Family and the Friendly Confines

My first experience at Wrigley Field involved, my family, a couple of hot dogs, and nosebleed seats.  It was wonderful.  Walking up Addison Street,  I stopped right in front of the blaring marquise that welcomed me to the “Friendly Confines” friendly for Cub’s fans that is.

My family and I made five clicks as we went through the turnstiles.  I lead the pack and stared at my ticket stub to find our seats.  Finally, I found our ramp and emerged from the concourse to be met with the beautiful Wrigley Field.

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The wind whipped my hair into my eyes as I stood facing the outfield—a good day for home run hitters I thought as I noticed the flags on the blowing straight out towards Lake Michigan.   My eyes settled on the jewel of the outfield the scoreboard—the Bible of baseball for the day.  The clock counted down the minutes until I would witness my first pitch. All twenty-eight teams were paired up to play each other divided by league.  Some of the pairs listed scores others said “nite game.”  But down at the bottom of that giant green monster listed the only thing I cared about—Mets versus Cubs.

My eyes traveled down first to the bleachers, where all the “bums” were.  In my mind, I could envision the beer and insults flying towards the right fielder for the Mets.  Farther down my eyes wandered to the ivy-covered wall where patches of brick were beginning to show through because it was September.  I saw the place where the grass meets the infield, the lip, the cause of so many bad hops and errors.  Then my eyes followed around each of the bases, lingering on first for a moment, wishing I could be down on that field.  The aroma of hot dogs met my nose as vendors floated by.  I was twelve and I was in love.

I had begged my dad to arrive two hours before the game started—to get autographs.  We had left early but traffic was bad and arrived only before the game started.  I was crushed.  Some kids wish to go to Disney World to meet Mickey Mouse, especially kids from the Midwest.  Baseball kids though wish to meet their favorite players.  I was the baseball kid.  

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Here I was 20 some odd years later.  Zach and I adamant that we get to the park two hours before game time, this time to try to get Anthony Rizzo bobbleheads.  Our five clicks have turned into eight, each of us with now bringing our respective other halves (mine was missing this day).  Even though the Cubs still haven’t won a World Series, although this year may actually be THE year, I haven’t lost that excitement I feel when I walk through those turnstiles.  Every single time I enter the Friendly Confines, I become that little girl who loved to talk about the Cubs with her dad, and teach her toddler brother to says the names of her favorite players.  I don’t think will matter if another 60 years pass, every time I walk into Wrigley Field, I will always be transported back to my childhood.     

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