God is smiling down on me. I had a couple meetings scheduled in Chicago this week. Now, I’ve been to Chicago many times, but either during the winter months or for too brief a time to play around.
But this time, because of meeting schedules, I had time to catch a game at Wrigley field. To make it even better, it was a day game and it was the Dodgers! There is a saying among Mormons that when things are falling into place it means “you must be paying your tithing.” When I bought aisle 104 (in Wrigley “sections” are actually called “aisles” on the lower level) behind home plate and on the visitor side, that saying crossed my mind.
Obviously, I’m a bit of a nostalgia nerd, especially when it comes to baseball. As I blogged a long time ago about the reason I have the Brooklyn Bridge as the image on my blog, I am a huge Dodger fan, and particularly keen on Dodger history, which had some of it’s best years in Brooklyn. As such, going to a game at Wrigley Field has been a life-long dream.
I went to my first major league game at Candlestick Park just before I turned five years old when my dad was in dental school in San Francisco, and when we came back to Arizona and settled in Show Low that summer, I could only dream about big league baseball games as I listened to Vin Scully call Dodger games on KTAR. Those dreams included seeing games at Dodger Stadium (which was fulfilled the first time in 1981), Yankee Stadium (fulfilled in 2004), Fenway (fulfilled in 2006) and finally Wrigley Field. So it’s been a long time coming.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day for baseball. Sunny, light breeze and about 70 degrees at first pitch, which was at 1:20 – making the experience even more fulfilling since it was a day game. (Wrigley Field was the last of the major league parks to add lights, holding out until 1988). I settled in, bought a hot dog from a vendor walking the aisle, applied the Gulden’s mustard and had the second best ballpark hot dog of my life. (The best was the hot dog I ate at Fenway – I can’t even tell you what made it better).
I took in the imagery, the history and, in part because I was wearing my Brooklyn Dodgers hat, envisioned the Brooklyn Dodgers playing ON THIS VERY FIELD!
Like I said, I’m a nostalgia nerd. (I think I’ve coined a phrase).
I suppose the only thing that could have made the day better was a Dodger win. However, it was a great game, a pitchers duel that the Cubs won 1-0 with back-to-back triples in the bottom of the eighth.
So I’ve hit the big four of the parks I’ve long wanted to see. The only thing left is to visit the monument for Ebbets Field, which was torn down ten years before I was born.