Dreaming of Wrigley
By Lisa R. Neilson
I’ve never been a Fantasy Baseball participant but I have plenty of fantasies about baseball.
These include me: stepping up to the plate at the bottom of the ninth, popping a 95 mph fastball over Citi Field’s center field wall producing an exhilarating walk-off home run; playing second base with my dream team infielders Joey Votto, Derek Jeter and David Wright (I’ve always played third base, but I’ll give this one up to rub elbows with three of the best looking ballplayers in the Major League); and sitting smack behind home plate in Citi Field (you know, the seats that are always empty these days) watching my boys score a win after nine outstanding innings of play. I know what you’re thinking: what a dreamer, right? Right.
But one of the more realistic baseball fantasies on my list is watching a game at historical Wrigley Field in Chicago on a sunny afternoon like today. It just so happens my team is there now. It looks like the game’s about to start—come along with me, won’t you?
Wrigley Field is certainly filled with nostalgia. There’s the ivy covered brick outfield wall that can swallow hard hit balls like it’s the Bermuda Triangle and the hand-turned scoreboard above the center field bleachers; there’s the rooftop seats across Waveland Avenue and the red art deco style marquee that greets all fans as they enter; and of course, there’s the 5,687 consecutive day games streak before the first night game was held in 1988. What’s not to love about this ballpark, where the ghosts of Kiki Cuyler, Ron Santo and Harry Caray still linger?
Now I’ve never been to Wrigley, but what I’ve seen on TV and read about in the history books is truly alluring. You won’t find any jumbotron at Wrigley Field nor fancy amenities like Chase Field’s swimming pool or the twin 450 gallon saltwater aquariums on both sides of the backstop behind the Marlins home plate. The Wrigley scoreboard can’t even accommodate all 30 Major League teams.
But at Wrigley, it’s baseball at its best: the players, the fans, and the game. And probably an iced cold beer, too.
This may be the simplest of baseball fantasies but it tops my list.
After all, a girl can dream, can’t she?