I think this is known as an above and beyond move. I called an audible to sneak in a Cubs game and it was so worth it! I love this ballpark!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, although the Padres at Jack Murphy was my first MLB game, going to Wrigley as an adult (1999) is the place that inspired me to embark on seeing a game in every major league park. So it's special because of that and because of my family here. I have two sets of aunts and uncles and cousins that live here. So getting to spend time with them makes it even more special.
After a delicious breakfast at Bongo Room, we just relaxed and waited 'til game time. Uncle Ron, Jenny and Rick joined me in the HOT Chicago evening to watch the home team play the Marlins. We drove in and got to see some cool neighborhoods from Oak Park to Wrigley. So not only did we get to see the game, I got a nice tour of Chicago. This place is really cool!
Unfortunately, the Cubs didn't get much going until late in the game and ended up losing 5-9. But that doesn't seem to matter. The area/vibe around Wrigley seems to buzz anyway. Good thing 'cause they're not very good. As a local t-shirt says, "Jesus told the Cubs not to do anything until he gets back." Everyone seems resigned to that sentiment and has a great time anyway. The buzz around and in the park is really contagious. There's a reason why this is one of the best ball parks.
It is so simple and classic. You can definitely see it represented in other parks. I noticed something that they've "done right" that has really become a noticing/judging point for me. Anaheim is where this became an issue for me. When I bought the tickets for the Angel's game, I bought what I thought was third row in left field. It turned out that it was third row, but it was beyond the bullpen in left field. That puts you so far back, a home run ball is a lot less likely. I was really annoyed by that and started paying attention to where the bullpens are. Most parks, "waste" fan seats by putting the dang bull pens out there. Why in the hell would you waste outfield seats by putting the bull pens out there. To my current recollection, only two parks have it right. Wrigley and AT&T Park in San Francisco. I think Fenway might have it right, too but I can't recall exactly. What Wrigley and AT&T did was have the bullpen just beyond the dugouts in foul territory in mid-field. No wasted space and everyone can see very plainly who's warming up. The only down side seems to be the fact that the pitcher/catcher warming up, really have to pay attention cause they're close to the game that's going on. But hey, they're professional ball players. They're big boys. They should be able to handle it.
I crashed at my Aunt Mandy and Uncle Ron's place. With short notice, they put together a really special dinner with a house full of people. My cousin Scott and his two kids Alex and Michael; my cousin Jenny and her new husband, Rick; and my Uncle Jim and Aunt MariLynn. And if it wasn't special enough, we got to hang out with Captain Jack Sparrow. Jenny is a vet and she nursed an abandoned sparrow back to health. As it turns out, the sparrow is now domesticated. When out of the cage he flies from person to person and just kinda' hangs out. It really seems to like people and is super social. Nothing brings family together like having a sparrow flying around the house, from person to person, just hanging out like part of the family.
Thank you to my Chicago family for a great time!