8 Another great day at Wrigley Field…

I was in Chicago for the weekend and with the Cards in town, I made sure to catch a Cub game. I’ve been to Wrigley probably 30 times over the past two decades and I never get tired of it. The first time I made the rookie mistake of sitting in the stands near third base. Someone told me, ‘try the bleachers’…I did…I never went back. Now, I know the bleachers at Wrigley aren’t always kid friendly, but they are fun and full of character and characters.

There was a buzz in the bleachers the other day and not just because the Cardinals were in town. The Cubs are contending in the NL Central. Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, even Jason Kendall are tearing it up. They went out and locked down Carlos Zambrano for 5-years 90-mil…and they are doing this without (Cub fans cover your ears) Wood and Prior. Even Lou Piniella is keeping it together, winning will calm anyone down. Side note, ran into ‘The Coach”, Mike Ditka Monday night. We were talking about coaching and Piniella. Ditka looked great and said that he’s learned to “let things go” more often. Back to Piniella, his in-your-face style only has to work for one great season. The one Cubs fans have been waiting for since….forever.

Back to the park. I’ve been to most of the current parks and many of the old ones. I have to say that Wrigley and Fenway Park in Boston are the ones I truly enjoy. I like what they’ve done lately, building retro-parks, but there’s no substitute for real charm…old charm. Wrigley has the party atmosphere. Fenway has the intensity of the fans. I even like the seats on the Green Monster. I was nervous that it would be some skybox or something, but to be up there must be pretty nice.

So that brings us to tonight’s assignment kids. Wrigley or Fenway…make your case. If you’ve been to both, compare. If you’ve not been to either, tell me your favorite park and why. But most importantly, if you really have not visited either of these legendary parks…just go. Grab a friend, or your brother or your wife or whomever. You will not regret it.



75 Responses

  1. I have only been to two baseball stadiums. SafeCo in Seattle I have been to several times and love it. The other is Dodger Stadium in LA of course. The difference is huge, personally I lean toward the newer crisper SafeCo.

    If I had a chance I would go to Wrigley over Fenway. I spent six years of my childhood in Peoira, IL.


  2. DP. Thanks for keeping in touch with the fans, it is great to still hear your unique insight.

    My wife and I have made a tradition of visting a new park every year since we have been married. This year it is Fenway next Friday. Personally being a National League guy, I would have to say PNC Park is by far the best park of the new breed. It has great views of the field, the city skyline, Fatheads burgers and of course IC Light on tap.

    Thanks Dan and if you’re not doing anything next Friday I have an extra ticket.

    West Chester, PA

  3. i have been to only safeco and pacbell er i mean att park or whatever its called. i think i would prefer to go to fenway.

    listened to the last show and it lives forever in my ipod. thanks!!

    B in antwerp

  4. Hey Dan,

    I’m glad to hear that you wasted your time in the larger market home of the enemy! : )

    I have been to both parks and truely do enjoy both places, BUT nothing will ever beat Fenway. The first time that I went was when I was 7 years old. To this day I still do not forget the smell of the sausage&peppers and hoagies that you can’t get your mouth around from the meat stacked so high. The sure design of Fenway on how you are right on top of the field is so unique. Now at 28, the pubs and bars that surround the park that have that old Irish feel. I am a die hard Brewer fan due to living in burbs of Milwaukee, but I will always be a Red Sox fan at heart. Fenway is where the love of baseball sparked my interest. Wrigley has charm and the history that makes it appealing (i.e. ivy, in the middle of urban housing).

    The major difference that seperates the two is very simple….the fans. Cubs fans are not fans of baseball, just bandwagon beer drinking loud mouths…..so loud that is why its called the “windy city” by the sure amount of people talking smack. Red Sox fans do have these type of people as well, but the majority of them are a lot like Cardinal fans. They are very historical about the game and are informed about the history of the team and its players (with or w/o being on the Red Sox).

    So there you go……………Fenway Forever.

    Its a shame, you are missing a hell of a time just to the north of Wrigley here at Miller Park. Next time you make the trip, make sure to take Int. 94 to the north for a Brewer game and tail gate like a rockstar!! I’ll assure you that you won’t get this experience at Wrigley or Fenway.

    Better yet…make for the NLCS with Brewers vs. Mets at Miller Park! : )

    Take Care,

    Paul in Milwaukee

  5. Dan,

    Great being able to still get a dose of ya on here, Can not Wait till your back on the radio.

    I have been to many many parks i think 18 in all. Wrigley is by far my fav. The brewers also have a great park, you feel you are right on the field.

    5 favs in order:
    1. Wrigley
    2. camdon
    3. Fenway
    4. Jacobs
    5. Miller/candelstick (tie)

    5 worse :
    1. Shea
    2. The new home of the Hurricanes
    3. yankee
    4. tropicana
    5. la anehiem cali park at angel stadium

  6. I have only ever been to Fenway, but I waited all my life to get there. I grew up in Orlando and managed to catch a bunch of Spring training games for the Twins when they were there and the Astros in Kissimmee.

    What an awesome experience Fenway is. It was well worth the wait. The food, the sights and sounds. The air was buzzing (and not just from the Sam Adams ;)! )

    If you haven’t been to Fenway, I would highly recommend it! Hang out on Yawkey before the game!

  7. I’ve been to Fenway a bunch of times, Turner Field twice and Dolphin Stadium for a Marlins game once.

    While the best seats I’ve ever had at any ballgame I had for the Marlins and Braves games, nothing can touch the atmosphere and ambiance at Fenway.

