Wrigley Field: Cubs vs Pirates

Last Wednesday I went to Wrigley Field with my friends Ryan and Sarah. It was an afternoon game, which was fitting. Wrigley Field was the last MLB ballpark to install lights (in 1988), so afternoon baseball used to be the norm. Ryan noticed that the Cubs fly flags in honor of their visitors near the marquee, which is a cool tribute.

Wrigley Field before a Wednesday afternoon game.

We arrived at the ballpark early, circled it, then found our seats. The grounds crew prepared the field; players stretched and conversed on the field.

A Wrigley Field panorama.

I was shocked at how comfortable the viewing experience was. Our seats were in the shade, and a pleasant breeze persisted throughout the game. It was definitely the most comfortable day game I have ever attended, potentially the most comfortable overall. I had been expecting more heat.

The view from our seats during the exchange of line ups.

Travis ‘Don’t Call Me Kerry’ Wood started for the Cubs. When Starlin Castro hit a home run in the 1st inning he had a lead to work with. Things looked good until the 3rd, when the Pirates scored 2 runs to take the lead. The go-ahead run scored on a balk.

Travis Wood on the mound.

Wrigley Field is wonderful. I enjoyed seeing the rooftop seats, the big scoreboard, the ivy, the bleachers, and many other things. The peacefulness of the park impressed me. The dominant music is organ-based, the PA system is not overly loud, and replays do not exist. I was struck by how small the park is, and how the rooftop seats and surrounding buildings make it look larger.

The ivy, the bleachers, the fans.

One story from Wrigley Field legend and lore involves Babe Ruth calling the location of a home run in the 1932 World Series. According to legend Ruth pointed to center field, then promptly smashed the next pitch from Charlie Root into the center field bleachers. Footage of the event clearly indicates Ruth gestured, though to me it appears he is threatening Root not to quick pitch him again. Regardless, it is a cool story.

I saw Alfonso Soriano pointing into the stands in Ruthian fashion. But he was pointing behind the plate.

Alfonso Soriano points.

He did not hit the ball there, but he does have a cool leg kick at the plate.

Soriano at the dish.

Andrew McCutchen has developed in to a legitimate star. It’s interesting to see the Pirates playing winning baseball.

Andrew McCutchen in center field.

Watching the guy in the scoreboard was entertaining.

The Wrigley Field scoreboard.

In the 8th the Pirates scored 5 runs. Cubs pitcher Shawn Camp gave up 7 straight hits to begin the inning (the first time I’ve seen that). The Cubs mounted a rally in the bottom of the 9th, but it was too late. They lost by a final score of 8-4. Ryan alerted me to the fact that a flag is flown after the game to alert fans riding the train of the outcome (of more importance before the advent of the smart phone). An L for a loss and a W for a win.

The L flag flies.

I really enjoyed Wrigley Field. It’s a great place to watch baseball (my opinion might have been different if my view had been obstructed by a support column). It seems right to see the Cubs play afternoon baseball and lose, there’s a long tradition involved.

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