1060 W Addison Street
Chicago, Il 60613-4397
June 12, 2009: We took the the Red Line to the Addison stop. Finally, we had a nice, sunny, and warm day to watch baseball. Who didn't need long sleeved shirts on that day. We stepped onto the train platform and could see the top of Wrigley. Excited, we ran down the subway steps and took in Wrigley's total grandeur. We had stepped into another country. Red Sox Nation has nothing on Wrigleyville. Yes, Wrigleyville. If you actually look at a map of Chicago, the region is labeled Wrigleyville. It's like a little Cubs town. As if the Cubs puked on the entire neighborhood. There are souvenir stands everywhere. The nearby homes and bars all proudly display Cubs banners, flags, and signs. Even McDonald's has a Cubs theme. The Cubs symbol decorates the doors and inside is filled with team memorabilia. However, the best feature of Wrigleyville was the Taco Bell. The Taco Bell sign is wearing a damn Cubs hat. You cannot get more patriotic than that. Before going inside, we decided to walk around the stadium in order to get Wrigley's complete picture. Along the way, we met the team's unofficial mascot, Billy Cub....who appears to be some crazy man dressed in a bear's costume and attends every game. We probably should've been scared, but no. We embraced him as one of our own. Yes...he is carrying a tip jar and Lisa gave him $3. Therefore, we technically paid to have our picture taken with a looney tune. On his website (billycub.net), he has a petition posted so that he can become the Cubs' official mascot. Of course we signed it. We also submitted our picture to his photo contest. Because we don't live in Chicago, we'll probably win those four tickets to a Cubs game. We also noticed while walking around that fans can rent seats on top of the apartment buildings to watch the game. We thought about how cool it would be to come back and do that, but we had more pressing things to do...like find the front of the stadium, for one. We walked around the entire stadium before finding the main entrance. Once inside, we headed straight to the field (Twins' side). Serena had a goal and that was to paw Justin Morneau. Even if that meant being dragged away by the cops to do so. As we stepped through the tunnel and into the sunshine, we were in total awe. It was beautiful and quaint. It feels half the size of US Cellular. As if you could tuck Wrigley into US Cellular's pocket. Television does not do it justice. The ivy on the walls is a deep green and the atmosphere is alive with anticipation of baseball to come. There is no jumbotron, so Lisa had nothing to fear about being booed. The scoreboard is an old timer, where someone has to change the numbers and stats manually. There is only one small piece of technology beneath the scoreboard that tells the crowd who is pitching, batting, etc. We were completely smitten with the place. We spent the entire batting practice catching some rays with the enemy. And by enemy, we are referring to the thousands of Twins fans that were in attendance at this game. According to one fan, they had to drive 8 hours for this game only because it was a real stadium and the Twins have a dome. On what planet is your team worth driving 8 hours? We can barely stand to be in Cross Bronx traffic to see the Yankees. It is safe to say that the Twins fans outnumbers the Cubs at least 2-1. After batting practice, we bought our souvenirs. Since the Cubs have no mascot (and clearly, no Billy Cub doll available), Lisa bought a beanie bear with the Cubs logo. Since Brownie Maker Deb bought Serena her Cubs hat as a birthday gift, Serena settled for the next best thing: Cubs socks. Who doesn't need a brand new pair of socks? They go perfectly with the Pittsburg Steelers socks a consultant from Pittsburgh gave her just before the Superbowl. From the shop, we headed to our seats to wait for Erin and Matt to arrive. In the shade where our seats were located was FREEZING! It was at least 10-20 degrees cooler in our seats than it was in the sun during batting practice. Once Erin and Matt arrived, we hit up the closest Chicago Dog Stand to partake in the hot dog festivities. Apparently, Wrigley also sells steamed hot dogs at other stands for $4. But for $1 extra, we'll take the grilled dogs any day. Erin ordered onions and mustard. Matt got the works: tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, relish, onions, mustard, and ketchup. As you can see in the picture, Matt's hot dog is so heavily laden that he has to lean over his lap to eat it. The top of his head is by Erin's elbow: Lisa got her hot dog fully loaded as well, but unlike Matt, held some restraint. She also held off on the jalapeno peppers. Serena simply added