Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures…Wrigley Field, May 2006 and September 2007

WRIGLEY_DREI UNDER SCOREBOARD Here I am, under the famed scoreboard, May 14, 2006. I really do look like your typical ballpark tourist..

As you can see from the line score, on this Friday afternoon the Padres we’re running away with this. I bought seats in the outfield bleachers that day hoping to get that Bleacher Bum experience. Unfortunately, with the Cubs mired in a long losing streak and the weather being the coldest month of May in over 100 years according to the locals, most of the Cub faithful decided to stay away from the Friendly Confines. I can’t say I blame them. As for me, that had to be the coldest weather I ever experienced at a sporting event. 

With the recent renovations to Wrigley Field including the new video boards, some have wondered whether the famed center field scoreboard is still relevant . I don’t see scoreboard going anywhere anytime soon. There’s still plenty of baseball enthusiasts out there who appreciate the history and charm of both Wrigley and it’s traditions. However, it should be noted that even the Cubs aren’t immune to public outcry for up to date features.

That should not deter you from making a trip to Wrigley and it’s surrounding neighborhood, known as Wrigleyville. For you Dodger fans reading this, and there we’re also plenty of them this past week in ChiTown, the surrounding areas between Wrigleyville and Chavez Ravine are like night and day. In many respects, the surrounding areas are a reflection of when each yard was established. Wrigley Field, now in it’s 101st year of existence, is surrounded by an actual neighborhood of housing. Walk around outside Wrigleyville and you get the feeling the Cubs are the residents next door neighbors.

Dodger Stadium, opened for business in 1962, is surrounded by a sea of parking, a huge necessity for and to this day for the city of L.A. Even with the improved and growing public transit options here in L.A., with our beloved city being so spread out, for most, driving to Chavez Ravine is really the only option, particularly for a weeknight game.

WRIGLEY_DREI OUTSIDE RF Here I am, passing through behind right field, late September 2007. As you can see, I am already outside of the yard on Sheffield Avenue as crews are working on the field with the Cubbies on the road. The fact that a you’re not far from the field while out on the street is another reason Wrigley Field has that old-school intimate feel, as if the Cubs really are a part of the neighborhood, even if the neighbors have a love/hate realtionship with their beloved team…, much like the neighbors around Elysian, Echo Park and Solano Canyon.  

WRIGLEY_Sod Yes folks. That right there is actual sod from the field laying along the exterior walls along Sheffield Avenue. Yes folks, I did manage to take a piece home with me back to L.A. ( Wouldn’t you ? )

wpid-wrigley_L.jpg A familiar sight to generations of Cubs fans and to Dodgers fans the last two days, the Blue “L” flag…

Off To South Beach…

After winning the last two at Wrigley to salvage a split in their 4 game series against the much improved Cubs, the Blue kicks off a 3 game weekend series in Miami against the Marlins. I am close to achieving my goal of visiting and watching a game in all 30 MLB Ballparks. For some reason, Marlins Park right now ranks high on my list of parks I want to visit. The fact that the Marlins decided to stay away from the retro theme that many parks post-Camden Yards era used, constructing their digs that is a reflection of the art-deco theme of South Beach tells me that this yard will be quite a refreshing change. I’ve always had this fascination, or perhaps acquired it during my ballpark travels, that a yard should also have a unique characteristic that should be a reflection of both it’s team and city. 

For Your Ballpark Travelers…

Planning on catching the Dodgers on the road this summer ? Or are you planning to visit any other of the 30 MLB yards on your ballpark excursions ? Check us out over at Stadium Journey for not only your MLB travel tips, but for other sports themed travel trips worldwide as well as some of my review of local Southern California venues.

Stadium Journey

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