Showing posts with label Chicago Cubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Cubs. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kj's Baseball Collection: Wrigley Field 100 Years Brick and Ivy

I probably wouldn't have got this ball if I had gone into the store with Mik and Dad, but better they got too many than nothing.  It seems I have a bunch of Wrigley ones with the brick wall and ivy design.  They are all slightly different and having one for the 100th Year of Wrigley is cool to go with the others, I guess.  I just like the official ball better.

Kj's Baseball Collection: Wrigley Field 100 Years April 23, 2014

The official MLB ball with the Wrigley Field 100 Years logo is the one I wanted to get when we went to the 100th Birthday Game.  It is even cooler that they had the ones for the game, though, as they are only using this style today while the logo without the date is being used at the games at Wrigley all season.  Of course, buying it is not as cool as getting one from the game, but better than nothing and actually I like it better than the other souvenir one Dad and Mik also choose for me (I was holding our spot in line to get in the park while they souvenir shopped before the game).

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Wrigley Field 1914-2014

To commemorate going to the 100th Birthday Game at Wrigley Field, Mik got a Wrigley Field 1914-2014 bat for his collection.  It has a ballpark view similar to the Wrigley Field bat he got on the ballpark trip, but it also has the 100 year logo and says Wrigley Field 1914-2014.

Accessibility Review: Wrigley Field Section 208 and Green Lot

For the Wrigley Field 100th Birthday game, I got us tickets in Section 208.  I ended up buying the tickets as part of a six game pack that was on sale before single game tickets to ensure we got tickets to the Dbacks game on April 23rd.  At the time we tried to buy parking, but they said it was not on sale until single game tickets.  Dad called back then and they still did not have parking or at least not accessible parking on sale and they took his number to call him back when it did go on sale.  We ended up with the last available accessible parking a few weeks later

The parking we got was the green lot, which is a few blocks from the park, but still very convenient.  Not anywhere near as close and nice as the parking right by the park entrance we got on the ballpark trip, but still nice to know you have a spot before heading over there, especially for such a major game.  However, the green lot is just dirt.  There are no actually spaces, but they didn't say anything about Dad leaving a huge area between the truck and the car they said for him to park back up right next to.  Rather disappointing parking situation after knowing they have good lots, but there is hope for the parking lot in the future because it is also clearly marked as being under construction.

Section 208 has much less hope, though. Mainly we didn't like the section because you cannot see the scoreboard, which is our favorite part of Wrigley. Also, the seats are not raised up more than the normal step between rows, so Mik couldn't see anything once people started standing up for the pregame ceremony.  This issue is made more annoying by the fact they have a bunch of TV screens there and they were just showing ads.  At least at Nats park for Opening Day when we couldn't see the scoreboard the TV screens there showed the pregame stuff even though the view of it was not actually obstructed.

Next time I will pay more attention when getting wheelchair seats at Wrigley and pay the extra for those ones up another level and behind home plate as while they were the most expensive on the ballpark trip they are totally worth it for an enjoyable game experience.

We will give them some credit for having cup holders for all spots in this area, which is good because while the rest of the 200 sections have cup holders I think there are still some regular sections closer to the field that don't have cup holders..  Also, the ushers are good at paying attention and bringing out the chairs for the companions.

Happy 100th Birthday, Wrigley Field!

Since last fall we had been planning to go to a game at Wrigley Field during the 100th Anniversary season.  Mik choose that we go when the Dbacks were in town. We had settled on the Wednesday game of the series since Dad always has Wednesdays off and thus would not have to take as much time off to go.  I did not even realize until looking about when tickets go on sale back in February that we had decided on the actual 100th anniversary date.

We left for the ballpark around 9 a.m. thinking it would be best to get there before it was crowded.  On the way Mik was a little hesitant about us ending up there too early, but in the end we were there by 9:30 a.m. and only a few people from the front of one of the lines in.  By the time we got in the ballpark and were walking up the ramps to our seats we saw the line wrapped around through the parking lot, so it was totally worth getting there early.  Plus, Dad and Mik got the souvenir shopping done at the Cubs store across the street to avoid the small crowded store inside the park.

