrigley Field, if for no other reason than it reminds me of the July day in 1964 that Dad took me and my brother to see the Giants. Thanks, Dad.