“You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball.”
-- Chicagoan Barack ObamaCHICAGO – Clearly they were not ready for the digital revolution when they opened Wrigley Field in 1914. As a result all my fancy wireless gadgets and air cards, etc., just didn’t hold up. Nevertheless, I liken the trip to Wrigley kind of like a visit to see the Amish in Lancaster County, Pa. …
They know this is 2009, right? They are aware of inventions like electricity, automobiles and computers, correct?
So if they do isn’t it kind of silly to act like it’s 1914 when it’s really 2009? I don’t know… maybe?
Nevertheless, I’m a big fan of neighborhood ballparks in large cities with little to no parking. Call me a romantic in that sense, and as such, it’s always a treat to go to Chicago, Boston and the Bronx for ballgames. It’s not exactly convenient to work in those places, but they are fun places to be. Hell, the places stink of history. Add Dodger Stadium into the mix, too, since a lot of unique baseball moments occurred there in a comparable short time.
Speaking of which, I contend that there is better history at a place like Dodger Stadium than Wrigley Field. For one, the Dodgers have actually won the World Series as occupants in their home park. Secondly, they have a hosted a bunch of World Series games in their park since 1945.
And that’s pretty much the thing isn’t it? The Cubs are the sports’ biggest losers and the complacency and apathy of much of their fans doesn’t enhance the “lovable” tag.
Imagine that… the Cubs have not been in the World Series since 1945. Really, 1945! The Phillies have been there five times in that span and they have lost more regular-season ballgames than any franchise ever. Hell, the Marlins have won it twice since they started in 1993.
Here’s the other thing – the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908 (they went back-to-back), they hadn’t even broken ground on Wrigley Field yet. Better yet, Frank Chance’s Cubs that won it at the West Side Park featured an outfielder named Jimmy Sheckard, who came from Lancaster, Pa. However, don’t think that it will take another guy from Lancaster to help the Cubs win because they already had Bruce Sutter and he had to go to the Cardinals to win it.
So forget about calling it Wrigleyville, more like “Loserville.” Certainly that moniker was enhanced this week when the Phillies were in town.
Though rightly or wrongly, Philadelphia fans have garnered the reputation of soccer hooligans in the U.S. Yeah, there are a few bad apples out there, but mostly the fans in Philly just want to ballplayers to work as hard as they do. They want them to be accountable and they want them to win.
After all, with victory comes the parades and parties. That’s the proper way to do it.
But in Chicago, at Wrigley Field, it doesn’t work that way. They party before, during and after. The mood is light, and airy like the breeze that flows through the ballpark from Lake Michigan just beyond. They enjoy losing. They really do. In fact, they like to say it was the owner of the famous (and also overrated) Billy Goat Tavern who put the hex on the Cubs in 1945 when the owners of Wrigley wouldn’t allow him to take his goat into the park.
Yeah, that says it all about the Cubs – a guy wanted to take his pet goat to the game.
Speaking of Billy Goats, curses and this silly baseball team and ballpark, look how Cubs fans treat their own:
Stay classy, Cubs fans.