Last week I was able to take a quick trip to Chicago to visit some relatives. In doing so, we went to a Cubs game vs. the Cardinals. It was the first time I had actually been inside Wrigley Field since 2003. I spent one summer in Chicago with family in 2002, and managed to go to 25-30 games. There is nothing like spending a summer day at Wrigley. Even though I grew up in the North East, having WGN to watch the Cubs was great as they play most of their home games during the day. Life moves so quickly, that you sometimes forget about the meaningful times of your youth, so the experience last week was special to me.
Times change, and the park may not look exactly like it did in the 1990s, but the premise is still something unique in sports that is next to impossible to recreate. We walked to the game roughly five miles from a downtown hotel taking in the city and enjoying some stops along way for some beverages. Eventually, you see this stadium that is basically built right in the middle of a neighborhood. I actually still have the ticket stub from my first game (which I don’t remember), but the price of a bleacher seat was a whopping $3. Things are much different now, but the vibe of the park is still the same.
Our seats were in the second row of the upper deck close to the plate looking out at the old manually operated scoreboard, and people watching games from the rooftops of buildings across the street. There are two giant video boards now, but quaintness of place still exists. There is something about watching baseball that seems timeless and brings a person back to their youth and I felt that way last week.
The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908, and all indications are that this could be the year to finally break through. I can’t profess to be a giant Cubs fan any longer as root for the Yankees, but I feel happy to for the city of Chicago that they have been able to keep their landmark mostly in place for almost 100 years, and speaking of 100 years, 2016 would be a great time to break that World Series drought.