Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our Favorite Baseball Stadium- Wrigley Field

Perhaps the oldest and greatest ballpark of our generation is Wrigley Field.   As a baseball enthusiast I have traveled to over 35 MLB stadiums in my lifetime, including 28 current stadiums  and 7 stadiums that are not a memory.  When it comes to stadiums Wrigley always has been and always will be my favorite stadium of all time.  Let’s look at the reasons why. 

Wrigley Construction

Originally named Weeghman Park in 1916,  the place that they call Wrigley was built by over 100 masons, painters, landscapers, and other construction crews previously.   The original walls at Weeghman were hand painted by 15 local workers over a 4 month period.   

The Bleachers

Despite having some of the worst teams of the last 25 years, the Bleachers are still standing room for all of the Cubs games.   Getting a standing room only ticket to any other baseball stadium in the world, besides perhaps Fenway, is something that no one really  wants.  At Wrigley this is a great find and something that any true baseball fan must do at least once in their life.  I remember the first time I went to Wrigley Field was on my girlfriend’s 21st birthday and they were playing the St. Louis Cardinals.  We bought some overpriced tickets outside of the stadium and told the old gentleman that we traveled all the way from Ohio to be in bleachers.  He let us in and it was the greatest game I have ever witnessed live.  This was 1998 and the heart of the Sammy Sosa vs. Mark McGwire home run chase.   Luckily both Sammy, Mark and a few others hit homeruns that day as we got there on a day the wind was blowing towards Waveland Avenue.  

The Stadium

When compared to other stadiums, the amenities are not that great, but that doesn’t mean that this place isn’t great.   Wrigley Field food is as American as it gets and they have some of the best hot dogs/ pizza that you can ask for.   The stadium is old, but it gives the feeling of an old historic graveyard where many crazy things have happened. 

The Atmosphere

Walking around the ballpark on game day in Chicago is one of the greatest feelings on earth.  While I have never worked in Chicago,  a day Cubs game is pretty much equivalent to a day off work as businessmen  have made the homage for years to back their Cubs.   The bars around the stadium and the feel that you get as you approach Chicago are crazy.  

The Cubs

The Cubs are one of the teams that you just like in general partly because you feel bad for them and partly because they have such a rich history.   The curse of this franchise is like no other and each year adds lore to it.   While they have been close in the 1980s and the early 2000s, they really have not had a dominant team during the last 30 years.   The Cubs are the last of the old teams to not have a recent World Series as the Red Sox broke their curse.   Both of these teams use to be cheered by fans, but the Red Sox have become a somewhat cocky version of the Yankees that are easy not to like. 

Wrigley History

Some of the great events at Wrigley Field include concerts from some of the most famous rock and roll artists of our generation. including Margaritaville legend Jimmy Buffet, Piano legend Billy Joel,  Elton John and many of the most famous singers of the last 30 years.

The history of Wrigley Field only adds to the lore.  With countless crazy things that have happened at this historic stadium, Wrigley has become synonymous with baseball. Like Fenway Park,  Wrigley remains one of the few venues left form the early 1900s and this only adds to its charm each and every year.