We also got to check out the Wrigley Field ballpark cake that was on display by the Ernie Banks statue, which was also dressed specially in a Federals jersey.

Once in the ballpark we got our favorite food in the whole MLB - the Northside Twist Pretzel.

We also enjoyed eating the free cupcakes we got on the way into the ballpark.

The weather was not so enjoyable, as it was in the low 40s.  Waiting to get in the park was not bad, as it was in the sun, but once we got to our seats it was cold.  We told Mik he just had to make it to the first pitch as his feet were already cold.

The pregame stuff was kind of interesting with some of the past players (football and baseball) going out on the field and a 1914 ball being used for the ceremonial first pitch.  The coolest thing, though, was seeing Bud Selig.  No, not seeing him down there on the field.  After the pregame ceremony, he walked right by us on his way up to the executive suites.   That made up for us not being able to see the flyover from our seats.

We left after the first pitch as promised, although I have to admit Mik did say he would stay as long as I wanted.  Really, though, he already knew I was also could and I was not going to go back on my promise that we could leave after the first pitch because it cannot be good for him to have his feet so cold when he cannot move around much to stay warm.

We ended up watching the game from the condo.  It was sad to not be there for the Happy Birthday in the fifth and the seventh inning stretch being led from the field, but we would not have noticed the balloon release from our seats.  Seriously, if not for the Bud Selig encounter, I would have totally regretted the seat selection as you also cannot see the scoreboard (the best part of Wrigley!) from the wheelchair row at the top of 208.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Other Baseball Sightseeing: Jack Brickhouse Statue in Front of Tribune Tower, Chicago

This Jack Brickhouse statue is located outside of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Jack Brickhouse was a WGN-TV play by play announcer for the Chicago Cubs from 1948 to 1981. He also called the White Sox games before 1968 when the team stopped being on WGN until more recent times. He also called some World Series games for NBC in 1950, 1954, and 1959 (White Sox were in this one). He was the one that said Hey Hey, which is now on the foul poles at Wrigley Field.

The statue has a bust of Jack Brickhouse. The front of the pedestal it is on has some images of ballparks he broadcasted from including Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. The other two stadiums on it are Chicago Stadium, where the Bulls used to play, and Soldier Field, where the Bears play, to symbolize he also called the basketball and football games during his career.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wrigley Field: San Diego Padres 1 @ Chicago Cubs 0

Last night I went to my second Cubs game at Wrigley Field this season. I now realize I never did post about going back in April when the Nats were in town and it was my first night game at Wrigley. Anyways, this was another night game.

I sat in section 226, which is on the first base side. This was different for me in that I have always sat on the third base side before except when we sat right up behind home plate on the road trip last year. I was only one row (22) from the top of the section and it kind of stunk that I could not see the scoreboard (my favorite feature of Wrigley), but I cannot complain because someone gave me the ticket and I could still see all the baseball action. There was also one of the poles in the way between the pitcher and home plate, but it was not a real issue and that is just one of the quarks of Wrigley being an old ballpark.

The game itself was not exactly exciting, as it was low scoring and there was not many hits or even fly balls to the outfield. However, I like games like that when it is close and it is more of a pitching duel. Although, there were quite a few walks and a couple errors. The end of the game was pretty exciting with the Cubs final out being with one man on and the guy at bat hitting a long ball that looked like it would make it out of the park, but was caught in the ivy. I would have liked to see the Cubs win, but it was still a lot of fun to see another game at Wrigley.

