Saturday, August 11, 2012

80 Years Old at the Old Ball Game

My dad turned 80 yesterday. To celebrate the occasion, we checked off an item on his bucket list with a trip to Wrigley Field to see the Reds play the Cubs. A perfect matchup.
We drove through rain on the way, and even came upon a little mishap on the side of the road. Thankfully, it appeared that everyone was okay, and there were clear skies ahead.

The Skyway Bridge leading into Chicago.

Of course, I took a picture going over the bridge.

And one of the Chicago skyline.

We passed the home of the White Sox, but that was not our designated ballpark.

We drove along Lakeshore Drive, past Navy Pier.

Sailboats in the harbor.

The Windy City lived up to its name, and there were great big waves on Lake Michigan.

Following some excellent directions from our friend and die-hard Cubs fan, Jimmy, it was an easy drive to a great parking spot just a couple of blocks from the ballpark.
My brother Ted, Jim, and my dad.

And here we are! Blue skies and a stiff wind to greet us.

Ted and Dad.

Ted even remembered the tickets!

The view from our seats.

Looking across the outfield.

The Friendly Confines, which, in Jimmy's words, are usually very friendly to the visiting team. :)

The grounds crew watering the clay.

Chalking the batter's box.

They put down the frame, then tap all around it. When they lift it up, it's all done. Pretty cool.

A shot of the bleachers, and some of the rooftop seats.

Rooftop seats are available on the buildings surrounding Wrigley. Businesses around the stadium license with the Cubs to sell tickets to view games. Ted will be attending a game on Monday, and his seats are on one of the rooftops. We will have so see what he thinks of it. Looks like fun to me.

The starting pitcher for the Reds was Homer Bailey. Do you think his parents named him Homer hoping he would be a baseball player? Here he is warming up before the game.

According to the radio announcers after the game, it was one of the windiest games they remember in Wrigley. You can see how the flags were blowing.

The ones above the scoreboard, too. Unfortunatly, the W flag was not to fly for the Cubs today.

The visiting Cincinnati Reds pulled out the victory in what was an exciting game, with lots of hits, several pitching changes, one home run into the wind, and even a few errors.

Birds on a wire.

New pitcher for the Cubs.

"For it's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ball game!" A Wrigley Field tradition during the seventh inning stretch. Unfortunately, from our seats, the PA announcer was not understandable, so we don't know who was leading the song. I also found myself looking around for the jumbotron to see replays. There is no jumbotron in the Friendly Confines.

New pitcher for the Reds.

Our little group in our seats.

Outside the ballpark on our way out. That's Ron Santo behind us.

Ted was staying in Chicago for business, so he left us at the parking lot and headed out to try to find a cab.

We thought he would surely attract some attention on the street with his suitcase and golf clubs. Everyone needs golf clubs for a business meeting, right?

Heading out of the city.

Stopping on the toll road.

Back home again...

with the sunset in the rear view.

It was a great day, and a perfect way to celebrate with my dad.
Happy 80th Birthday, Dad! I love you!

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