    Full disclosure, I grew up in Massachusetts, south of Boston, am a die-hard Red Sox fan, so the Cathedral will always rank number one in my heart. However, as a baseball fan, I will say that when the product on the field is lackluster, it certainly helps to be seated with colorful characters. And Boston and Chicago have no shortage of those. One of the Braves home games I caught this summer was when they hosted the Cubs, and Alfonso Soriano went 4-5 with three HRs in the first four innings. I was sitting in the left field bleachers with a bunch of Cubs fans, and it was like Little Wrigley up there, even before one of Soriano’s homers went into the seats ten rows in front of me. And then he did it again his next at bat. Almost the same spot. Of course, being in the left field seats meant that I also got to hear the Cubs fans laud Soriano when he played the field as well as their hilarious (and not-ready-for-prime-time) heckling of Braves’ LF Matt Diaz.

    But there’s nothing like EVERY game at Fenway, with a sell-out crowd around you, the Yankees Suck chants (even though the Devil Rays are in town) watching the blinding white uniforms against that unique shade of “Monstah” green, Sweet Caroline in the 8th Inning, and Dirty Water after a win.

    Author and Sports Illustrated editor Jim Gorant has similar feelings, as Fenway and Wrigley are the only two baseball mentions in his book “Fanatic: 10 Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die.”

    With Wrigley, you get the feeling that it’s a beautiful day, a great day to play hooky from work and sit out in the sun with your buddies and have a few beers, and hey, whaddayaknow, a baseball game is going on. With Fenway, it is serious business about to be conducted. That and you have to mortgage your house to afford to get drunk at Fenway.


  8. Having grown up in Boston, Fenway is, of course, my favorite park in all of sports. There’s just something about the familiarity of it, matched with the closeness of the crowd to the field. Yes, I understand that the right field seats don’t even face the field. But even I can look past that in order to just take in the zeal of Sox Nation at home as they watch the Sox play.

    That being said, I went to Chicago last year with my in-laws and caught a game at Wrigley. Wrigley seems like a totally different animal in contrast to Fenway. Cubs fans are just as passionate and loyal, but Wrigley seems to have a bit more openness and a feeling of relaxation than the tight-fisted Sox fans in Boston. If you go to Fenway, you HAVE to watch every move on the field, whereas with Wrigley, you can take a moment and soak it all in between at-bats and innings.

    I still prefer Fenway to Wrigley, but if I’m ever back in Chicago, I know it’s on my list of places to go, because there’s few places where you can get that feeling of sheer joy in a sports arena.

  9. Growing up a Red Sox fan, I made my first voyage to Fenway Park when I was only 10 years old, and it is without a doubt, one of the best sporting experiences in the world. From the rowdy Boston fandom on Yawkey way to the charm and feel of the classic Green Monster, Fenway is simply the epitome of a great baseball experience. I’m already trying to plan out when I’m going to bring my daughter to her first game, and I’m ecstatic that when she does see her first baseball game, it will be at Fenway. It really is magic.

  10. Hmm. I have no reason really. No story behind my choice. No reason to really justify one over the other but. Fenway just calls out to me more than Wrigley does. I’m sure you can understand that =p

  11. I haven’t been to Fenway. Been to Camden, Wrigley, Shea, US Cell, old Tiger Stadium and Miller Park. Being from WI my wife, two kids and I get to 10-20 games a year. I agree with Paul in Milwaukee – get to a Brewers game and enjoy the tailgate. On a sunny afternoon the lots are filled with tailgaters, many of whom don’t even care if they make it into the game. And many of the spreads are more than just hot dogs, brats and burgers – kabobs, ribs, steak, chicken, shrimp, etc., are found quite often. It’s quite the event. Regarding the stadiums, I think Wrigley is a must for everyone, just like I’m sure Fenway is. It’s amazing how many people fill the SRO areas just to drink $6 beers and say they were there. While I think Wrigley was great for the experience, I would much rather watch a game in one of the new stadiums, like Miller Park. Just seems to be more “user friendly”, even though it definitely doesn’t have the charm of an older stadium. I will get to Fenway someday – my wife and I are trying to knock off all the stadiums as time allows.

    Great topic.

    Any chance you sang “Take me out to the ballgame?”

  12. I am a huge Yankees fan (not Deborah in Las Vegas huge, but big enough), but after having been to The Stadium and a few other ballparks, I would give anything to go to Fenway over Wrigley and watch Manny dive to cut off the throw from Crisp. From what I’ve seen on TV, it looks like the fans make the atmosphere really fun and very, very intense. Or at least that what’s Fever Pitch would have you believe.

  13. There is nothing in this world that gives me the same kind of happiness I get walking up the steps to emerge in that Chicago sunshine to see the lush green of Wrigley Field’s grass, ivy and scoreboard. It simultaneously makes my heart beat faster with excitement and gives me a wonderful sense of peace. But that’s what a great cathedral does, doesn’t it? Gives you a sense of awe, of history, of passion, of something greater than yourself.

    I really get tired of the same old bullsh*t that says Wrigley fans aren’t “real” fans, just there for the beer, unknowledgeable about the game. What’s different about the Cubs faithful (and we are nothing if not faithful) is that we know how to relax and enjoy a ballgame.

