Aah, Wrigley Field, one of the most hallowed of major-league ballparks. After our extra-inning night in Milwaukee, we attended a day game in the Friendly Confines on August 22, 1997.
And what a day – beautiful, sunny, comfortable, a great view from the front of the upper deck:
What’s not to like? The outfield ivy was in full greenery. The hand-operated scoreboard in center field showed that this was the only day game going on at the moment:
We saw Harry Carey doing his traditional rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch:
Little did we know that we were lucky to be there in 1997, as sadly, Harry would pass away during the off-season, on February 18, 1998. There is now a statue honoring him outside the ballpark:
Oh, yeah, there was a ballgame going on that day. The Cubs were playing the Montreal Expos. Dustin Hermanson was on the mound for the Expos, and pitching for the Cubs that day was the Human Rain Delay, Steve Trachsel. Oddly enough, this game clocked in at a relatively brisk 2:31.
Sammy Sosa hit a two-run homer for the Cubbies in the seventh. Doug Strange hit a solo shot for the Expos in the eighth. [Strange – ha! Another name that could provide ample opportunity for merciless teasing during childhood.] The Cubs would tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, and hold on to win 3-1.
Also playing for the Cubs that day was Doug Glanville, who would later become a Phillie. Doug is shown here waiting on deck with Shawon Dunston:
In actuality, this should have been our second visit to Wrigley, rather than our first. In 1994, we were visiting friends in Chicago and had tickets to see the Cubs play the Phillies on September 10. How perfect! Except a little thing called the players strike, which began August 12, got in the way of my plans. Here we are in front of Wrigley holding our useless tickets, instead of seeing a game:
Oddly, my husband looks happy about this. One of the ticket windows was open, so at least we were able to get our money back that day.
We have been back to Wrigley since, to see three games (out of a four game series) between the Phillies and the Cubs in August 2006. We decided to try out three different seating areas of the ballpark.
For the first game, August 21, we gave the left-field bleachers a try. The bleachers in Wrigley are totally separated from the rest of the seating areas, and there is even a separate entrance:
The view from the bleachers is pretty nice. This photo was taken in the top of the first – it seems that there were a lot of late arriving fans that night:
This game featured home runs by Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley for the Phils, and Jacque Jones for the Cubs. This is also the game when Aaron Rowand broke his ankle after colliding with Chase Utley on a fly ball to shallow center field.
The Phils held on to win 6-5. Jon Lieber got the win, and Arthur Rhodes the save. Rich Hill took the loss for the Cubs.
The next night, August 22, we had seats in the lower level behind home plate. This is probably the only area I wouldn’t want to sit in again – the seats are really tight together, there are those annoying support beams that all old ballparks are blessed (cursed) with, and on a hot, humid night the air under there is very stagnant.
Jamie Moyer was making his first start for the Phillies – here is a shot of his first pitch:
No home runs this night, though Jimmy Rollins did hit a triple. The Phils would win 6-3, with Moyer getting the win and Ryan Madson the save. Ryan O’Malley took the loss for the Cubs.
The next night, August 23, we were again in the upper level to see Brett Myers take the mound for the Phils, and Angel Guzman for the Cubs. Here is a photo of Myers that night. He has a weird habit of not looking towards the plate as he releases the pitch:
Homers were hit by Ryan Howard for the Phils, and Matt Murton for the Cubs. The Phils would win again, this time by a score of 2-1. Myers got the win, and Geoff Geary got the save this night. Three saves, three different pitchers. Bob Howry would end up with the loss.
We would leave Chicago the next day, and thankfully not see Cole Hamels give up nine (!) runs in only two innings of work, though only five were earned. 😉 It would later be revealed that Hamels had cut the index finger on his left (pitching) hand with a Swiss Army knife while trying to cut a plastic zip tie in the days prior to the game, and he was unable to properly grip his change-up.
Note to Cole: stay away from cutting implements! Let Heidi do all the cutting!
Coming up next, Turner Field.
(all photos mine)
I was trying to post this entry last night, but my @#*& browser kept “not responding” and I lost the whole think halfway through its creation. If it happens again today, you’ll hear me screaming all up and down the East Coast. Well, maybe just suburban Philadelphia, but you know what I mean.
So back to what I was writing about last night.
In honor of Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, I’ve come up with a baseball-themed movie quiz. Granted, some of these movies will never be considered Oscar material. Then again, I don’t actually watch the Oscars because, 99% of the time, I’ve never seen any of the movies that are nominated. With two children, ages 10 and 7, the movies I get to see are more along the lines of Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Hotel For Dogs. Not exactly Oscar material.
OK – nine questions, some easy, some not so easy. Let’s see how you do!
1. The Rookie is based on the true story of what former major-league pitcher?
2. Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan, in A League of Their Own, is loosely based on what real-life baseball player?
3. Former Phillies Pat Burrell, Doug Glanville, and Mike Lieberthal make cameo appearances portraying themselves in what movie, which takes place in the Cape Cod Baseball League?
4. In a scene from Fever Pitch, Lindsey (Drew Barrymore) starts naming various Red Sox items found in Ben’s (Jimmy Fallon) apartment. What is the only Yankees item she names?
5. A notably slimmer Barry Bonds makes a cameo appearance striking out against 12-year-old Henry Rowangartner in what movie?
6. In The Sandlot, Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez has a dream featuring what Hall-of-Famer?
7. In Field of Dreams, what is the name of the player that flashes briefly on Fenway Park’s scoreboard?
8. Former major-leaguer Ken Berry, who played 9 seasons for the Chicago White Sox, was a technical adviser for what movie, which also features the White Sox?
9. During the end credits of Bull Durham, a photo of what Yankee great can be seen in Annie Savoy’s baseball shrine?
Check back tomorrow for the answers. In the meantime, if you enjoyed this quiz, check out my music-themed quiz, Take Me Out To The Turntable.