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Published: August 16th 2015
…another baseball day. Can’t have too many of those. Today’s game is brought to you by the letters CTA and the numbers 2 and 0.
Chicago is another city with a really good public transportation system. The only problem we ran into was the Metra train from Chicago back to Joliet. We had to leave the game early. But, like in Baltimore, we came to see the stadium not the game. We learned in Baltimore that the easiest way to get to a game is to just figure out which train to get on to begin with. From there, just follow the jerseys.
Walking up to the home plate entrance with its big red Wrigley Field sign was incredible. Just being in one of the oldest ballparks in Major League Baseball is thrilling. Only Fenway Park in Boston is older. The third oldest is quite a youngster in comparison having been built in 1962…that would be Dodger Stadium.
We were far from being the only people taking pictures outside the stadium. It’s comforting to know you’re not alone in your “this-is-our-first-time-here-would-you-mind-taking-our-picture-please”-ness. The sidewalks were crowded with people going to the game and the local traffic control officers did
a great job keeping order.
Again, as we did in Baltimore, we were able to walk up and get tickets. After taking more pictures, we picked a line and joined it. It didn’t matter what gate we went in because we weren’t going straight to our seats anyway. We walked around the street level concourse looking at the food and souvenir vendors, comparing prices with what we’d pay at home…not finding it a whole lot different. There was one thing that we definitely don’t have at Safeco Field, nor did we see it at Camden Yards. You can buy cocktails at Wrigley Field. There are cocktail vendor carts set up throughout the park…we walked past at least three.
I don’t think there are any entrance gates around the outfield part of the stadium. We walked from the home plate entrance around toward the third base side and left field. Eventually we came to another entrance. The concourse didn’t continue around the outfield to the first base side of the park. At the gate I looked up at the apartment or office buildings across the street and saw bleachers on the roofs of several buildings. One even had a
foul pole with the number 460 on it. That would be an interesting view of the game…maybe…pretty far away…
We turned around and headed in the direction of our seats. The section we were in began with a 2 so we headed up. Wrigley has ramps that take you from one level to the next. It reminded me of the Kingdome with the ramps going up and down on the outer part of the stadium like a wave. We went up a couple ramps and I saw the section numbers were much larger than those on our tickets. We were in the 400s and 500s. Back down we go. It turned out that the 200 level seats were just the upper section of the first level. When we finally found them, they were occupied…by little kids. Instead of kicking them out, we just sat in empty seats a couple rows behind. We’d kick them out when we got kicked out. It did kinda bug me, though, that they had tickets but chose to sit in other people’s seats because their seats were lousy. I know they were hoping nobody would claim the seats, but it just makes a mess
of things when several people are trying to occupy the same space, even for a short while. So while we’re watching the game, a group of 5 or 6 people come down the aisle who were the rightful temporary owners of the seats next to the ones we should be sitting in. They evicted the family…there are now about 12 people standing in the seating area and blocking the aisle while the family moves to the aisle and the group moves in…but they also sat in our seats. We just stayed in our borrowed seats…waiting for our turn. Not long after, our turn arrived. Now that everyone was where they should have been in the first place, everyone can enjoy the game…especially those whose view was blocked more than once by the musical chairs episodes.
Once we were finally settled in our seats I took a look around at the structure of the stadium. It looked a lot like the underside of baseball bleachers at the local Little League field, but on a much larger scale. Everything was painted a light gray. The seats themselves were blue and squeaked when you lowered the bottom portion. We had a good
view of the field except where the upright support beam was. Luckily we were far enough away from it that it only blocked a small part of Right-Center Field. No Ueker seats for us.
The game itself was pretty good. In the second inning we saw the Cubs’ pitcher, Jake Arrieta, hit a triple high off the ivy in right field. Pretty good for a pitcher, even a National League pitcher. He scored on the next batter’s sac fly. The Cubs scored a second run in the inning and that’s how the game ended. The San Francisco Giants staged a comeback by loading the bases in the ninth inning with no outs. Three batters later the game was over. All three struck out. Unfortunately we left around the sixth or seventh inning and missed the excitement. We had to make sure we were back at the Metra Station to catch the last train to Joliet and didn’t want to risk getting waylaid in the masses heading to the “L.” Besides, we were there to experience the park; the game was secondary. The downside to leaving early is you can’t follow the jerseys. We managed to find our way back
without too much trouble.
Another good day is in the books and another item checked off the Bucket List.
Tot: 2.528s; Tpl: 0.088s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0324s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb