10 Jun
Wrigley Field, Photo courtesy of Rolfe Neigenfind.

Wrigley Field, Photo courtesy of Rolfe Neigenfind.

After a nasty rut of rain that blocked anything outside, the sun came up on a Wednesday, my last day in Chicago. Rolfe and I rushed to score baseball tickets, printed them out at a Turkish internet café, and struck to Wrigleyville, the home of the Chicago Cubs. Parking near the field was the price of a small Persian Gulf municipality, so we opted for a garage far from the center of the action.We were closing the car doors during the closing notes of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but we made it.

The walk through the lower deck of a sports stadium is like walking through a bazaar you’d see in Indiana Jones. People move quickly, there’s an overload of noise, and I just hoped there weren’t any monkeys or treasure-hunting enemies looking for us. After this crawl, the first glimpse of Wrigley Field was everything I hoped for. The soaring and authoritative call of the announcer. The wales of grass cut into the field. Robin-egg blue skies (ignore the filter). The pennants (from the World Series of 1907 and 1908) snaking in the breeze. The Cubs carry a tremendous slice of history for baseball, even though they don’t hold a lot of championships anymore. They were the last team to institute numbers, the first team to play organ music, and the only to ever receive a hex involving a goat. They also carry a tremendous slice of personal history.

My grandmother had a lot of interests. She painted, played harmonica, kept a home library, and had a sharp wit. One of her favorite passions (and source of countless punchlines) was the Chicago Cubs. Her living room radio was always on 720 WGN, the broadcast home of the team. Even when she couldn’t use stairs or cook beef roast due to health, she still tuned in her radio. I used to sit with her in the living room while she joked about how bad they were doing that year. The radio still was on 720 WGN.

My first live game was loaded with this history, but also with some fun baseball. Dioner Navarro hit a homerun to left field during the second inning, with the Cubs fans leaping while the scattered White Sox fans sulked in their seats. There were some more great hits, seventh inning stretches, and a final score of 9 to 3. It’s great to have seen a win, but as the saying goes, there was so much more going on than a game. Maybe even closure. The Cubs have a great deal of mysticism and perseverance. There’s something in the ivy at Wrigley Field that drives the fans, and I’m proud to call them my hometeam. And regardless of lost games and exorbitantly priced stadium pretzels, I’ll love them.

Photo Courtesy of Rolfe Neigenfind

Photo Courtesy of Rolfe Neigenfind


One Response to “CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!”


  1. Graceland | Table Scraps - July 1, 2013

    […] the people that made me who I am. Seeing a historical Chicago baseball game is secondary to why I was there in the first place. I was thinking about graduation, every step of every trip, and what the South has become for me, […]

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