Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Road Trip Chicago: Dodgers vs Cubs

Dad once tweeted us sons that everyone should goto Wrigley Field once in their life.  I was lucky to live in Chicago for a few years and every opportunity that I could take, I would make it to at least one of the Dodger games in that series.  This time, Mrs. Cora had a conference in Chicago, so I decided to tag along and catch a couple of games at Wrigley.  I worked the night shift, got 2 hours of sleep, and boarded the 9 am flight from LAX to ORD.  It landed around 4 pm and then we raced to the hotel to change and take the red line to the stadium.  

Front facade

The first game was an overcast night game.  From the outside, Wrigley looked the same.  People milling about, drinking at the local watering holes, and taking pictures around the stadium.  

Billy "Dee" Williams?  Smooth like a colt 45
We had to get a Chicago hot dog, with the fluorescent green relish and tomato.  Granted this is far from the best dining that Chicago offers (try Fontera Grill or North Pond to break the bank), but we had to try the famous dog.

We got there early enough to watch the warm ups.  The bleachers and the new scoreboard were impressive.  And with such an intimate stadium, they weren't overwhelming.  I just feel bad for the rooftop patrons across the street. 
Yaz doing the twist
The game itself as great with a controversial official review call to end the game.  Our usher was also so nice.  I love how they are so attentive and pleasant.  

I love LA!
We went back to the hotel, slept and then grabbed a quick breakfast to make it back to the stadium for the day game.  I wanted to get there early to see some player warmups too.  I'm sure many of you saw the hijinks that Joc Pederson and fellow rookies pulled off going to the Starbucks in full uniform across the street from Wrigley.  Well as we were walking in, they passed right by us, carrying full trays of coffee for the team.  Pretty funny.
Mural off the red line stop

Kid Kershaw warming up

Local boy Mike Bolsinger signing autographs

Thanks Mike!

The weather was slightly humid, with some scatter showers.  But it did not damper the spirits, beer, or the game.  We sat near the Dodger bullpen, so I was able to get real close to the players warming up.  It was pretty cool.  One thing bad about Dodger stadium is that the retaining wall around the field level really limits player access unless you have some serious coinage.
Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

The new scoreboards were nice

AJ warming up

Our starting pitcher

We won this game as well and were sent home happy.  We then walked around Chicago and again marveled how wonderful the city is: nice people and clean, but the weather sucks.  I had not been back in about 7 years so there were some changes such as the Under Armour Store on Michigan Ave which used to be an Eddie Bauer.  The store has this ridiculous enormous round TV screen that faces down.  It was broadcasting the NBA draft that day.  We also ate at some seriously awesome restaurants throughout the week.
Under Armour store on Michigan Ave

Dodger Blue representing in the UA store

Overall, it was a great Chicago Dodger trip.  I know that the Dodgers are doing those Dodger Destination travel packages (so far in St. Louis and New York), and they should definitely consider doing one for Chicago.  Heck, if they need help planning it, I have lots of ideas!  So, yes, Dad was correct.  Wrigley and Chicago really are great.  Plus, two wins didn't hurt.  Go Blue!


Fred's Brim said...

Thanks for the report, AC!

I am a Chicago dog hater. I assume that, back in the day, they added all of that stuff to the dog to mask the taste of a terrible weiner

Orel said...

Awesome stuff, AC! Especially impressive how you sacrifice sleep for baseball and hot dogs.

Dusty Baker said...

How was that Goose Island Wheat Beer?

Alex Cora said...

@dusty You know I'm not much of a beer drinker but this one was actually pretty good.