I also like that I got a photo of the Harry Caray statue at its current location, as after the game I read they are moving it so it is closer to being outside the bleacher section during the next homestand. They are putting another guy (I cannot remember who right now and am too lazy to look it up, although I am pretty sure it is Billy something) where Harry is right now. Anyways, I am kind of sad I forgot to go to the front of the stadium and take a photo of the macaroni statue (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ad), but I did already photograph the one they have at Navy Pier.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Game 26: Chicago Cubs 6 @ Washington Nationals 5

Tonight was the third game in three days, which is the third time it has happened on the trip even though it was originally planned to only happen twice. We left the campground around 11am after getting there around 8:30am and setting up camp. We parked the car at the end of the Green line and took the Metro into D.C. to go to the National Museum of American History before heading to the game. That did not really kill much time as it was too crowded to enjoy and I am spoiled from experiencing the D.C. museums mostly in the off season in the middle of the week. Thus we still got to the game about an hour before the gates opened, but that gave us time to hit the gift shop before the park opened.

Once the park opened we waited another hour for the part of the park where our seats were to open up. Mik was surprisingly really into this game from the start and it only got better. For one someone gave him a ball during batting practice, which is his third of the trip. Then not long after we got to our seats the lady that manages the Diamond Club, Marj Hopkins, came to tell us she had passes for us and reserved us a table there for the game. She had seen the stickers on the car while we were driving to the Metro earlier in the day and asked us where we were sitting for the game. She said she worked at the park and would come and see us at the game, but I never imagined it would lead to such an awesome experience, which of course meant even more to me being a Nats fan, although both Mik and Dad enjoyed it as well.

The Diamond Club seats included an all you can eat buffet until the end of the 5th inning and drinks. It was amazing and way better than the normal ballpark food. More on it later in a Mik’s Food Scrapbook post, but for now I will say my favorite was the salads that included a variety of tomatoes and Mik loved the cookies and pot pie.

The buffet part and drinks were cool and probably Mik’s favorite, but the seats themselves were totally awesome. We had a table located behind home plate. It was a perfect place to see the whole game, scoreboard, and the President's Race (Lincoln won by the way). It was also great for scoring the game because I could have the scorebook on the table rather than balancing it on my lap. Even Mik enjoyed watching some of the game between innings on his PSP baseball game, which believe me has not happened much on this trip except the first game when we saw the Diamondbacks.

You would think the awesome seat upgrades to the Diamond Club would have been the end to our surprises for the day, but it was not. We were also presented with two Nationals backpacks. Both had a t-shirt and a beach towel in them. One had a ball signed by Christian Guzman and the other had a bat signed by Austin Kearns.

The game itself was also an exciting one with a lot of hitting by both teams. The Nats had the lead first with two runs in the first and two more in the second. The Cubs began to come back with two runs in the third. They then took the lead with three runs in the 6th and padded their lead with another run in the 8th. The Nats had several chance to come back included several bases loaded situations, but they only managed to score one more run in the 8th and ended up losing 5 to 6. It was sad to see the Nats lose, but at the same time it is not that sad because I am still partially a Cubs fan and Dad and Mik were both rooting for the Cubs. At least the Nats put effort into it and did not make it an easy win for the Cubs.

Overall today was an awesome experience at Nationals Park. It was certainly an experience I never expected. I definitely did not expect it to happen on this trip and never expected to get the opportunity to sit where we did, although I have seen the Diamond Club on the park tour before. It is not the same to see it on the tour, as to actually get to experience the game from it. Obviously experiencing the game from here is way better. Getting the bat and ball signed by two great Nats players was also a wonderful surprise.

Any Nats game makes the game one of my favorites on the trip even though they lost, but the experience we had made it near the top of the list in experiences on this trip for all of us. It not the same as seeing Hank Aaron or the Greg Maddux number retirement, but those are historical things everyone at the game experienced. This, however, was an unique experience that made the game extra special just for us and that makes it up there on the same level of highlights of the trip.

