Surprisingly enough Wrigley Field is * not* the oldest active Major League Ball Park. That would be Fenway which I’ve been to a few times and is remarkable for its physical smallness besides (old) Yankee Stadium (a creaky vast minepit) and Shea (a modernist version of the same with long skinny escalators that never failed to kill 1 or 2 people a season).

Fenway opened 2 years before Wrigley (1912 to 1914) and has always been home to the Red Sox, but Wrigley belonged to the Federal League Whales who went belly up the year after it opened becoming host to the Cubs only in 1916, 8 years after their last World series title.

It’s called Wrigley after William Wrigley Jr. who was kind of the Steinbrenner of the Cubs between 1921 and 1932. Yeah, he’s the gum guy and originally gave it away as a bonus for buying his scouring powder (yum) and baking soda. He also was one of the prime developers of Catalina Island in California.

What Wrigley is know for today is the ivy covered brick outfield wall and the frequently asked question is- so what happens if they lose a ball in there? Well, truth is that it’s only about a couple of inches deep so it’s quite unlikely and also it’s a Ground Rule Double just like any quirky hit that touches the field of play before exiting the boundaries of the park.

It is in fact nick-named “The Friendly Confines” though that’s kind of a generic term like Kleenex or Xerox today for any team’s Home Field. The phrase was popularized by Ernie Banks, “Mr. Cub”, who was the Cubs first Black player and also played with the Negro League Monarchs and the Harlem Globetrotters Basketball team.

Most of the other throwback goodness of Wrigley has fallen to modernization. It was the * last* Major League Ball Park to install artificial lighting for night games in 1988 (the Regular Season schedule is still weighted to day games). It was also the last to install a mechanical scoreboard though the old hand operated one is operated in parallel out of tradition and sentiment.

One of the more interesting community traditions is that many of the 3 and 4 story Brownstones in the neighborhood (which is called Wrigleyville) have Bleacher Seats installed on the roof by the owners and because of nostalgia and quaintness they are some of the most sought after. This year they are a sold out bargain averaging about $3000 for all three games as opposed to the same just for Standing Room at the Park.

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Vent Hole

Another balmy, breezy night in Chicago. It’s 61 F with wind from the North at 3 gusting to 7. Chance of rain after the game ends

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First Pitch Ball

Top of the 1st: John Lackey pitching for the Cubs

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We start with a Ground Out

Rajal Divis grounded out to rd baseman

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Swinging. 2

Kipnis struck out. 2 outs

Lindor struck out to end the top of the 1st

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KO. Bottom 1st

Bottom of the 1st: Corey Kluber pitching for Cleveland

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First Pitch Strike

Dexter Fowler lead off double

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A Leadoff Double. Good Start!

Kris Bryant flies out to left field

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Fly. 1

Anthony Rizzo RBI single

Cubs 1 – Cleveland 0

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RBI Single. Cubs 1 – 0.

Ben Zobrist flies out to left center 2 out

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Long Fly. 2

Rizzo steals 2nd

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Steal

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KO. Top 2nd

Willson Contreras struck out to end the 1st inning.

Cubs 1 – Cleveland 0

Carlos Santana lead of home run.

Cubs 1 – Cleveland 1

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Leadoff Solo Shot. Tied at 1. Shit.

Jose Ramirez grounds out

Lonnie Chisenhall singles with 1 out

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Ground Out for 1

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Error. Runner at 1st

Roberto Perez grounded out. 2 outs

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Sacrifice. Runner to 2nd

Tyler Naquin intentionally walked

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Intentional Pass

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Throwing Error. RBI. Indians 2 – 1. Shit again.

Corey Kluber RBI single.. Chisenhall scores; Naquin to 3rd

Cleveland 2 – Cubs 1

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Runners at Corners

Rajal Davis grounds out to end the top of the 2nd

Cleveland 2 – Cubs 1

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Bottom 2nd

Bottom of the 2nd: Corey Kluber pitching for Cleveland

Addison Russell lines out to right.

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Fly Out. 1

Jason Heyward singles on a ground ball

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1 On 1 Out

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Fielder’s Choice

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Nope. Double Play. Top 3rd

Jason Baez grounds into a forced out. Heyward out at 2nd to end the 2nd inning.

Cleveland 2 – Cubs 1

Top of the 3rd: John Lackey pitching for the Cubs

Kipnis lead off double

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Leadoff Standup Double

Lindor RBI single.

Cleveland 3 – Cubs 1

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RBI Single. Indians 3 – 1

Time for a pitching change

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Shit

Santana struck out

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KO finally

Ramirez grounds into a double play to end the top half of the 3rd inning

Cleveland 3 – Cubs 0

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Double Play. Bottom 3rd

Bottom of the 3rd: Corey Kluber pitching for Cleveland

John Lackey struck out.

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Leadoff K.