  14. Dan,

    I have only been to three ballparks dodger stadium, safeco field, and this summer i was in phoenix/scottsdale area and went to chase field to see a ballgame. I really like safeco field the best and I would like to go to PNC park to see
    the Pirates play that is my favorite team and Roberto Clemente is my Favorite player of all time no more Three
    Rivers Stadium..back to your question I would say both parks Fenway and Wrigley because of the rich tradition.

  15. I have yet to have the opportunity to visit the historic Fenway Park. When I do get there the seats on the “Green Monster” would be quite a view. I have been to Wrigley though and the feel of decades of baseball and how many great players passed through is enough to get you caught up in a game. Sitting in the front row of the leftcenter field bleachers at Wrigley Field is a memory I will cherish. Everyone needs to experience it.
    My ranking of the ballparks I have been to are:
    Miller Park – Call me a homer but it’s a beautiful stadium
    Coors Field – Beautiful view of downtown from the 2nd deck
    Wrigley – enough said
    County Stadium – 25-30 games a year growing up watching Yount/Molitor/Gantner, what great memories.
    Turner Field – love the Supersized scoreboard.
    Comiskey Park – Good view from the upper deck in the outfield
    McAfee Stadium – too far away from the action along the lines – err… foul territory

    I will reiterate what the other cheeseheads say about tailgating. Everyone needs to experience Milwaukee pregame festivities, you will not be disappointed.

    Thanks for the laughs Dan, a couple of times almost drove off the road laughing so hard, hope to hear you back on soon.

  16. Dan,

    1. Not sure which Flinstones Vitamin you took there, but you know the only one that will really help you is Bam Bam.

    2. Wrigley or Fenway. Been to both. Many games at Wrigley. First game – final game of the magical 1984 season. Cubs Cards – Cubs Win! We sat in the Bleachers. When the Bleachers were first come first serve.
    Drove all night from Columbus…lost downtown…what? the trafic lights were on the side not on hanging overhead!? Must have ran many.

    After the Cubs won they walked around the park.
    Great team (my favorite).

    Only Fenway visit was for the Winter Meetings Trade Show party. It was snowing at Fenway. There was a Christmas Tree on one dugout and Bing Crosby crooning from the speakers. I could see Ted Williams’ Red Seat in the outfield.

    Both parks are a lot alike. I like Wrigley Field the best. You are very close to the field and action.
    Like Dan we always sit in the Bleachers. My team, more memories…more ivy. And when Harry was there and the Cubs were winning…

    Go Cubs Go!

    (PS PNC Park is wonderful)

  17. Both are great parks with heralded traditions.

    At Wrigley, you get bikinis, beer, and problematic public urination…at Fenway, you get colorful language, beer, open prejudices and blanket racism.

    Dan…you’re a nancy boy…do some crunches.

  18. I’ve been to Camden Yards, but my favorite is Tinker Field in Orlando, the spring training home for the Twins for many years.

    It is the place where I leaned against the batting cage next to Pete Rose as he chewed out a sportswriter about a story about friction between him and Dave Parker. When Pete stopped to compose himself, I asked him to sign a baseball, and he said “sure” and signed it.

    Then I got the Mongoose to sign it as I left the batting cage, and right after that, Kirby Puckett signed it too. Then some flak asked me, with a nasty tone, what I was doing on the field.

    I flashed a press pass, and he said the press doesn’t get autographs. I corrected him that I was just making sure I was spelling their names correctly.

    That was just one of many great memories of Tinker Field that would take up too much room of this blog recount.

    Dan, thanks for the memory jog.

  19. Dan looking forward to your next venture.

    I purchased ESPN insider as listened to you mainly through podcasting. Would love to share ideas on what worked and didnt on ESPN podcasts (would describe myself as a heavy user!)

    Hope you offer something similar in your new life!

    Good luck

  20. Of all the parks i’ve been to, old tiger stadium is by far the best. Even if you sat behind a pole, the atomsphere was unmatched. Even though they have done a good job with comerica, the old girl at the corner will always be the best.

  21. Wrigley Field is an experience, then throw in Cubs/Cards rivalry, and home runs you can’t ask for a better game. I was at the game on Monday and saw the best game I had ever seen (even though there was a rain delay it was a sight to see the grounds crew do their work). Glad to hear you converted to the bleachers because it does change the game at Wrigley Field. Hope you didn’t get caught in the rain delays and hope you had a great time at Wrigley.

  22. To me it doesn’t get any better than Wrigley Field. There is no other setting in baseball like Wrigley being right in the middle of a neighborhood. The atmosphere in and around the stadium is just incredible.

  23. One word – Wrigley

  24. Never been to Fenway, long time Cardinals fan, long time wrigley lover. Can you be a Cardinals fan and love Wrigley? Can you love to watch the Cardinals at Wrigley? I say yes! No commercialization, as my kids would say, where’s the replay screen Dad? Just good old baseball!

  25. I haven’t been back to Wrigley since ’98. I was there the night Sammy set the record for most home runs in a month. There is something about the Ivy and brick that isn’t manufactured sentimentality like the newer parks. Wrigley breathes in its inhabitants and exhales history.