Thanks Marj for a fun, unique, and very memorable experience at Nationals Park!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Chicago Cubs

None of the team shops at Wrigley Field carried any stickers, but one of the shops tipped us off to ushers having them in their pockets to give out. Dad ended up getting two of them and he put both on the window. Since we do not have a Reds one despite trying all three times we were in the Cincinnati area, it makes up for missing one. Plus having two Cubs ones is better than going to get another White Sox one, which Dad did try to get at Walgreens when we were in Chicago for the Cubs game, but he could not get there because of some movie premiere blocking the street.

Accessibility Review: Wrigley Field

Being one of the oldest ballparks Wrigley has an excuse for not being the most accessible, but it does not lean on that and in fact is better than some of the parks built in this century. First off they are the only ballpark that requires you to pick up the handicap tickets in person. Supposedly you have to show an id to pick them up, but they did not really care because it was pretty obvious with Mik rolling up in his wheelchair.

Parking was way expensive as we ended up with the $40 parking ticket, which we purchased in advance, instead of the $25 one we thought we were getting when Dad got off the phone ordering the tickets back in February. It turned out worth having the $40 spot, though, because it was on the same block as the park and very close to the main gate. This was helpful when it was raining before the game and we had to go through the rain to get to the park. It was also helpful after the game because it started raining again not long after we started driving.

Getting around the park was not too bad even with all the crowds. The gift shop was not even too bad because they closely control how many people they let in at a time, so while the aisles are not that wide at least there are not too many people getting in the way like we have experienced at several other ballparks. The only time the crowds were kind of annoying was at the end of the game when we were going down to ramp.

Speaking of the ramp it is actually an easy way to get up and down from the seats other than the crowds at the end of the game. The upper level here is not really all that high in comparison to modern ballpark’s upper levels, so the ramps are not as many back and forths. They also do not seem as steep as some of the other ballparks, although at some parts they are steeper than other ballparks. They also have an elevator for going up and down and I am pretty sure they really do control that for use only by handicapped because we could not even find it besides getting a vague direction. Then again we really did not look for it because we decided to take the ramps. It probably is not hard to find, but it certainly does not have an obvious sign to it, which is actually a good thing because that is when you get the people that do not need it causing problems.

Our seats were located in the upper level behind home plate and right below the press boxes. Mik declared them great seats as soon as we got there and I told them they sure as heck better be since we paid $56 a piece for them, which is the most expensive tickets of the whole trip. They did turn out to be the best seats we have had on the trip so far. The view was unobstructed except for the backstop net, which annoyed me a little because it was nearly impossible to photograph the batter or pitcher due to the net. Other than that, though, the view was great, especially of the scoreboard. The scoreboard might not be a fancy jumbotron, but it is totally worth getting a good view of, especially if there happen to be other games going on, which there were not until around when the game ended. The other good thing about our seats was that they are located under an overhang, so we stayed dry while it rained before the game without having to leave our seats.

Overall we were actually surprised at how accessible Wrigley Field is. There really is not anything to complain about accessibility wise, as there were even cup holders in front of the seats. They even have an family style accessible restroom right behind the section, which is extremely helpful because the regular bathrooms for the upper level are located just down a steep ramp and become quite crowded and rather impossibly to maneuver through.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Wrigley Field

There were to two different Wrigley Field balls to choose from. One had the Marquee sign on it saying Welcome to the Friendly Confines and a view of the field, but I know I already have one with the marquee sign on it even though I know it is not the exact same since it has the brick ivy look and not the field view. I ended choosing one with a brick design as the entire background. It has a big Cubs logo on one side. One another side it says Wrigley Field. All over it has little logos including the Cubs logo, be aware of foul ball signs, and the marquee sign.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field was one of the few places Mik was hoping to not get just a logo bat because he already has the best Cubs logo blue one in his collection. It seemed like there was not anything better until we spotted one in the case upside down that was blue on top and natural on the bottom. It looked like it might be a player one, but we also thought it could be a Wrigley Field one. It turned out to be a Wrigley Field one and Mik got it. It has a picture of Wrigley Field in an oval on the blue part. It also has a Cubs logo in the corner of the photo. Above the image it says Wrigley Field.