Who cares about those damn near perfect Yankees with their near perfect Derek Jeter retiring whenever he feels like it with his near perfect last game with a home winning run in the 9th inning? Who cares about the new Yankee Stadium and the millions of dollars they spend on professional players in new professional stadiums? That is not the baseball all Americans grew up playing. We all went to the local dusty field that somehow looked like a triangle and tossed the ball to a couple of guys till we got all dirty and tired. That is what baseball is to me and the only place that comes close to that home town feeling is the Chicago Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs were in a familiar place this past season, last place in their division and so what? The fans still go to their games anyway. It is still baseball. Can winning be overrated? The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and that is 2 years before Mark Twain died. The long suffering Cubs has what other teams don’t have and that is Wrigley Field. Yes , where they play is simply still called a Field not a Stadium or named after a bank like Citi Field that used to be the New York Mets home. I am waiting for a place called Viagra Hills to open next somewhere.
This year the field is 100 years old. No one has any plans to make this home of a traditional losing team a home for a new slick stadium and that is fine by me. Read all about it in George F. Will’s new book dedicated to the place. He usually writes and speaks all about politics , another losing battle but this time he wrote a book on the Chicago Cubs. He calls Wrigley Field “A Nice Little Place on the North Side” right on the cover of the book. 100 years is a long time. The place is older than the Supreme Court Building, The Lincoln Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, The Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore , Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building or pretty much anything else you can think of that is significant and special in American recent history. The Cubs are consistent. They practically promise to loose every year and that is ok by me.
Wrigley Field opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park and was renamed in 1927 after Cubs owner and rich chewing gum magnet of Wrigley Spearmint Gum that is still a successful company. The park still has the original hand card changing scoreboard. The best part is the ivy covered out field walls. People come to see a long hit never to get caught but for the ball to be lost in the ivy. The poor player looking in the foliage for the ball while the hitter is turning bases is hysterical and it happens all the time. Since the team is terrible , let the fans see the ivy grow.
Wrigley is known as a friendly place. It was the first field where you could keep a ball when it was foul. It was also the first ball park to encourage women to attend games. Ladies Day welcomed women free of charge. Yes it is a rare gem to enjoy.