Home > Uncategorized > Hinsdale, IL (Slammin’ Sammy!)

Hinsdale, IL (Slammin’ Sammy!)

Today was set aside for one major event – going to Wrigley Field for the first time to see the Cubs. Today was the last game of the year against their heated rivals, the St Louis Cardinals. Having done some research . . .

. . . oh man I just saw an ad for Lego Soccer – I totally need one of those – perhaps when I actually have a place to live I will pick up the sets. Now back to our regularly scheduled journal . . .

. . . on the price of scalped tickets, I was expecting to have to pay a minimum of about $70 to get into the game. Adding to that the anecdotal evidence of those also traveling to the game this morning via Metra (the Metropolitan Railway), I seemed to be correct. Getting to Wrigley Field on public transportation from the suburbs is a three step process. Step one, take Metra to Union Station. Step two, walk 6 blocks to the Red Line. Step 3, take the Red Line to the stadium.

Unfortunately, no one told me that I would need exact change to ride the “L.” So I had to buy a soda at the McDonald’s to get some change. It appears that sometimes they have a person in a booth with change, but not today! Not on a Sunday! I got to Wrigleyville (yes they call the neighborhood Wrigleyville) around 12:40 for the 1:20 game. There were a bunch of stores that advertised Cubs tickets with low prices. I figured it was time to do a little research.

So I walked into the first one I could get to – this one said “Cubs tickets – best prices” and I overheard him offering a ticket to someone for $30. I asked what they had for a good single seat. At the same time, the other fellow turned down this ticket, so he offered it to me . . . for $35. Duh. So I said “I was here when you offered it to him for $30, so you’ll take $30?” And of course he took it.

My seat was in the upper deck, directly behind home plate, in the second row. Fantastic view right in front of the press box. Also right next to the camera bank – I was on WGN at least two times that I know of. I waved – did you see me?? To my left were three Cardinals fans who had driven in from the Quad Cities. To my right were four Cubs fans who were knocking down a bunch of beers and giving me some traveling advice. These folks were very cool and they bought me a beer! Directly behind me were the three guys with whom I played mound ball.

Now you may not know what Mound Ball is, but it is a way to gamble on baseball with your buddies! Basically you devise a method by which to create a pool – we were working on the straight $1 per person per half inning method, but there are others (feel free to make up your own) – if the ball ends up completely on the pitcher’s mound at the end of the half inning, someone gets the pool. No leaners are acceptable!

Now today, I won two $4 pools and one other guy won 2 $16s and a $12!!! We did have some controversy – towards the end of the game, the big winner almost won a $12 pool when the ball appeared to land on the front edge of the pitcher’s mound. But because that spot is worn out, it is hard to tell for sure if it is actually completely on the mound. We needed binoculars, quick!! But there were none to be found. So the cameraman zoomed in on the ball and told us it was definitely on the dead grass and not the dirt! All right! WGN rules! So at the end of the game, the prize pool was split up between the competitors and we went on our way.

Oh wait, wasn’t there a ballgame, too? Surely there was and the Cubs won 6-1. Sammy Sosa hit two homers and got curtain calls after each one. The first because it was 50th of the year (for the fourth year in a row) and the second because he had hit two in the game. He also knocked in another run giving him 4 of the 6 RBIs on the day. But if you really wanted the sports news, you’d be watching SportsCenter on a regular basis.

After the game, I poked my head into a few of the local bars and souvenir shops, but I wasn’t in the mood to drink or (much more surprisingly) buy souvenirs. So I looked at my watch and realized I only had 50 minutes left to get to the train! So I went back to the L and waited and waited and waited, The train came late. And after two stops, the train paused between stops and started smelling like burping rubber. And it was getting a little smoky. But the train moved on, not smelling any better and not looking any less smoky. People on the train told me this was par for the course, but I still decided it was time to try walking.

Walking didn’t really work – the walk was going to take too long and I really couldn’t be sure I was heading in the right direction, so I hailed a cab. The cab ride only cost me $5.50 so I must have been fairly close by? Ok no – I was 1.3 miles away – I never would have made my train without the cab. So I took the train ride home to Hinsdale and here I am!

Tomorrow I’ll be making the brief yet thrilling ride to Warsaw, Indiana, world center of the prosthetic limb industry and visiting with my friend Adam, one of the industry’s leading engineering minds!! And another report will follow!!

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