Fowler grounds out to 1st. 2 out

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Out at 1st. 2

Bryant walked on a full count

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A Walk Finally

Rizzo

Rizzo hit by a pitch. Bryant to 2nd. 2 outs

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HBP. 2 On 2 Out

Zobrist struck out to end the 3rd inning

Cleveland 3 – Cubs 0

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9 Pitch KO. Top 4th

Top of the 4th: John Lackey pitchng for the Cubs

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Fly Out 1.

Chisenhall flied out

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Bunt Out 2.

Perez out on a bunt. 2 outs

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KO. Bottom 4th

Naquin struck to end the top of the 4th

Cleveland 3 – Cubs 1

Bottom of the 4th: Corey Kluber pitching for Cleveland

Contreras struck out

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Ugh. KO

Russell flies out to center. 2 out

Heyward singles om a ground ball. 2 outs

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Fly Out to Center. 2

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Shouldn’t have been Single

Baez struck out to end the 4th inning

Cleveland 4 – Cubs 1

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KO. Top 5th

Top of the 5th: John Lackey pitching for the Cubs

Kluber struck out

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K #5. 1 Done

Davis grounds out. 2 out

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2 Out

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Bottom 5th

Kipnis grounds out to end the top of the 5th inning

Bottom of the 5th: Corey Kluber pitching for Cleveland

Chris Coghlan, hitting for Lackey, flies out to left field

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Center Fly. 1 Done.

Fowler flies out to right. 2 out

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Fly Right 2.

Bryant grounds out to end the 5th innig

Cleveland 3 – Cubs 1

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Top 6th

So much for home field.

Top of the 6th: Mike Montgomery pitching for the Cubs, in for Lackey

Lindor lead off walk

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Shit. Leadoff Walk

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Error. 2 On

Santana singles on a line drive. Lindor to 2nd

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Force at 2nd. Corners

Ramirez singles. Santana out at 2nd. Lindor to 3rd

Chisenhall sac fly to center. Lindor scores

Cleveland 4 – Cubs 1

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Sacrifice Fly. Indians 4 – 1

Perez walked. 2 on; 2 out

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Another Walk. 2 On 2 Out. New Arm

Cubs pitching change: Justin Grimm in for Montgomery

Justin Gruyer, hitting for Naquin, struck out to end the top of the 6th inning

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KO. Bottom 6th

Bottom of the 6th: Corey Kluber pitching for Cleveland

Well at least they beat the dodgers

Rizzo lead off double

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Leadoff Double Off the Ivy

Zobrist flies out to left. Rizzo holds at 2nd

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Fly. No Advance

Contreras struck out. 2 out

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Ugh. KO? #6

Russell grounds out to end the th inning

Cleveland 4 – Cubs 1

Top of the 7th: Justin Grimm pitching for the Cubs

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Top 7th

Coco Crisp, hitting for Kluber, lead of double

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Double. Arg.

Crisp to 3rd on a wild pitch

Davis hit by a pitch

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Wild Pitch. Runner Advances

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HBP. Corners

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Next Arm

Cubs pitching change: Travis Wood in for Grimm

Kipnis 3 run home run

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 1

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3 RBI HR. Indians 7 – 1

Lindor grounds out

Santana singles. Lindor to 2nd

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And another Single

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Oh, there was a Ground Out before that

Ugh.

Ramirez struck out

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And a KO for 2

Chisenhall struck out to end the top of the 7th

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 1

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KO. Bottom 7th

Bottom of the 7th: Andrew Miller pitching for Cleveland

Heyward grounds out

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2nd to 1st. Out

Baez out on a line drive to end the 7th inning

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 1

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Pop Out

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Top 8th

Baez popped out. 2 out

Alamora, hitting for Wood, lined out to end the 7th inning

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 1

Top of the 8th: Hector Rondon pitching for the Cubs

Perez struck out

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Bottom 8th

Guyer grounds out. 2 out

Napooli flies out to center to end the top of the 8th inning

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 1

Bottom of the 8th: Andrew Miller pitching for Cleveland

Fowler lead off home run

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 2

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Leadoff Solo Shot. Indians 7 – 2

Bryant grounds out

Rizzo strikes out. 2 out

Zobrist struck out to end the 8th inning.

Cleveand 7 – Cubs 2

Top of the 9th: Hector Rondon pitching for the Cubs

Davis lines out

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Fly to Left. 1 Down

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1 Out 1 On

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1 Out 2 On

Kipnis line drive single

Lindor line drive single, Kipnis to 2nd

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KO. 2 Down

Michael Martinez, hitting for Miller, strikes out

Ramirez flies out to center to retire the side

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Bottom 9th

Bottom of the 9th: Dan Otero pitching for Cleveland

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1 Down

Contreras grounds out

Russell single with 1 out

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Single

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2 Down

Heyward flied out. Russell hods at 2nd 2 out

Baez grounds out to end the game

Cleveland 7 – Cubs 2

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Indians 7 – 2 Final.

Rally cap completely ineffective.