Wrigley Field survivor's guide
This weekend, the Indians will make their first trip to the hallowed shrine that is Wrigley Field since 1998. And while this may very well be the only hallowed shrine where it is reasonable to be inebriated at noon and where the concourse possesses a smell ordinarily reserved for dorm hall bathrooms, it is a hallowed shrine, nonetheless.
Wrigley does not possess the amenities, the sight lines and the comfort of many modern parks, and the scalpers outside can and do command all contents of your wallet and claim to one of your kidneys in exchange for a seat with an obstructed view. Yet Wrigley remains my favorite atmosphere in all of baseball.
Recognizing that some of you might be visiting Wrigley for the first time this weekend, I figured I’d share a few guidelines for the unitiated:
1. Avoid falling concrete.
2. Don’t pull a Bartman.
3. Should, for some reason, you be asked to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” don’t say this.
4. If a ball gets lost in the ivy-covered wall, it’s a ground-rule double. If it hits a seagull, then gets lost in the ivy-covered wall, play stops and the entire ballpark is evacuated.
5. The white “W” flag that flies atop the scoreboard following a Cubs victory signifies “Win,” not “Wedge.”
6. I don’t remember the name, but there’s a nondescript little Mexican place just outside the exit to the Addison “L” stop, en route to Wrigley. They sell burritos the size of your head. But if you eat one, don’t make any sudden movements, and keep the Rolaids handy.
7. My first visit to Wrigley came in the summer of 1993, when I was 12. I was a huge Ryne Sandberg fan, so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered the official Ryne Sandberg chocolate bar in a gift shop across the street from the ballpark. It might have been the best candy bar I’ve ever had.
So, what’s the advice? Well, it’s 2009 now. If you happen upon a Ryne Sandberg chocolate bar, for the love of God, don’t eat it.
8. If you can’t get into the game, you can do what my friend Ed is doing Saturday and pay $180 to sit a block away on a Waveland Avenue rooftop, sucking down all the hot dogs and flat Budweiser you can stomach.
9. Or you can just take the sane route and watch it at Murphy’s Bleachers.
Whether you’re in attendance, on a roof, at the bar or stuck in Cleveland or points elsewhere, enjoy the games this weekend.
Due to a scheduling conflict, I will not be covering the weekend series in Chicago. Instead, I’ll be in the Happiest Place on Earth, the Land of Milk and Honey, the Navel of the Universe — Athens, Ohio, which is home, of course, to Ohio University and, in a newer development, my buddy Brad’s wedding. The blog will be back up and running next week, assuming I make it out alive.