Thanks for the Memories...
There are more than a couple hundred players enshrined at Cooperstown and they are paid homage by something like 350,000 annual visitors to baseball’s Hall of Fame. At Wrigley Field a mere three Cubs have been immortalized in statuary and only half a dozen’s numbers flutter atop the foul poles. This Mecca draws in excess of three million pilgrims per season. Maybe Ron Santo was on to something when he listed the corner of Clark & Addison in Chicago as the address of his personal HOF.
Wednesday night my two sons and I were at the fringe of the mob assembled in the street to witness the unveiling of Santo in bronze, caught in the act of making an off-balance throw to nip a runner in a close play at first. I am no critic of the sculpting arts but I think the rendering of #10 is exquisite. The blue casts to the socks, cap and numerals; the facial likeness, the stitching on the ball about to be thrown – all are vivid. Justice was done to the fans’ memories.
An hour before the ceremony the three of us took a few meandering, strolling laps around the square block of Wrigley. On Waveland we staged a brief reenactment of the ritual game of catch we used to play there while ballhawking during batting practice on trips to Chicago when they were little leaguers. Now Max is 20 and Ben is 17. On Clark we detoured into McDonalds where the clubhouse attendant used to fetch a pair of Big Macs for Sammy Sosa after BP on game days. On Addison we tossed a few coins in the pail of the wheel-chaired beggar who’s been as permanent a fixture on our past visits as the statuary will be on future ones. On Sheffield a ball arced over the bleachers, ricocheted off of some landscaping ironwork and bounced directly to me with a small band of ballhawks in pursuit; a fitting memento of the occasion that I received in the spirit of a child opening a gift.
From our vantage point the remarks of the assembled dignitaries were mostly muffled. I did make out Pat Hughes repeating a laugh line we’d heard more clearly on the car radio as we drove into town that afternoon. He and Santo’s HOF teammates from the fabled ’69 team had keynoted a sold-out luncheon downtown that was broadcast by WGN. More importantly we did manage sightlines to the statue. After it was revealed and roundly approved we went inside and took up seats in the right-center field bleachers. While the Cubs fashioned one of their occasional victories we enjoyed dollar hot dogs and reminisced. Even cheaper was the glowing sunset that rang down upon the day's stage.
We left after eight, me and a couple of the grandsons of the guy I used to listen on the radio with when Santo was routinely making plays like the one immortalized now on the street corner. As we passed by on our way to the redline depot I was able to touch the cleats of someone who autographed mitts and caps for us when he was still able. The cheers boiling over the rim of the stadium just then reported on Carlos Marmol’s progress towards a fanning of the side in the 9th but I imagined them for someone else, some other time.
Oh my! Cards down 2-1 to Reds in the bottom of the 9th -- get a leadoff triple -- and don't score!
Gameday has stopped at the top of the 8th inning. Google tells me it ended up 8-4 Pirates but I can't get further detail. Guess I'll have to wait until the Cubs' website updates...
Phil, thanks for posting. Where do find the schedule? I have a condo in Surprise, yet I drove to Mesa and Tempe looking for a game today! Thanks!
Dear Baseball Gods--
My trip to Chicago has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cubs. In actuality, I am a Red Sox fan.
Well, if Strop had to give up a run...at least he hit Sean Rodriguez to do it.
jaso has a cycle and 5 rbis...pit leads by 4.
have a nice
bowl of pizza soupdeep dish pizza...or a leisurely walk around the notorious south-side (bring money)...shopping at one of the walmart supercenters...waiting in line to waste $20 at willis tower...
seriously, though...it's chicago, a lot to do. have a dog for lunch, a great dinner, and catch some local comedy.
Strange, because he really seemed to have the Pirates number last year.
Bummer for Jake -- I think this is the first time all year his ERA has been over 3.00, and that will be his number for the year.
Jinx remover -- your trip doesn't have to be for a baseball game -- lots of stuff to do here in town.
Guess they could always try to White Sox (and Bears...sob) approach: Never Rebuild! Seems to work pretty well for them.
3rd time this season he's given up 6+ runs to PIT...only team he's given up 6+ runs to this season.
7 runs is the most he's given up since august 6th in colorado...in 2014.
Over 100 pitches, only the 5th.
coghlan out...got his cleats stuck in the wall attempting a play (failed, but looked great doing it). walking off on his own, precautionary/day-to-day looking stuff...hopefully not worse.
also, jake arrieta is literally worse than hitler. 1-5, bottom 5. ...make that 1-6, bottom 5. ...make that 1-7, bottom 5.
Coghlan crashes into wall and comes up limping, looks like left knee or ankle. Leaves game...
Arrieta inspiring no confidence yet again.
from a sun-times article that I won't link to so you don't have to bear the ad-loading that will crush your browser
When he left Boston after nine years as general manager, Epstein said he believed in the philosophy espoused by legendary football coach Bill Walsh: essentially that 10 years is a natural shelf life for a high-stress job.