Friday, August 6, 2010

A Visit to the Friendly Confines!

We finally got our Internet line repaired with the cable company yesterday, so as our busy schedule permits, we'll fill you in on new stuff as well as the recent past...

Today, for example, nephew Jeff, his wife Sandy, and friend Carolyn joined Melinda and me for a trip into town to see the Chicago Cubs take on the Cincinnati Reds in person. I think it has been at least a couple decades since I've been to Wrigley Field, and living so close in St Charles, it was about time to make the trip. Jeff and Sandy go pretty frequently (a couple times a year), so used them as "old hands" to assist in finding parking and favorite beer sources in the Park. We actually found inside parking in a private garage a few blocks away - nice to have a second income while the owner was off to work! The picture at left is of the iconic entrance to Wrigley from the intersection of Clark and Addison.

It was a great day for baseball - temps in the low 80sF, with plenty of blue sky and puffy clouds. We first found our seats - upper deck, row 1, even with outfielder Kosuke Fukodome. Great seats with shade the entire game. Being in the front row we had no cup holders though were tempted to use the top of the metal sign in front of us (not allowed). Ariving a good 90 minutes early and not particularly interested in watching the Reds stretch and hit batting practice, we went in search of food and drink, since the local pubs we passed on the way in were quite packed. We found the upper patio suitable, with a distant hazy view of downtown Chicago, the Willis Tower (formerly Sears) at center, Hancock building at left.

While the ballpark was sparsely attended as we explored, by about game time it was nearly full and the attendance announced later indicated a near sellout. There was a breeze blowing in, so likely not many home runs, but enough to see the Cub favorites who have had their numbers retired - their flags and numbers hanging off the home run poles down the baselines. Shown here are Greg Maddox, Ryne Sandberg and Billie Williams. Down the 3rd base line were the flags for Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins and Ernie Banks, stars of the past few decades.

The giant scoreboard still towers over the "bleacher bums" in the outfield - where Jeff and Sandy usually try to sit. It was interesting to note that the Cubs game was the only day game scheduled - the rest of the Major league schedule were night games.

While we had a great time there, the "friendly confines" were a little too friendly to Cincinnati, who won the game 3 to 0, two runs being driven in on a homer to left field - thrown back onto the field, of course, by the Cub's fanatics. The Cubs were sluggish on offence, getting base runners, but leaving them stranded. We still love them, though and will cheer down the stretch for them!

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