  26. I’ve only been to fenway, i’m planning on going to camden and skydome next year, but just the roar of the crowd at fenway makes it an unforgettable experience, especially when the yankees are in town.

    my most memorable game was game 3 of the 2003 ALDS, everyone in the crowd was chanting “trot, trot, trot, trot” when he smacked a homer a couple of sections over, it was a magical atmosphere because I swear, everyone in the building knew he was going to go yard

  27. Alright Dan – you asked; so shall you get:

    As what you might call a “die-hard Cubbies fan”, I have made the holy pilgramage to Wrigleyville and the hallowed (crumbling roof) of Wrigley Field on a far too few occasions. (I’ve even been priveledge enough to get into the locker room, dugouts and onto the field – thanks to a lucky happening on one occasion). The unlimited joy of those times at Wrigley are almost undescibable (even in a loss).

    I guess I am biased as a Cubfan, but I have been fortunate to get to see games at 4 other new or new-er stadiums and they are just not the same (and I would bet the house it is the same at Fenway). It doesn’t even smell the same! Yeah, there is something to be said for new convience and new urinals, but where is the fun of not having to wonder if you head is gonna get bashed in by falling concrete? Not to mention, you can feel the history and time when you go into Wrigley.

    I guess it just feels right – the way baseball is supposed to feel – the way you and me are supposed to feel when we go to a game. That spark of excitment and that kid-like emotion that looks like giddiness, but is really something more; that a kid can’t describe and that we as adults have trouble remembering. Wrigley is one of those irreplaceable places that we as grown-ups need to help us feel that age doesn’t really matter, that it is good to root for your team and that at times it is okay to step back, slow down and enjoy a game.

    thanks Dan, for the soap box

    josh hardin
    6’1″ 195

  28. Sarah, 5’8 and lusciously curvy *ding?*

    I’m a San Francisco native, and spent my childhood at The Stick…I won’t say it’s the worst, because I’m a survivor, but it’s ranked pretty low. So when they opened Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T, I fell in love. It’s a great park, with no bad seats in the house. I love the bleachers and the right field pavilion. In fact, in many places you can’t feel any wind…for those of us born and bred in the Stick, well, I can’t even begin to discuss this.

    When I lived in Austin, I drove to both Arlington and Houston to see games there. Definitively, I’m not a fan of where the Astros play…it feels big, regardless of where you sit. The Ballpark in Arlington is another story…very picturesque, and the bleachers rock.

    I’ve been to the A’s park, and it’s huge…but it’s got great hot dogs, so I let it slide…we’ll see how the new one will turn out. The Arizona park is cool, too, and the retractable roof is a trip.

    But so far, AT&T ranks high on my list. I’m trying to set a trip up to both Boston and New York, so that I see *this* Yankee Stadium before it goes to dust.

  29. 6’0″ 205

    The Jake is my favorite during the Yankee’s Series. Its amazing to see how many Yankee fans show up to a game that deep in the midwest. To hear the chants of “Lets Go Yankees!” Followed by “Yankees Suck!” is the ultimate experience.

    Jorge Cantu, great pick up for the Reds.

  30. Wrigley, mostly because the Red Sox do not play there…solely because the Red Sox do not play there.

    Jacob’s field is nice, too. If you go sit in section 550. TV angle at first base. The beer garden and the mens room frame the tunnel to the section.

  31. The Wrigley Experience.

    I’ve watched at least 50 games at Wrigley and even been on the field (got to play catch with my dad and son…pretty cool), the experience is wonderful.

    What makes Wrigley so special is several things. Day baseball, the neighborhood, the ivy, the scoreboard, bull pens down the lines, conversations with the players, the history. It’s really the last link to how baseball was meant to be seen. If you’re a fan of baseball…you’re a fan of Wrigley Field.

  32. On Wrigley Subject…sort of

    Just saw Rawlings named All-Time Gold Glove Winners
    Joe Morgan beat out Ryne Sandberg????

    Now I am biased here, but come on Ryno with 9 straight GGs and Morgan with what 5?

    And what about Maz???? he had 8!

    I guess it was a close vote, but what happened here?

  33. On a trip to Chicago in May years ago, my husband and I took 30 minutes t0 drop our luggage at our downtown hotel, then rushed to Wrigley. I ran straight to the ticket window because the game had already started, but a guy walked up to us and had two seats behind homeplate. He sold them to us for a song. We rushed to our seats and had the time of our lives on a cold, drizzly Chicago spring afternoon. I wouldn’t trade that day for a month of Tampa summer.

  34. I love Wrigley because my uncles are all old-line Cubbies fans and they kinda instilled that in me — specially since we didn’t get an MLB team in Colorado until 1993, so I didn’t so much have a home team.

    I love Fenway because I once made out in the dugout by the grace of a long-gone boyfriend with connections.

    Score? Long-gone boyfriend ruined the Sox for me and blood is thicker than water.*

    Wrigley Field wins.

    *I’m a girl. Sue me.

  35. Only one other person has mentioned my favorite park and it is truly the best “retro” new parks…Coors Field in Denver. It really is a ‘fan friendly’ park and it is really a great place to see a game. However, usually the games played there suck and that takes away from it, but this year has been nice. The Rockies are 2.5 out of the wild card and have some really good young players.

    Last year I got to see a game at Petco park in San Diego and was really impressed. I like how it is built right into the downtown facade. It is almost hidden. It is really unique.

    Thanks for posting great topics Dan. Can’t wait for the countdown clock to hit 0:00:00 even though I don’t know what I’m excited for.

  36. Wrigley and Fenway are of a piece. It’s hard to knock either one of them.

    Trying to compare ANY of the “retro” parks to them, is like saying, “Why should I go to Europe? I’ve already been to Epcot!”

