I still can’t believe it! My beloved Chicago Cubs took down the mighty St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday night to wrap up an epic series and set off a celebration that hasn’t been experienced by Cubs fans in, well, forever.
They did it! They really did it. This young team, not expected to do much this year, outplayed the class of the division and the league, their arch rivals to advance to the National League Championship Series. And they did it at home!
I can only imagine what it was like being inside the hallowed grounds of Wrigley Field for this game, or Game 3 the night before. Two amazing performances with tons of fireworks and drama…and two Cubs victories to win the series.
Cubs fans everywhere are going bonkers with jubilation, and I am included in that list. I danced in the street last night. I chest bumped a co-worker who’s a fellow Cubs fan at work this morning. My parents refurnished their bathroom cabinets yesterday to fend off the nerves of anticipation for the game. The excitement is overflowing!
It’s an amazing feeling, and I hope the Cubbies can keep it going. Congratulations, guys and thank you for providing a lot of people with a lot of joy.
I spent this past Saturday at the Friendly Confines with my sons and my parents. It was our annual pilgrimage to the ‘ol ballpark and it ended up being a memorable one.
Of course, every trip to Wrigley Field is memorable in its own way. It’s one of my favorite places on Earth and I’ve been going to games there since I was a little kid. I was there for work on this particular day and my parents and the boys came with. Glad they did, because it was quite a day.
We got there early and on the way into the park, my parents spotted a Cub legend just steps away from them. Ferguson Jenkins was there to sing the 7th inning stretch that day and was making his way in when my Mom snapped this photo of him. Fergie!
The boys said they wanted to see batting practice. Well, shortly after they walked up the steps to the seating area they got a big surprise. They were flagged down by a lady who happened to have two field passes for batting practice.
So, the kids got to stand on the ‘hallowed ground’ of Wrigley Field, just a few feet away from the batting cage, while the players took their practice swings. So cool…they even got a ball! They were really excited.
I think my Mom was actually more excited than anyone, though. She watched them from the first row and I could tell she was beyond thrilled to see her grandkids getting to do that.
We all enjoyed the game together. We sat in the upper deck, near the press box. It’s one of our favorite spots. Shaded from the sun, and a great view of the game. After a back and forth contest on the field, a few hot dogs for us and a nap for my oldest son, the game was over.
The Cubs didn’t win but it didn’t take away from the fact that the kids were able to stand on the field. It’s something I didn’t get to do until just this year and man, was that fun. So I hope they will remember it as being something really special.
The fun wasn’t over yet though. As we were walking down the ramps from the upper deck, we crossed paths with a gentleman pulling a suitcase. Turns out it was Pat Hughes, the radio broadcaster of the Cubs. Cool!
My Dad and I said hello to him. He said hello to both of us and simply said, ‘Tired’ in response to the best question I could come up with (‘How are you?’) to ask a broadcaster ready to get home after a day at work while walking with masses of people around us. Then, he walked down some stairs and off he went.
I explained to my sons who that was and was thrilled to have met Mr. Hughes. His broadcasts are fantastic. It’s always a joy to listen to him.
From there, we headed out with great memories made and a good time had by all.
It was a fun day, and I’m sure we’ll get the ‘W’ next time. We’re Cubs fans…being optimistic is a job requirement 🙂
I noticed this phenomenon when I went to a game earlier this year. Empty seats. The bleachers were not even close to being full, the rooftops were all but empty, and the feeling did not seem to be the same.
Yes it was April and yes it was chilly that day. But it was a weekend game. We weren’t doing THAT badly at that point. It was Wrigley Field. It was the Cubs. Based on the recent past, that should have meant a whole lot more butts in the seats.
It just didn’t seem quite right to me. Apparently others have noticed as well.
From the article:
The New York Yankees take on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field this weekend, and, believe it or not, you can still get a seat.
Same goes for the usually coveted Crosstown Classic Series against the White Sox that starts Monday. Tickets are still available for that, too.
In fact, it’s a pretty safe bet that tickets are available to just about any Cubs home game this year, say ticket sellers.
If you follow the Cubs and if you’ve tried to get tickets to games at Wrigley in recent years, you know that this is shocking stuff. This type of thing just doesn’t happen. At least it didn’t happen for a long time.
Ask any Cubs fan and you’ll hear mentions of any number of issues that need to be addressed: ever-increasing ticket prices, an aging roster, Wrigley Field’s limitations, etc, etc, etc.
Whatever it may be, something needs to happen. This season appears to be lost already. 28-40 is not a reason for optimism, even for the most optimistic of long-suffering Cubs fans.
It’s very expensive to go to a Cubs game. Granted this is not unique to the Cubs. I’ve mentioned before that I’d rather go see a minor league game and not blow several hundred dollars, especially on a sub-par product. Major League Baseball ticket prices are keeping countless fans away from the national pastime. I understand that owners want to make money and that player salaries need to be paid, but that’s an entirely different discussion for another time.
The article raises the possibility of just scrapping everything roster-wise and going with a youth movement. That may seem a little extreme but at the same time, we’re already out of it and the All-Star break isn’t even on the radar yet.
At this point the team is just not very good. We have some talented players but we’re not getting results. Bottom line: Whatever we’re doing now doesn’t seem to be working. The Cubs are not winning and fans are not coming to the games like they have in recent years.
So if it means starting over, I say do it. It’s worked for other teams in the past and it’s not like we have a track record of winning World Series championships to ‘risk’ if we try this. Thank the current players for their efforts and find new teams for them, then bring in some new guys. Why not?
If it means finding some way to offer fans better prices or special pricing options or something to make it more affordable to enjoy a game with their families…well, bite the bullet and do that too. You can’t expect people to pay more every season when your on the field product isn’t achieving any more during that time, and certainly not if it’s doing worse.
I really wanted to stay away from this one, but…if it means making major changes at Wrigley Field or (gasp) possibly building a new ballpark, I suppose ownership should bring those options to the table as well.
Let me get this straight before I continue. I’m one of the biggest pro-Wrigley Field folks around. At times in my life, I’ve thought this might be the place I’d like to have my ashes spread at when my time on Earth is done. It’s been the site of countless good times with family and friends and it holds a very special place in my heart. I like Wrigley Field. Got it?
However the older I get, the more I seem to lose attachment to objects and look more for satisfaction in life as a whole. Wrigley Field, while I love it to death and would be very sad if it went away, is just a place when it’s all said and done. The memories would still be with me even if Wrigley Field isn’t around anymore.
That being said I’m not going to be someone who makes a big push for leaving the Friendly Confines. I just can’t bring myself to do that.
What I will say is that any and all options should be considered for future success. If it takes us finding a new place to play where players will reach their full potential with all of the modern amenities that virtually every other team enjoys and if, as a result, that new place possibly (please God, let it be someday) leads to the Cubs winning a World Series…then who am I to say that option shouldn’t at least be considered.
Just get it done, Cubs. Whatever ‘it’ is – do it. You have a legion of loyal (mostly lifelong) followers and supporters. The love is still there, despite the dwindling attendance and the other issues. I hope ownership will make some changes for the better, and soon.
I’ll always be a fan. None of this is meant to be anti-Cubs. You will never see me root for another team. Ever. It’s just hard to see articles like this because, well, they speak the truth and the truth kinda hurts right now. Hopefully things will improve.