Wrigley Field at 100



Wrigley Field in Chicago turns 100 years old tomorrow. It was built on the site of a former seminary. The taverns along Clark Street got too loud for the aspiring pastors trying to study, so the church sold the land and the baseball team left their original home on the west side of the city and moved in.


There is a library full of books on the place and even more and better stories passed along through the years. My grandfather, the Irish lawyer, taking his eldest daughter, my Mom, out of school to watch the Cubs play a game in the World Series in the 1930’s. Which wasn’t that long from the time Bill Veeck planted the ivy on the outfield walls that flows into me sitting in the bleachers not far from Veeck, no shirt and wooden leg propped up in front of him. All time’s boundaries erased on a summer day looking out on the green fields of hope.


The end game was always gonna be my pal Larry, who first brought me to the place, and I sitting in lawn chairs along the right field line, reaching out to snag foul balls and then toss them to kids in the stands.


One of our finest, Bonnie Hunt, once said, “Wrigley Field is one of the most romantic places on earth. And she was right.


Doesn’t mean that the charlatan’s that have always populated baseball, the pasty white rich kids who think they own what’s timeless—till they don’t—get in the way. There is no shortage of scumbags and lily livered empty suits in baseball. The proxy class war of hating the Cubs having now devolved into something akin to kicking a sick puppy. How do you hate something so brilliantly mediocre?


And when you do hate it—you miss this:


You miss looking, through the upper deck, at the orange and blue streaked western sky in late August. On a Sunday afternoon. The season almost over.

Who knows, maybe you are almost over too, Like the guy who sang this song, the one that went,


Do they still play the blues in Chicago?

When baseball season rolls around.


And you think, looking at that sky,


Play ball.

Tags: , ,

12 Responses to “Wrigley Field at 100”

  1. hcgagel Says:

    Nice piece Roger!

    Helen Gagel



  2. toritto Says:

    Beautifully done Rog. Really.

  3. Paulhaider74 Says:

    Roger, this is wonderful as usual. I joked with Jeanne today that Wrigley Field must have been built on the site of an Indian burial ground as was Beloit College; the fact that Wrigley is on the site of a former seminary leads me to believe that God has ensured the Cubs will never win the World Series. However, I am grateful that the home of the Cubs has allowed me to attend the concerts of a couple of winners, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, with more hits to their credit than the entire Cubs’ offensive “offense” since 2009.

  4. Vy Chazen Says:

    Great stuff as usual, Roger!

  5. chicagoguy12 Says:

    Vy—thank you! I really have (as you know) no clue if anyone is reading this stuff, so saying you were here means a lot. Thanks so much! Roger

  6. David Ramesh Says:

    I grew up believing the song went “and we’ll root root root for the Cub-bies, if they don’t win it’s a shame…” Thought they were singing it wrong when I heard it some time later as an adult. “For the home team? THAT’S not how it goes!”

    • chicagoguy12 Says:

      David–Great to see you again today. Thanks so much for lunch and the GREAT find of a Thai place. Am looking forward to next time!

  7. Helene Wineberg Says:

    Spectacular as always! makes me think of the Organic Theater’s ‘Bleacher Bums”‘ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlcUwzs_YQw
    Check it out.Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz, what a hoot!

    • chicagoguy12 Says:

      Helene–“Bleacher Bums” is the best of the best! Thank you. I once sat in front of Mantegna at a revival of Bleacher Bums and it was hard to not keep turning around–the guy was so cool. And Franz is too!

  8. Paulhaider74 Says:

    Roger, do you have any interest in attending Billy Joel’s concert with me on Friday night of next week at Wrigley Field? I still don’t have a ticket for the concert, but I plan to get one after work on Friday from the Cubs box office on Addison. July 18th in Wrigley will feature a better performance on the field with more hits than usual, as the Piano Man is a one-man wrecking crew at 65 years old in stark comparison with the young and underachieving Cubs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: