Tagged: Wrigley Field

St. Louis

What a busy summer it’s been!  This past weekend was barbeque city with my extended family’s summer get together at my parents and my son’s second birthday party on Sunday. For the record, my son got lots of Cardinal stuff from his Opa.  

On the weekend of July 18th and 19th, my brother and I took my father to St. Louis as a retirement gift.  We got to see a game at the new Busch Stadium on Saturday the 18th.  I had a great time in St. Louis with my father and brother.  New Busch Stadium is a great stadium, but very expensive.  I thought I was in Chicago for most of my time there.  Nine dollars for a beer.  Really?  Eight dollars for four chicken strips?  It seemed like most people in the upper deck with us were eating at Hardees because the food prices were more manageable.  It was like a fast food place in the mall that charges a little more because of the rent.  O.K., a little more expensive than that.

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The iconic St. Louis Arch commands ones attention.  I had a sudden urge for a Big Mac.
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The ballpark is in sight.
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A shot of the park from our parking garage.
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Busch Stadium still had All-Star fever.
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My dad found the legend, Jack Buck.  Notice the “L” T-shirt.  Surprisingly, we did not see any anti-Cub T-shirts in or around the stadium.  We didn’t see anyone selling any vulgar T-shirts.  Maybe we really weren’t in Chicago.
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My brother next to Stan the Man.
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All-Star fever.
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I wore my Zambrano jersey and did not get heckled at all.  People were very polite in St. Louis.
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One of the many statues outside the stadium.
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The only blue in a sea of red.
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The best thing about new Busch Stadium is the skyline view of the Arch behind the outfield.  Very nice.
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I like how they cut the Arch onto the field.  I wonder how long that took?
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Big Mac land.  Pujold knocked out one of the letters this year.
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Here comes Fredbird.  I bought my son a Build a Bear Fredbird as a souvenir.  My father bought out the Cardinals clubhouse for my son Joshua.  I may be fighting a losing battle.
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As you may or may not know, the Bowling Hall of Fame is in St. Louis.  It used to be across the street from the old ballpark, but they moved it to make way for a Nike All-Star store.  I’m not sure where they moved it to.  I had to take this picture because ever since we saw Popeye throw out a first pitch at Wrigley Field, my father has said that stuff like that is only for idiot Cub fans.  Real fans, like in St. Louis, are at the games to follow baseball.  My father had nothing to say about this seen before the game.  I feel sorry for the bowling pin, however.  It’s not an easy act following up President Obama in throwing out a first pitch at Busch Stadium.
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Neil Rackers of the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals also threw out a first pitch.  It’s hard to believe it’s been over 20 years since the Cardinals called St. Louis home.
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It’s good to see Mark DeRosa get another chance with a contender.
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Even as a Cub fan, I have to admit that Albert Pujols’s swing is a thing of beauty.
After seeing a few of the newer parks in Major League Baseball this summer, I really have to admit that something has to be done with Wrigley Field.  It might be time for the wrecking ball, or at least leave the field and ivy and completely gut the interior.  The facilities at Wrigley really are antiquated.  I’m sure the players wouldn’t mind to have a real clubhouse and amenities.

The Tour

Yesterday, my wife and I went on a tour of Wrigley Field.  It was a fun thing to do for our anniversary.  I feel very lucky that my wife loves sports so much; she felt that going on a tour of a baseball stadium was a great way to celebrate our anniversary.

I highly recommend going on one of these tours.  I thought I knew a lot about Wrigley Field, but on the tour I still learned some new things.  For example, did you know that home plate and the pitchers mound are not lined up with centerfield and the scoreboard?  I’ve been to Wrigley so many times and, honestly, I never noticed.
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Here’s a picture from the press box.  You can clearly see that home plate does not line up with centerfield.  This was done when they shifted the stadium to add more seats.  What does it mean?  I don’t know, but maybe the Cubs haven’t won for so long because their stadium is misaligned.  Let’s stop blaming the goat.  Maybe after five or six Old Styles, it starts to straighten out!
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The baskets were put in during the 1970 season to prevent Bleacher Bums from falling on the field since then liked to walk along the wall to go from right field and left field.  As you can imagine, many of them had more than a few beverages.
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Here I am in the visitor’s clubhouse.  I had no idea how small the visitor’s clubhouse is, and they expanded it for the 1990 All-Star Game.  This is the same clubhouse all visiting teams to Wrigley Field have used since the park opened in 1914.  It’s amazing to think of all the players who sat in this room, such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, etc.
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Here I am in the Cub’s clubhouse.  While it is nicer than the visitor’s clubhouse, it still is small.  The clubhouse was all set up for the Cubs return Friday for inter league action agaisnt the Twins.
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Here’s Fukudome’s locker.
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Where it all begins.
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Tina in the Clubhouse.
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I got a different perspective from the Cubs dugout.  Dusty Baker was right.  The Cubs dugout is sunk down very low so that it is hard to see all the action on the field.
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Tina enjoying the view from the dugout.
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Lou Piniella’s perspective.
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Some more dugout pictures.
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The Cubs couple.
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I’m smashing what’s left of the Gatorade machine.
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I’ve seen enough of Heilman.  Let’s get Guzman up.
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The rain stopped momentarily for us to go on the field for a picture.
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Curtain calls.
We got to see as much as we did because the Cubs are in Cincinnati.  Yesterday, the Cubs lost a game they probably should have lost.  Dempster had a rough first inning, spotting the Reds a 3-0 lead.  However, that was all the Reds would get through nine innings.  The Cubs would chip away and eventually tie the game in the eighth inning.  However, the Reds eventually won in the eleventh.  Boy, Fontenot had a really rough inning.  I still can’t say it enough, the loss of Ramirez is killing the Cubs.  Fontenot is not a natural third baseman and more and more he is being exposed out there at third.
So, Zambrano is done after his contract is up in 2012?  After Big Z got his 100th win this week, he was asked if he had a shot at 300 like Randy Johnson.  He said no, saying that he did not feel like playing after his curren
t contract is up.  We’ll see. With Carlos, you never know.