    What makes Fenway and Wrigley great is the sense that generations have been there, eating peanuts, cheering and booing, jostling for foul balls. There’s also a sense of egalitarianism in the old parks: no luxury boxes, no valet parking, everyone just sort of jumbled together (this seems especially true at Wrigley). There aren’t many places like that anymore.

    The new stadia attempt to replicate some of the architectural features of the classic parks, but they lack the aesthetic sense, the historical weight. So they stick flagpoles in center field, or a hill, or a choo-choo train.

    In the immortal words of Homer Stokes, “they ain’t even old timey!”

  37. How can you compare any ballpark to Yankee Stadium. Just think of the greats that played on that hallowed ground… Mantle, Maris, Ruth, Berra, Ford, the names go on and on. They called the Castle in the Bronx their home; how can any other park compete with that?

  38. The ride on the Red Line, drinks and free hot dogs at the Full Shilling b4 the game, and a seat in the Bleachers.

    I wish I can do it year-round…..

  39. Um, that would be a vote for Wrigley…LOL

  40. Hey Dan, glad your already back

    Never been able to get to Wrigley, but I am a lifelong Red Sox fan….

    Hard to beat Cask N Flagn , little buzz, and walking in past the monsta. I have been to many parks, old memorial in Baltimore, yankee stadium, safeco, etc. and it just might be the size of fenway that does it, the intimacy that I get at the Fens I havent been able to feel at the other parks.

    You can just feel the history there and the past legends who have played there. Wrigley is on the list though, many friends have told me that I HAVE to go, they say it is the closest to that Fenway “feeling”.

  41. Well, I am a huge Dodger fan, so I always say Dodger Stadium. Up until a few years ago it was perfect: classic diamond shape, no extra structures everywhere to take away from the classic park, and most of all, no advertisements all over the walls and backstop. It really put the attention on the game and the players. Over the past few years all that has changed with new owners. They have even added more seating down the outfield lines and behind home plate, making it less of a pitchers park. Of course I don’t need to tell you this, you know what I am talking about. Anyways, I wish it could go back to how it was 10 years ago. I wish we could also go back to winning, haha.

    Anways, next year I am doing a baseball trip where I check out the classic stadiums: Wrigley, Fenway, and of course Yankee Stadium. I can’t wait. It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime!


  42. Dan,

    What’s great about both parks, Wrigley and Fenway, is that they’re as big as the game. They measure up to baseball’s tradition. They’re symbols of the pasttime. They’re not symbols of winning teams, but of loyal fans. They’ve stood the test of time.

    Could you pose the same question and elicit the same love for football stadiums? I don’t think you could. Wrigley and Fenway are baseball stadiums we made a part of us, whether we were from those areas or not.

    It’s why I’d like to visit each of them, to take my son with me one day.

    What’s even greater is that I bet they’ll both still be there.

  43. If the new show starts on the 9th, why is the countdown geared for Friday, the 14th?

    Thanks for your advice on getting to Wrigley and Fenway.

  44. Both are great venues, regardless of how you feel about the teams… I was saddened when they added night baseball at Wrigley years ago, somehow that always seemed that it should be day baseball only, maybe its my growing up as a kid when Ernie Banks, Ron Santo et al were playing there in the late 60’s/70’s.

    Hey Dan, how about Latrell Sprewell’s yacht being repo’d, guess that’s why the offer he got from the T Wolves several years ago, was nt just about feeding his kids eh?

  45. I’ve been to Wrigley, I’ve never been to Fenway. I would like to see a Sox/Sox game at Fenway.

    As a White Sox fan, while I’ve enjoyed going to Wrigley, I enjoy US Cellular a heck of a lot more. Granted, I’ve witnessed some great games there, and the Series just being 2 years removed. I might be a bit biased; but hey.

  46. I’ve been to both…I liken the parks to a religious experience. You can feel the history of both ballparks…The players who stood in the batter’s box, roamed the out field and yelled chatter from the dugout.
    I am a Cub fan, so I defalt to Wrigley and I hold a grudge to the Red Sox Nation for their recent WS win. Waveland Ave will be a pretty kick ass place to be after the final game this year if it’s played and won at Wrigley.

  47. I grew up going to Cubs games in the 1980’s and learned to think of the Wrigley experience as a fun picnic rather than a baseball venture. Now it has become the world’s largest beer garden, full of inattentive people and antiquated facilities. It was built in a different era for a different era, and buildings with that much heavy use aren’t meant to last this long. The Cubs are my team, but Wrigley have never been my shrine. I’d rather catch a game at Miller Park.

  48. […] 8 Another great day at Wrigley Field… I was in Chicago for the weekend and with the Cards in town, I made sure to catch a Cub game. I’ve been to […] […]

  49. When you step off the EL and on to the platform at Addison Station for the very first time you’ve reached heaven on earth. Breathe in the atmosphere, walk down to Murphy’s, have an Ole Style (that’s the only time I drink it), walk around Wrigley a time or two before you enter the gate. When you finally enter the park and walk up the ramp and see the field, the ivy and the bleachers, chills will run up your spine, because you have entered a place that defies time. I don’t care if your a Cubs fan or not, everyone is a fan of Wrigley.

  50. My brother and I went to Wrigley for a weekend against the Phillies years ago. I was 16 he was 21 and we drove there from Winston-Salem NC, Cubs fans since they had a minor leagie team here the Spirits (Mark Grace). Day 1 we sat in the bleachers. It was great. Dykstra with in Center Field and everyone was yelling DWI….DWI….DWI… I grabbed some of the ivey and have it growing in my house 15 years later. Long live Wrigley!

