Monday, July 18, 2011

A day at the ballpark -- Wrigley Field Cubs versus Marlins

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Okay, We didn't win. But who really watches the game when you are actually in the ballpark enjoying hot dogs, pop or beer, and the beautiful women in their halter tops?

Aaron, my son, and I had tickets to row 11 in Section 202 on the far left field, above the aisle and the box seats on the main floor. Seats 105 and 106. It's called the Marquee section or the Terrace - Reserved. They were great seats. It drizzled a bit but not long. The mezzanine level above blocked most of the rain drops.

It wasn't too sunny so it was very comfortable as we began plotting out official game program, which cost a few bucks. If you buy the $20 Commemorative Booklet, they give you the program book for free. We filled in the names of the players in the program book as the announcer listed them for both teams. And then I had to figure out how to fill in the inning boxes to record the runs, strikes, balls and outs. I cut to the chase. O for outs. 1st, 2n or 3rd for hits. W for walks. I marked the RBIs and the homers. And there were three that day, mostly by the Florida Marlins. Mike Stanton slammed two homers in a row. The Cubs Aramis Rameriz hit one. The Cubs lost 13 to 3, a massacre. But the game was still a blast.

The four fat guys guzzling beer who sat in front of us kept fanning out from their four seats to squat in the two extra seats held by a young father and his toddler who sat in his lap. Every inning, the kid had to go to the toilet and when the father and kid left the big guys in front of us spread out. It bothered Aaron because it made it hard to see the game.

Now I know why people used to listen to transistor radio broadcasts of the game even sitting in stands. No such technology today. We're too advanced. We have iPads, iPods, Blackberries and iPhones. And it sounds easy to listen to a radio using one of those technology devices, but it's not. Transistor radios had longer life batteries. If a cell phone lasts a few hours not being used, you're lucky today.

The hawkers sell mostly beer at the game. And occasionally, you might be able to see one selling Pop. Maybe. And occasionally, they'll come by with hot dogs. The dogs cost $4.75 each. The pop costs $4.75 each. And the beer is $7 a can. Yikes? Our tickets were $48 each, including taxes ($96).

We parked our car at a Lutheran Church three blocks east of Wrigley Field on Addison. It cost $25. I was worried the whole time the car was going to get dented. Wrigleyville is not a safe place to be despite all the boozer yuppies who hang out there -- or whatever today's yuppies are called, I don;t know and I don't care.

The official count for the game was 40,709.

Alfonso Soriano had to be one of the nicest Cubs players there. Each inning, he practiced with a ball throwing to someone on the sidelines. And when the innings began, he'd turn around and point to someone in the bleachers behind his left field position, usually a young kid, and throw them the ball. Aaron was yelling to get his attention but we were a ways a way. No way to explain that to an eager and excited 10 year old who loves baseball.
Aaron brought his mitt and my mitt too, just in case a pop-up made it our way. And when the game was done, I spent $140 on an official Soriano shirt and an official Louisville Slugger wood baseball bat.

Beyond the homerun walls were the rooftop bleachers filled with people drinking and eating their barbecues. Id been to a couple on the East Side of the ballpark when I worked for KemperLesnik Communications. Fun but really not the same as enjoying the ballpark and the game from inside.

The pitches came fast and with so much going on, it was easy to get distracted. But I managed to score the entire game in our souvenir program book.

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