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Spending the weekend with the Twins at Wrigley

June 16, 2009
David Griswold

An experience like no other.

As I walked into the historic Wrigley Field early Friday afternoon, I was told it was the Holy Grail of baseball stadiums, and after witnessing it first-hand, it's a tough statement to disagree with.

My opinion may not be as prevalent as others as I had never witnessed professional outdoor baseball prior to Wrigley, but it was a completely different atmosphere than anything I had ever experienced.

Article Photos

Submitted Photo
A photo of Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill. during Saturday’s game between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago Cubs.

Growing up with the Metrodome in my backyard, I have plenty of memories of indoor baseball, but there is something about the smell of freshly cut grass, the view of the outfield fence draped in Boston ivy and the blue skies meshing with the city buildings surrounding the stadium, that gives baseball a whole new dimension.

Once I took my seat, almost directly above the Cubs dugout, I couldn't help but soak in all the history and all the excitement that took place in that very stadium - unfortunately for North-siders, not much successful history as the Cubs were never able to capture a World Series at Wrigley.

The great pitchers duel between Chicago's Jim "Hippo" Vaughn and Cincinatti's Fred Toney, where both pitchers threw no-hitters through nine innings of work before Jim Thorpe drove in the only run in the 10th inning to give Cincinatti the victory.

And Babe Ruth's historic "Called Shot" in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series when the Babe went yard on the next pitch from Cubs pitcher Charlie Root.

There was also Pete Rose's 191st career hit, which tied him with Ty Cobb for the most hits in baseball history, back in 1985.

The second oldest field in history - behind only Boston's Fenway Park (1912) - also played host to a few positive Cubs moments in Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout performance and was the stomping grounds for Sammy Sosa when he faced off against Mark McGuire for the home run title in 1998.

The field has seen so much and I was hoping to be part of just another chapter in Wrigley history.

As the game commenced, dressed head-to-toe in Twins apparel, I never felt out of place because of the abundance of Minnesota fans that surrounded me. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan and even a Mike Fedders, all had jersey's in their support, making Wrigley feel even a little more like home, but it was the ovation for Mauer when he stepped to the plate in the opening inning that sent chills down my spine. It was a road game with a hometown atmosphere.

The game itself didn't disappoint as the Twins went on to win 7-4, including another round-tripper for Mauer and Kubel, with also a humorous play from Cubs right fielder when he threw a ball into the stands with only two outs. A day to remember.

On the second day, the excitement was still surrounding the stadium, as I hear it does every gameday, and again the Twins failed to disappoint, winning 2-0.

A light rain in the late morning had me jokingly saying, 'if only we had a dome,' but the game went on with a slight delay.

The weekend couldn't have gone much better for the Twins faithful, but what it did for me was build even more excitement for next spring when Minnesota fans will have the opportunity to witness outdoor baseball games in the heart of Minneapolis.

The weekend proved to me that baseball has become more than just a game but an experience. People can enjoy an afternoon or evening of baseball without having the slightest interest in the teams, as long as the setting is right.

Hopefully, come next spring, the Twins new home at Target Field becomes a fine setting for baseball, but I will stand by the statement that Wrigley Field is an experience like no other.



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