  51. Dan,

    Our station just ran a piece on a couple of wiffle ball fields modeled after Fenway & Wrigley in Vermont. They raised $63,000 for Travis Roy’s foundation during a charity event last year. I promise if & when I get to play there, I WILL hit a homerun…

    … for you.

    (6′ 1″, 170)

  52. I’ve never been to Fenway, but my first trip to a major league game was to Wrigley. All I can say is that the bar was set awfully high on that trip. I have many great memories from that day. Getting to the park early for a front row, bleacher seat. Watching my buddy drop a fly ball onto the warning track during BP, then hazing him mercilessly as he sat and looked at it laying there until right before first pitch. The cold beer. The people watching and new friends made. The sunburn. Oh yeah, there was a game, too. The Mets hung 15 on the Cubbies. Maddux got chased early and Doc Gooden got the win.

    I live in Dallas/Fort Worth, now, and the Ballpark is a nice place, but it’s just not the same.

    Love the website, Dan, and I’m watching the countdown. Thanks for all of the lunchtime radio entertainment for all of these years.


  53. Looking forward to your new show Dan. Miss hearing you and Show Killer on the drive home.

    This southern po’ boy has only had the opportunity to visit Turner Field and the old Fulton Co. Stadium (YUK!) I’ve always dreamed about taking a trip just to visit ballparks. All these posts about the ballparks are great fun to read!

  54. As filthy as they are, the fans at both Yankee and Shea stadiums make them the best. Fenway as a park is amazing, just don’t be an African-American outfielder for the visiting team…

  55. Hmmmm, tough call, but I guess I’d pick Fenway, as I was/am an Oriole fan, and the AL East has more attraction for me. I’ve been to Dodger Stadium and Crosley Field (too yound to really remember either of those), RFK (Senators, not Nationals), Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, and Bank One (at the time). It’s strange, but in a lot of ways I preferred the atmosphere at Memorial Stadium to OPACY. Of course it didn’t hurt that the year I went to the most games was 1983! But it was in a neighborhood, and the real O’s fans were there. It wasn’t the place to be seen, it was the place to watch a game. I don’t know how many three buck nights I went to, but I always thought it was great. Camden is more cushy, and it is beautiful, but the feeling of the old park, even if it was an ugly, functional kind of place, just seemed more like baseball. And about the same time, it seemed like the Orioles forgot what made them one of the best franchises in baseball for two decades, and have yet to get it back……coincidence?

  56. Re: your video blog query on the Pittsburgh Pirates


    What to do about the Pirates? As you can see with the above video, Michael Keaton wonders too…and has been wondering for a long time.

    Golden Triangle born and bred, I think the issue is that the city does not take enough interest to promote the Pirates as much as the Steelers or Penguins, despite PNC Park. I don’t know what it is.

    Jan Young, once from Pittsburgh, now in Southern California

  57. Jeff,

    Cubs fan here, but I think Edward. B. Williams and probably Cal Senior also had a lot to do with that Orioles Way you are talking about.

  58. I am fortunate enough to have been to both Wrigley and Fenway in the past two years. Although, I am a Cubs fan so my input may not be fair to say that I like Wrigley better. I do, in fact, see many similarities in the two stadiums in the way they are built. Fenway does have that IT factor about the entire surroundings, but I might add that NOTHING beats sitting in the Bleachers at Wrigley! I went to two games back to back and sat close to home plate the first game, then I tried the Bleachers. I will never sit anywhere else but in the Bleachers at Wrigley. I was there when Lou pitched his fit and fired up his team, an quite frankly, who could witness that special event and not favor Wrigley more. Let’s not fail to mention the fact Wrigleyville is by far the best party in all of baseball.

    I have recently visted Petco and Dodger stadium in the last month and I would have to rank Petco as one of the top stadiums in the business. I will be at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday to see the Clemens-Beckett showdown! So I may be writing back to inform you that it could very well be close to the top. Also visited Turner a week ago and witnessed Bonds’ #759. Might I say, impressive! Reds-Cubs at Great American in September. See you soon.


  59. Dan,

    I’ve been to 42 major league stadiums, the only ones I have left to see are Safeco and the new Busch.

    Top 5
    1) Camden
    2) Jacobs
    3) Comerica
    4) Pac Bell (or whatever it’s called now)
    5) PNC

    Bottom 5
    42) Candlestick
    41) Shea
    40) Old Comiskey
    39) Tropicana
    38) Joe Robbie

    As for the Wrigley vs. Fenway debate (I’ve been to both 3 times)….I’ll take Wrigley by far. To me, Fenway is a hole. My kitchen is bigger than the concourse behind home plate. The seats are uncomfortable and parking is terrible. However, the fans are awesome. I was there in ’99 and the fans, with no prodding, started a “Let’s Go No-mah” chant (that’s how it came out). To hear 35,000 fans have one accent was incredible!



  62. Mr. Patrick:

    My first trip to Wrigley was this past monday 8/20 in the rain delayed contest with the Cardinals. I’m a Texas Rangers fan first, but grew up watching the Cubs on WGN. The most interesting thing about Wrigely Field was the purity of the game. Missing were all of the sound effects, music, and beats that sadly fill most modern parks. Another memory I carry is the treatment of non-Cubs fans in the men’s room.

