Opening weekend fun! Cubs not fun.

We wait forever, it seems. And then the magical day finally arrives. Baseball is back!

It’s opening day …

Wife of Admin and Admin venture to the ballpark, as usual. We see a lot of old friends including Margaret, back in town from her home in Massachusetts …

… our favorite scorecard vendor just inside Gate K, Bob, quite harassed on opening day!

… and the shaggy-headed beer vendor we’ve known since the 1970’s …

Ahhh! Life as it should be.

Here’s a guy who emphasizes the bright side of things …

Okay, so it was 1907 and 1908. So what? There had only been five World Series. The Cubs were in three of them and won two. They were a flippin’ dynasty! If you want to talk percentages, much better than the Yankees, who at the time were known as the Highlanders and who stunk out loud!

Never mind.

Bill Murray was there. Before he threw out a first pitch, he ran the bases! And he’s older than Admin by about three weeks! (Look it up.)

And he sang the 7th inning stretch … after 6 1/2 innings of rest …

It was cold, but does anyone remember an Opening Day that wasn’t freezing?

We had great seats — first row of the upper deck just to the third base side of the press box. We had a great view of the new “Budweiser Patio” above the basket in the right field “well.”

Our verdict? Not horrible, like the Toyota sign. The Cubs seemed to have made an effort to mute the illumination somewhat, and design the messaging with a green background so it doesn’t glare at you and draw your eyes away from the game, like many of the huge, blindingly bright scoreboards we’ve seen at other ballparks.

By now you’ve heard about the awful ending of Opening Day. But did we give up on the Cubs? Of course not! We went back to the second game of the year for more, and this time we brought almost the whole family to join in on the fun.

Daughter of Admin, Also Daughter of Admin, Foreign Correspondent, SiLoA (Son-in-Law of Admin), Friend of Daughter of Admin, PLUS three Grandchildren of Admin came to town from Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Bloomington, IN to visit their favorite place on earth — Wrigley Field! Son of Admin and Wife of Son of Admin couldn’t make it. They were busy preparing treats for us for after the game! How nice is that??!! And Friend of Foreign Correspondent was back in Philadelphia. We missed them, but kept them updated via texts!

And so on a bright but chilly Saturday morning we left the apartment and strolled east on Addison toward the ballpark …

Photo by SiLoA

As reported in an earlier blog (click here to read all about it), the Cubs have been busy touching up the paint, cleaning the stucco and policing the grounds to make the old yard sparkle and gleam for its thousands of fans who come to town from around the world to see … this??

Once again the Cubs attempt to hide the greatest sports arena on the planet, so all those visitors who spent a ton of dough to come to Chicago and visit one of the only true baseball landmarks left, don’t really see it at all! Instead they see a building that resembles a bad page (is that redundant?). Would the government hang big photo banners of the President and his family on the front of the White House?

We rail about this obscenity every year. This year is worse, I think, because the banners aren’t even printed well. They look flat; without contrast. Bland. Blah. Boring. Bogus.

But since this was our only chance, we took a picture of the whole group in front of the main gate anyway. At least the Marquee shines brightly, and the crew looks beautiul, all Cubbed up and ready for baseball …

There was no way we would be able to get 10 seats together, so we bought random 500s for $21 each (plus tax) just to get into the game. We proceeded in through Gate K, bought a pile of scorecards from our friend Bob, and headed up the ramp. Some of us took spots at our favorite SRO ramp …

… while the kids found an awesome, unobstructed view from the landing in front of the elevator …

… until they got shooed away by an usher (not Margaret, who was actually taking tickets at Gate K! She met almost the whole family!).

But we had a blast!

(Setting up the shot …)

Photo by SiLoA

How can you not at Wrigley Field? There was a bit of everything, including hot dogs …

… and rally caps when the situation on the field called for them …

You can tell by the expression on this young Cub fan’s face that the rally caps didn’t work. Ah well. Wait ’til — when? Poor kids. I hope they see a Cubs World Championship before they get as old as Admin. By the end of the game the seats were emptying out, except for a few stalwarts who will never leave a game early …

Photo by SiLoA

But much fun was had by all. So much that Foreign Correspondent momentarily suppressed her abhorrence of large mascots, clowns, and actors who come off the stage to engage the audience, to help Grandson of Admin say hello to the big Cubby Bear that strolls the perimeter of the ballpark getting his (her?) picture taken for tips …

And then it was on to Son of Admin’s for a fabulous dinner that made us all forget just how bad the Cubs looked in their first two games of 2012.

6 Responses to “Opening weekend fun! Cubs not fun.”

  1. SiLoA says:

    Best ever! What a great day for the race!

  2. Son of Admin says:

    Bummed I missed it. Great shots!

  3. Roy on the Rooftop says:

    New era, new management, new philosophy, same results, not once but twice in a row. How is Sveum different from Quade? How many blown saves will he allow Marmol this year? If it’s going to be a new era can’t they find a new way to lose or do we have to suffer through another year of base running mistakes, horrible w/ RISP, and Soriano and Castro swinging at bouncing balls and never knowing what to expect in the field. Message to Cubs and Theo just lose it don’t blow it.

  4. admin says:

    Thanks for the comments folks! It’s gonna be a long year. Can’t wait ’til they’re back in town!

  5. Friend of Foreign Correspondent says:

    Great stuff! Sorry I wasn’t there. I hope Jasper enjoyed his first Wrigley Field experience.

  6. Jeanne says:

    Fun times! Good read… as always.