onions, mustard, and peppers to her dog. The peppers were a bit temperamental and kept jumping ship as she tried to eat the dog, so eventually she just picked them off. The dogs came on a poppy seed bun. Lisa liked the Cubs' dog better than the White Sox because the Cubs offered more toppings. While Serena liked the fact that more toppings were available, she felt the White Sox dog was better because the bun was toasted, not steamed. The poppy seed bun was soggy from being steamed. In the top of the 3rd inning, Joe Mauer hit a 2-run home run, putting the Twins ahead 2-0. Twins fans answered with a chorus of, "Baby Jesus." At first, Lisa and I thought they were chanting, "Derek Jeter." Matt thought they said, "Yankee Defense." Erin was the closest by assuming that chant was: "Thank you, Jesus." Needless to say, we were initially a bit confused. After hearing this chant a hundred more times, we finally figured it out, but then we didn't understand why he was Baby Jesus. He doesn't even look like Jesus! And is Mauer really that good where we should think of him as the Baseball Messiah? He's good, but is he that good? Later that night, we asked a Twins fan having drinks next to us at the Signature Room what the Baby Jesus deal was. He told us that a radio personality referred to Joe Mauer as being "the savior of the Twins," hence the nickname, Baby Jesus. Oh, okay fine. The game didn't get much better for the Cubs, as you can see by the stink eyes we're sporting in this picture. For starters, the man behind us thought Lisa looked like Carla from scrubs (who is of Latin descent and Lisa is Italian). Carla is a bit tanner than Lisa, but in our defense, we've been hanging out in the rain for days and walking pneumonia may have been setting in at this point. Secondly, we were sitting in a section filled with drunk, wretched Twins fans. Maybe someone can help us figure this one out. Are Twins fans known for being *insert desired insult*? We never heard a rumor about this before and certainly did not notice this behavior at the Twins/Yankees game at Yankees Stadium or Twins/A's game at McAfee Coliseum. But the fans at this Cubs game were over the top rude. It was so bad that Serena actually felt compelled to stand up for the Cubs (for the record: Serena is a Yankees fan, not a Cubs fan) and shout at a nearby fan parading up and down the stairs with Chipper Jones-like teeth and screaming, "Let's go Twins!" The things that came out of Serena's mouth cannot be repeated here. Steph's munchkins, Jake, Maddox, and Ashton read this.
During the 7th inning stretch (the game was 5-3 in favor of the Twins at this point), Kenny Chesney was the celebrity guest to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."During the part where we're supposed to sing, "root for the Cubbies," the delightful crowd of Twins fans near us, shouted, "root for the Twins." It's okay to be retarded at your home stadium, but please don't bring it to the away games. Actually, it's never okay to be that retarded, but at least relegate it to your own stadium. Have some courtesy.
The Cubs continued on a downward spiral from here. In the top of the 8th, with men on first and third, Baby Jesus hit a sacrifice fly to Milton Bradley in right field. There was only one out. The runner on third tagged and scored while Milton just looked on. The runner on first tagged and the crowd became irate and began to shout, "Throw the ball!" Well...at least we can say that he listened. Unfortunately, instead of throwing the ball into the infield, Milton turned around and through the ball into the bleachers, allowing the runner to advance to third. Cue the boo birds and foul language. Oh, wait. That was just the Cubs fans. Twins fans clapped and cheered, "Milton Bradley, MVP!" The Cubs ended up losing 7-4. Instead of waiting on the giant line to get onto the train, we walked passed the Addison stop and got on the train ahead of the Cubs crowd. Walking the extra 5 blocks was worth it. Once back at the hotel, Lisa introduced that loser Cubbie Bear to his new family before heading to Dick's Last Resort for dinner. Back at home, the Yankees and Mets were duking it out during the first game of the Subway Series. Lisa's father had choice words to describe Luis Castillo's dropped ball in the bottom of the 9th. Lisa simply replied, "At least we don't have Milton Bradley." This may be the go-to phrase for the rest of the season to push us through the Yankees and Mets nonsense playing.
Joni Mitchell said it best when she wrote, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got until you see Milton Bradley throw a ball into the stands with less than two outs and men in scoring position. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."