  63. Better looking babes… Wrigley.
    Better place to not watch the game… Wrigley.
    Better baseball fans… Fenway.
    Nicer people… Fenway.
    Better city… Fenway.
    Horrible fans… Wrigley.

    Cubs fan leaving a Brewers game, to my mom: “Thanks for Fbomb fbomb fbomb brewers”.

  64. Fenway definately is the best park. Cincinnati second…because it’s the Reds! Have you ever seen such a good and crappy team at the same time?

  65. Dan,

    I’ve not been to many MLB ballparks. The short list includes: Wrigley; old Tiger’s stadium; old Fulton Co. field; Petco Park; Candlestick Park; and “Ranger’s Ballpark in Arlington” formerly know as “Ameriquest Field” formerly known as “The Ballpark”. Although my “home field” in Arlington is OK (much unlike to team that pretends to play baseball there – DOH!), there is no way one could even compare that to a Wrigley or Fenway for God’s sake. Not been to Fenway, but if visiting Wrigley doesn’t bring a tingle to your panties, check your pulse!

    Peace out, Mista Patrick!

  66. Hi Dan,

    6’2”, 197 lbs.

    I visited Fenway Park 13 years ago, and I’ve been to Wrigley Field 3 times, most recently last year. My vote is for Wrigley Field.

    While both ballparks offer a genuine old-time feel, Wrigley Field’s attraction to me is what it doesn’t have. The lack of a Jumbotron and outfield advertising (except for the advertising on the garage doors) promote a sharper focus on the game, not on dot-racing or relentlessly-promoted brands (there is advertising on the roofs outside the stadium, but I can take a break from it by watching the game). Fenway offered a more modern experience even when I visited, and I imagine it’s even more so now.

    That being said, having to choose between Wrigley and Fenway is a nice problem to have.

    I look forward to hearing the new show!

  67. the only park I have been to is Kauffman Stadium, will get to check out the Metrodome next month, but to me Kauffman is in the top 5 ballparks, not a bad seat in the place, and it will get even better after the renovations are done in 2010.

  68. A week after we graduated from high school, some classmates and I piled into a van and made the trek to Wrigley Field. On the way down our driver was pulled over by a state trooper and ticketed for speeding.

    When the trooper asked if there was anything else we needed before he left, a friend asked if he would take a picture of all of us in front of his state patrol car. He did so and I have the picture to this day.

    After arriving at Wrigley Field and tailgating, we sat in the bleachers, I with my shirt off. By the final out I was sunburned so bad I looked like a lobster. The Cubs and the Marlins played…I think the Marlins won.

    Following the Cubs game we hopped on the Interstate and made our way to Milwaukee County Stadium for a Brewers-Braves game. It was “Turn Back The Clock” night, so both teams were wearing “Braves” jerseys…a nice touch.

    Hank Aaron threw out the first pitch at the Brewer game, but it went all downhill from there. I remember the loudest ovation of the night came when a squirrel ran around the infield and held up the game for a few minutes.

    Good times, good times.

  69. Dan-
    After college, I lived in Boston for 3 years and then moved to Chicago for 10 years. Both towns are great sports cities that have had storied sports facilities ie: Garden, Stadium, and Old Comiskey. When it comes to making a choice on which park best exemplifies the true baseball experience, I would say hands down it’s Fenway. As a guy who played a lot of competitive baseball growing up, the experience at Fenway is like no other I’ve seen. You are so close to the game in that ball park…it feels like you can reach out and be a part of the action (no offense to Cubs fans…see Bartman). The first game I attended at Fenway (1984), I mentioned to my buddy that it almost felt like a “minor league” game in that everything was right in front of you! Bottom line is there are a lot of great parks out there…but Fenway is a true classic!
    Good luck with the new show Dan.

  70. DP,

    Love the blog. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend games at both Wrigley Field and Fenway Park this summer. The history & tradition combined with being surrounded by passionate fans made for a very memorable experience at each ballpark. In a very close review, my nod has to go to Fenway for two reasons. 1. Sweet Caroline in the 8th inning is forever etched in my mind. 2. Having the opportunity at Fenway to sit next to a fellow classmate of yours from UD, Steve Bulpett ’79, and listen to stories of the “Walton’s” winning a UD Intramural Championship!

    All the best with the new venture Dan. I have no doubts it will be a success.

    Go Flyers!

    Justin – UD ’01

  71. Sports Illustrated approached every major league player; 550 agreed to participate, though not every player answered every question. Figures used are percentages of the total number of respondents for each question.

    Which is your favorite ballpark?

    Safeco Field (Mariners) 17.6%
    Pac Bell Park (Giants) 10.2%
    Wrigley Field (Cubs) 8.5%
    Oriole Park at Camden Yards 8.0%
    Yankee Stadium 6.7%
    Bank One Ballpark (Diamondbacks) 6.3%
    Busch Stadium (Cardinals) 5.8%
    Fenway Park (Red Sox) 4.8%
    Coors Field (Rockies) 4.6%
    Dodger Stadium 4.5%

    Inside the Numbers
    • Safeco Field was an even more popular favorite among pitchers (23.3%).
    • Of the votes cast for Camden Yards, 42% came from NL players.
    • Wrigley was the favorite among players with 10 or more years’ experience (16.1%).

    Wrigley Field…nuff said.

  72. ..and to top that off…

    13. Which is the best road city?

    Chicago 34.6%
    New York 16.5%
    Seattle 7.4%
    San Diego 6.7%
    Phoenix 4.3%
    Miami 3.9%
    Boston 3.2%
    San Francisco 3.0%
    Los Angeles 2.6%
    St. Louis 2.6%

    Inside the Numbers
    • New York was the favorite (31.6%) among players with less than one year of experience.

