Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Night at Wrigley

You get there and of course you need a hotdog and a beer. The best stand has the grilled onions and there is a line but you wait. The Budweiser is cold and tastes like ballpark beer...slightly metallic. A bag of peanuts and now you are on your way. The Cubs have not been doing so well so your thirteen dollar tickets are no longer relevant. There are many places to sit and no need to go into the nosebleed sections. So you plop down along the third base line and watch the Cubs warm up.

The rain has blown off and the sky has cleared and it is blue toward the lake. The honor guard is lining up for the National Anthem and the players have their hats off as some guy belts out the Star Spangled Banner. And he really lets it all fly on the final verse and everyone goes nuts and then you sit down and someone shouts: Play BALL. So you finish your hotdog and drink your beer and start cracking peanuts as the Cubs look like they might actually beat the Brewers.

There are some Brewers fans around you who are mostly quiet in the sea of Cub jerseys. And you pick out the lifers the ones who live in the city around the stadium. And the guys who sell the hotdogs and beers and are probably pushing sixty. Everyone in the park is an amazing testament to the national pastime to the old ladies in their Cub hats and the solitary fan scoring quietly by himself to the young girls in the tight Cub tank tops.

And the rain comes and they stop the game and you watch them roll out the tarp. An amazing orchestrated ballet really. And you sit there with everyone for an hour and watch the rain and lightning but you don't care. You are sitting in the middle of the greatest city in the world in one of the last great old ball parks. And the rain does stop and the players hit the field. Seventh Inning stretch comes and you sing with  thousands of other people Take Me Out to The Ball Park.

And then it is over and you are on the train headed back out. The Cub Fans are rowdy and then asleep and everyone is winding down. The rain has come back as you leave the train and walk toward your car. And you think, does deliver.
The Pitcher...sometimes a dream is all you have

Books by William Hazelgrove