Hey, maybe I’ll actually finish writing about this trip, unlike Toronto where I wrote up to the part where I bombed some drafts to make no money and mysteriously stopped.
This adventure’s most defining feature certainly was just how different from Toronto it was. Toronto was a straight shot across miles of farmland with no sightseeing, staying in a cheap hostel, and hanging out in a crummy wasteland of a warehouse all weekend. KC was me living someone else’s life for four days, someone who was decidedly wealthier than I, and spared few expenses, as you’ll see soon enough.
My bodyguards and I (Cato and Grimmace) left Thursday morning at 6AM, a day before just about anyone else who was driving there. In five or so hours of typical driving with music, short naps ended by rumble strips, and comedians, we were in Chicago, more specifically Wrigleyville.
Wrigleyville is a very inspirational place. Few places on earth can you just FEEL the hope and faith in something despite overwhelming evidence that just tries to absolutely crush any optimism. Maybe Comerica Park feels that way too, but I just don’t notice it because it’s normal for me.
For a paltry $20(maybe it was $25; everything is super optimistic in Wrigleyville), we parked in an asian lady’s back alley. Wrigley is sorta dumpy looking from the outside, and I briefly agreed with the people who baldly say the place is a dump and needs to be torn down. Still, the atmosphere from all the fans(there were tons of Brewers fans too, making for a strange vibe at times) distracted me from the outside of the park.
Once they scanned (I enjoy having a memento, such as a ticket, that is whole afterward, but something about tearing tickets is so satisfying) our $56 general admission bleacher seats, we ascended a set of ramps that conveyed the impression of an underworks, like a sewer or a dungeon. Once up top however, I could instantly see the critics were dead wrong about this ballpark.
Wrigley field is an intimate setting to play baseball in. I felt like I was in the outfield even from ten rows up in the bleachers (we could have sat lower, but the seats we chose were excellent). The pervasive digital ad spewers that ring the upper deck in most new facilities were absent. Aside from the people moving, Wrigley did not ‘move’ like other parks. It did not need bells, whistles, or any modern amenities to remain at the front of your mind. It had gravitas, seriousness from decades of baseball and history. I had never thought a manual scoreboard, sometimes an icon for the ballpark, was very cool, but I’ve changed my mind. Imagine this image minus the border, and perhaps you’ll get an inkling of how I felt that afternoon, staring at history.
The game itself was full of action; a homerun landed mere feet from us early in the game. I got to yell at some NL players, including my starting 2B in fantasy baseball Ricky Weeks. Thanks to your throwing error and getting thrown out stretching a single twice in one game, you allowed me to scream and yell at a ballgame like I’ve never been inspired to before. We left in the 7th inning stretch, knowing we had miles to pound out before resting, and the fact that I had left my sunscreen in the car, and only had a marginal amount on thanks to a friendly fan who had some to spare. Cato had none, and no hat. I had eaten a Wrigleydog or whatever they call it, and heard Cato’s impression of Will Farrell doing Harry Caray on SNL enough. We departed Chicago, and I quickly passed out in the car, content that this trip, no matter where it went from here, was already a success.
More to come later, including trying to sleep on a double with Cato, the home stretch into KC, and going 0-1 in a GPT grinder!