on July 22, 2009
Being married to someone who is a Cubs fan can sometimes scare you. Although Chicago has two baseball teams, the other being the White Sox, it is probably better to just refer to them as the other team. Every time I say White Sox, it almost looks as if my wife is about to turn into Linda Blair from the Exorcist. Cubs fans in general are like this. Although they haven’t won a World Series title since 1908, they are some of the most passionate fans in all of baseball. The Cubs have come close such as in 2008, but nothing compared to the pain felt when their cross-town rival won the World Series in 2005. Cubs fans are quick to remind you of 1908 and with every new season bring new hope. The Cubs ballpark is Wrigley Field, named after William Wrigley, the chewing gum magnate who once owned the team. Built in 1914, Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in baseball behind Boston’s Fenway Park. It is also one of the few ballparks that haven’t given in to corporate America. Ballparks are changing their names to acquire more revenue as the White Sox did by changing Comiskey Park to US Cellular Field. The fact that the Cubs haven’t sold out even when its owner, the Chicago Tribune, was trying to get rid of it to generate some more revenue is impressive. Wrigley Field is located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Most Chicagoans can even tell you the exact address of Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison, by heart. In the movie The Blues Brothers, Elwood even listed his address on his Illinois driver’s license as 1060 W. Addison. Recognizing Wrigley Field is easy even if you have never been to Chicago. Countless movies and television shows have used the famous marquee from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Perfect Strangers. Other noticeable aspects of Wrigley Field are the ivy covered outfield wall. As the season progresses, the ivy grows so fast that the wall is completely covered. It is not uncommon for a baseball to get lost in the ivy thereby forcing the umpire to declare a ground rule double. There are also many high-rise buildings surrounding Wrigley Field. On the rooftops, there are bleachers to accommodate more seating. These seats are privately owned and are not regulated by the Chicago Cubs. A good tip is to buy tickets well in advance. When the Cubs play the White Sox or their other big rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, tickets are gone within minutes of them going on sale. Another good tip is to avoid driving to Wrigley Field. Parking is sparse and the cost of parking is expensive. A better option is take the "El" train as the Red Line stop at Addison is about a block away from Wrigley Field. After the game, grab a beer at one of the many bars surrounding Wrigley. My first game here was with my wife when they played the Baltimore Orioles, who I have been a fan for since I was a kid. With my wife decked out in her Chicago Cubs shirt and me in my Orioles jersey that left only my son. Sure enough, he was sporting his Cubs overalls. Although we were a house divided that day, I took pride in the fact that my team won 7-5.
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