Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A One, A Two, A Three

Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd. I visited Wrigley Field on Sunday when it was 80 degrees, clear, light breeze in the middle of the afternoon. We lost to the Red Birds 12-9, but it was a lot of fun to be in that historical stadium. The last MLB game I went to was in the Pirate's PNC Park. PNC is likely the nicest park in all of baseball, all the amenities, all chairs have a view of home plate and are angled that way. It is clean, roomy, and crowd friendly moving in and out. Wrigley is NONE of those things. Most of your seats have a blind spot or a pole. There is no jumbotron, there are only three ways in and ONE way out. The bullpen is on the field, the seats are made of wood and the metal sides are rusting, likely because decades ago the friction from the sides of fans rubbed the paint off.

Doesn't sound like Wrigley is cool at all, but it is by far the neatest sports venue I have ever been to. I love that there are no plans to bulldoze it a la Tigers & Yankee Stadiums. The streets are right outside as the used the least ammount of space possible to build the field. Kids were playing catch on the street right outside of left field, hoping a homerun would come out and they may get a new ball. People were sitting on bleachers mounted on the roofs of greystone buildings right across the streets from the outfield. The outfield seats are still general admission. The scoreboard still has kids inside of it updating scores and keeping stats. The flags of the league leaders in the NL fly over the scoreboard so you can see where each team ranks. This is what baseball was about 80-90 years ago and it transplants you back there. I want to go to Fenway and feel the same thing. I hope we can figure out a way to renovate old stadiums instead of bulldozing them and building new. I know I am from Charlotte, which should make me want to bulldoze everything over 30 years old, but I would love to see a old buildings standing 50 years from now.

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