Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Day at Wrigley

I have been a Cubs fan for 30 years now. In that time, until last Friday, I had only been to Wrigley Field once. Someday, I may tell that story as well because I still have a souvenir or two from that game. I'm going to go off on a tangent here but I bring it back around, I promise.

Long time readers of this blog know that I am big on amateur wrestling. My two sons have been involved in the sport for the past five years. During this past season my older son let it be known he wanted to take it to the next level and go to a summer camp devoted to the sport. After some research, we decided to send him to what we thought would be the best option, the 28-day J Robinson Intensive Camp in Minnesota. This camp is no joke. While it would have been more cost efficient to put him on a plane, we decided to make a road trip out of it and invited my dad, too.

We left early Thursday morning with a plan to stop in Indiana, just outside the Illinois border, in a town called Merrillville. Awesomely enough we found a Wal-mart that had clearance Cubs shirts and shorts for just $5. They weren't the type of clothes I'd have paid full price for, but you can't really beat $5.

The next morning, we drove into Chicago for the 3:05 PM Cubs-Nationals game. Yes, we drove from Northern Virginia to Chicago and saw a Nationals game. (I'm still hoping to take in a Cubs-Nats game this weekend when the Cubs come here.)

After parking we wandered around outside the stadium for a little bit doing the touristy thing.

Best I could get of the Cubs and Nats flags waving to see the team names

"Sweet Swinging Billy Williams"

Ron Santo

My son , Mr. Cub and me
This photo is angled so he already looks taller than me, but by the time his camp ends, he probably will be! These are our cheesy $5 Cubs shirts, too.

Ed Mayer threw out the first pitch to Justin Grimm

Best I could do again trying to get the retired number flags all facing the same direction. The left photo is of the left field flags, the right is right field.

Pat Hughes above the 720 on the sign

JD behind a monitor, Len in the blue shirt, Coom-dog above Radio

The view from our scalped ticket seats

Selfie from those seats

View from our "new" seats after moving a couple innings later

My attempt at next year's Factory Team Set Wrigley card

Cubs Win, 7-2! Got the W flag hoisted!

And of course I picked up a couple of souvenirs as well.

A program for a buck outside the stadium. Different than the one from the inside. I may make a post out of this in a little while.

The official program for the month of June. This ran $4.50 but included the scorecard below and a pencil.

The scorecard for this series against the Nationals features a nice colorized black and white photo of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks.

The Friday game I went to was a tote bag giveaway day. These are your standard reusable grocery bag type bags and came with a plastic liner for the bottom. I'm a frugal person but I'm not usually a dumpster diver. However, when we were leaving the game, we saw several left behind and I snagged them. There weren't any beer or food stains that I could see. I think we ended up with two or three extras.

And speaking of dumpster diving, I saw this underneath a seat in my aisle as I was leaving and salvaged it as well. I rinsed out what was left of somebody's ice cream in the bathroom next to a guy who was rinsing out the nacho cheese from his full sized batting helmet. If it was the regular Cubs logo, I probably would have left it. But as you can see, this one had the 100 Year Wrigley logo.

After the game, we drove into Wisconsin and stayed the night before finishing the trip in Minnesota on Saturday morning. We hung out at the University of Minnesota (where the camp is) for a couple of hours, said our good byes and my dad and I drove back to Wisconsin for the night. Sunday was a long drive back all the way to Virginia.

We're making this same trip again in a couple of weeks to pick my son back up and plan to catch a White Sox-Twins game at Target Field (Friday), another Cubs game (Saturday) and the Football Hall of Fame (Sunday) all on the way back. Should be fun!


  1. Great photos. What a beautiful place!

  2. I brought my 3 month old son to his first game at Wrigley that day. Gonna write to Ed Mayer for an auto TTM to commemorate the occasion.