    Go Cubs Go!!

  73. Wrigley over Fenway AGAIN!

    SI’s Top 20 Venues of the 20th Century

    1 Yankee Stadium
    No sports arena in history, with the possible exception of the Roman Colosseum, has played host to a wider variety of memorable events. Two popes prayed here, Johnny Unitas threw here, Jim Brown ran here, Joe Louis fought here, and Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio played here. Ground can’t get more hallowed than that.

    2 Augusta National
    Is it the $1.50 ham sandwiches or the peach cobbler? The Crow’s Nest or the Champions Room? The pushover par-5s or the murderous par-3s? The soccer-field fairways or the M.C. Escher greens? Is it because there are no pro-ams, no billboards, no blimps? Is it because being inside the ropes actually means something? Is it because every complete player has painted on this same rolling canvas, or because no player is complete until he has?

    3 Michie Stadium
    Game day at West Point begins three hours before kickoff with the cadet parade on The Plain. It’s a scene straight from The Long Gray Line, surpassed only by the view of the Hudson River from the west stands at Michie Stadium. The Corps of Cadets, seated together and dressed in gray and black, evokes memories of when Army was one of the most formidable of college football powers, and cannon blasts shake the 76-year-old edifice to its foundation every time the Black Knights score. It doesn’t matter in the least that national championships are no longer decided here.

    4 Cameron Indoor Stadium
    The undergraduates who pack Duke’s antiquated Cameron Indoor Stadium — those wiseacres with the 1,400 SAT scores — are as entertaining as the games. (Pity the visiting player who has been in the news for some malfeasance.) No wonder the Blue Devils are 133-17 at home over the last 10 years. It’s easy to win when you’re playing six-on-five.

    5 Bislett Stadium
    An oval of crumbling mortar and rotted wood in a residential neighborhood not far from the center of Oslo, Bislett Stadium transforms itself each summer into a cauldron of desperate noise and rhythmic clapping that carries runners on invisible wings. Sixty-one world records have been set on its forgiving, brick-colored track; Lynn Jennings, the 10,000-meters bronze medalist in the 1992 Olympics, once called it a distance runner’s Fenway Park. Bislett is scheduled to be torn down and replaced by a new stadium. Replaced but not improved upon.

    6 Wrigley Field
    It’s impossible to feel blue at Wrigley Field, even though your beloved Cubs are losing again. The place has grown a bit larger and, amazingly enough, even more graceful since it was built in seven weeks in 1914 for $250,000. It’s a national treasure, a true American original. It’s ivy and brick and bleachers and a manual scoreboard and seats so close to the field you can almost hear the infield chatter of Hornsby, Hartnett and Banks.

    7 Roland Garros
    If you like tennis, the French Open is the best sports event in the world to attend. If you don’t like tennis, it’s still the best sports event in the world to attend because it’s in Paris. In the spring Roland Garros is more at ease with itself than Wimbledon, which is so self-conscious. Wimbledon is in a distant suburb of London; Roland Garros is at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. And Roland Garros may be the only friendly place in Paris.

    8 Lambeau Field
    In Green Bay, where the local time is always 1963, the citizens worship their Packers with religious fervor, and Lambeau Field is their ageless cathedral. The benches are aluminum, the grass (when not iced over) is resplendent, and the fans are rabid but realistic without being rude. No wonder Packers players leap into the stands after scoring touchdowns. On a truly cold day you can feel the spirit of Vince Lombardi — even if you can’t feel your toes.

    9 Fenway Park
    The spiritual blueprint for the dozens of new-old ballparks that have been built in the past decade, our favorite old-old ballpark, built in 1912, doggedly survives as developers plot its demise in the next decade. Babe Ruth pitched here. Ted Williams hit and spit here. Yaz won a Triple Crown here. Batters aim for the 37-foot-tall Green Monster in left because in this park, hitting the wall is always a good thing.

    10 Saratoga Race Course
    Directions to Saratoga Race Course, by Red Smith: “From New York City you drive north for about 175 miles, turn left on Union Avenue and go back 100 years.” With its striped awnings, old wooden clubhouse and grandstand, and paddock shaded by elms, Saratoga transports you back to the days when people came to the races in surreys with the fringe on top.

    The players, the fans, and the experts all agree…Wrigley is #1.

  74. …and what do architects say?….

    In the American Institute of Architects (AIA) poll that inspired this undertaking, Fenway (ranked 113th) finished way behind Wrigley Field (31st) and Yankee Stadium (84th).

    no contest!!

  75. I have just found your site from a full page ad in USA Today. How out of touch am I?

    I played college baseball at Northeastern Ill. University which is located on the North side of Chicago. I also grew up on Warwick Ave which is the street just north of Waveland Ave, but does not run all the way through to Clark St. I believe I hold the record for home runs hit onto Waveland Ave, with a wiffle ball.

    Going to Wrigley reminds me of ball games I played in Chicago Park District parks, with about 39,000 more spectators. Of course we did have drunks wondering through our playing field every now and then. When you attend games at Wrigely you feel like you become part of the city. Until recently part of the ballpark was falling down on fans so some people really did become part of the city.

    Chicagoans have a way of making you feel at home and I can think of no better place in the city where this happens other than Wrigley Field.

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