Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Wrigley Field - Chicago's "diamond" in the rough
Though neither of us are particularly sports fans, one of Josh's stipulations was that I procure tickets to a sporting event. He said it could be any sporting event, except football and ice hockey. Baseball was of particular interest to him so I managed to find 4 tickets to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs and the oldest baseball stadium in the US (and probably the world).
Last night's game saw the Chicago Cubs, fresh from a very rare victory at the weekend, against the Cincinnati Reds. Now let me just stress that the Chicago Cubs have a very loyal following. I even know a guy that refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Chicago White Sox (our World Series 2005 winners) because he loves the Cubs so much.
Knowing how much fan fervor there was likely to be at Wrigley Field, Lexie instructed me to change out of my red tshirt into a navy blue one (lest we be chased out of the stadium by an angry mob complete with flaming pitchforks), and we set off on foot to the stadium.
Climbing right up into the rafters for our $14 seats, it looked as though we might suffer serious nosebleeds. But the altitude only meant that we were high up enough to appreciate the game in its entirety. We could see everything and everyone. And when the thunder clouds rolled in and the ferocious rain started, we had the best view of the show.
After a rain delay, the game resumed at around 9pm and the crowd was ready. As beer guys competed with hot dog vendors and pretzel salesmen to win the crowd's custom, I was having a great time. The Cubs players hit home runs and we were on our feet, applauding and whooping with the rest of them.
But at the 7th inning, the crowd stands up to join the serenade, "Take Me Out To the Ballgame". I didn't know the words, but I am resolved to learn them soon, cause it's a song that everyone gets into and sings with great gusto. You just HAVE to be a part of a sing-a-long like that.
At around 10.30pm, after the customary 9 innings, the Cubs emerged victorious and there was much celebration. The pubs around Wrigley Field were packed, and showed no signs of emptying any time soon. But I wasn't one of those late-night revellers. The heat and humidity of the day, coupled with the cool night air and the frenzy of the baseball had really knocked me out.
But I went to bed happy and really proud that I was able to take the boys along to see a great game of baseball, complete with a home team victory.