Monday, March 10, 2014

George Will loves to write and he loves baseball. The combination of those passions has resulted in a little gem of a book about Wrigley Field as that grand dame enters her second century of service on Chicago's North Side. He calls the book, "A Nice Little Place On The North Side - Wrigley Field At One Hundred"

I grew up a Red Sox fan, and to me Fenway Park will always be my baseball cathedral of choice. But I went to school in the Chicago area, and I quickly adopted Wrigley Field as my baseball home away form home. It makes sense. Red Sox fans and Cubs fans are like kissing cousins sharing much of the same family history of frustration, curses and cozy little ballparks that make it all worthwhile.

In this book, Will ties together the history of Chicago, the history of baseball, the history of the Cubs and the two-edged sword that Wrigley Field has been for Cubs fans down through the years. It has been a comfortable place to take in a day game, to sip beer and to sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game." It has been too comfortable for the Cubs' owners, according to Will. Since fans come out to see the ball park as much as they do to see the Cubs, there has been little financial incentive to invest in a winning team or farm system.

The book is eye-opening and delightful. Mr. Will is a lover of the Cubs who sees the flaws in his home town team, and chooses to love her despite those flaws. As the ball park on the corner of Addison and Clark enters its second century, the ivy continues to grow and cling to the bricks in center field just as the fans continue to cling to the hope that someday the Cubs will return a World Series Championship banner to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.



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