Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in One Day, Chicago, IL
April 19, 2002, afternoon: Cubs 5, Reds 2
April 19, 2002, night: Tigers 8, White Sox 2
When I saw I had a shot to attend baseball games in two different ballparks in the same day, I figured, hey, this is something I absolutely have to do, and if you’re reading this, you may be wondering if you can do it your own self. Well, here’s a bit of advice.
The places you have a chance to do this (Mets/Yankees, Cubs/White Sox, Angels/Dodgers, A’s/Giants) historically have never had their teams at home at the same time. Since the advent of interleague play, however, there are one or two weekends a year when they’re at home simultaneously, and if you pick a day when one plays an afternoon game and the other a night game, you can pull it off.
I’d highly advise you to check the weather report first, if at all possible! April 19, 2002, the day I did the multi-stadium doubleheader, was about 40 degrees in Chicago, and dipped lower at night. So either do your doubleheader in LA or be ready to dress in many, many layers. I was pretty stupid–had to spend $33 on a sweatshirt at Wrigley Field. There were people around me who were in shorts and halters! They didn’t last long.
Have a contingency plan for rain delays or extra innings. Which game are you willing to miss the end of or to be late to, if it comes to that?
Anyway, my April 19, while cold, provides me with a rare opportunity to compare Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, as well as Cub fans and Sox fans. I will now offend everyone in Chicago with the following observations:
|Adjustments to my first impression of the ballparks:
|I may have been a little hard on Wrigley Field in my original review of it. I liked it a little better the second time around. Even though the ivy hadn’t flowered yet, making the outfield walls dingy brown, I noticed that I didn’t have a single advertisement in front of my eyes when I looked around the field. That’s amazingly refreshing. (But I will not adjust my ranking due to my observations of fans under “Fans” below.)
|When I first went to Comiskey Park in 1993, it was my favorite ballpark I’d ever been to. Man, have I ever matured in my tastes.
|Trendy sports bars, but otherwise a basic neighborhood, with hardware stores and fast food…nice because it’s so mundane.
|I didn’t take the time to took around. And I never will.
|The rudest, most intrusive, aggressive scalpers I’ve ever encountered–they will not only approach you, they will ridicule you if you refuse (“Yeah, whatever, sit in the upper bowl, then.”)
|Scalpers at Comiskey? You’re more likely to find scalpers at a local spelling bee.
|Here’s where I get into trouble: The fans at Wrigley do not care about baseball. They are there to be seen. That’s what I said–A good chunk of Cub fans at Wrigley DO NOT CARE ABOUT BASEBALL. They mostly couldn’t tell you a single Cub besides Sammy. This makes the Cubs’ historic lack of success irrelevant.
|Fans at Comiskey care about baseball because it gives them an excuse for their deep-seated anger issues. This makes the White Sox’s historic lack of success absolutely essential to their surly personalities.
|Cub fans arrive late and leave as soon as they realize it’s too cold.
|Very few White Sox fans ever show up to begin with.
|How to get there:
|The Red Line has a stop a block from Wrigley Field. Take the Red Line.
|The Red Line has a stop a block from Comiskey Park. Take a cab.
|You will be treated to the screams of pre-pubescent girls scrambling for batting-practice balls that Cincinnati Reds’ players throw their way when the kids chant “Reds! Reds! Reds!” (How do pre-pubescent girls perfect that ear-piercing crystal-clear insanely-high-pitched sound?)
|If you get a ball, get moving before the fisticuffs start. And I’m pretty sure children, at least those from the same neighborhoods as the ones below, are never taken to Comiskey by their parents.
Fans and school:
Cub fans miss school to enjoy afternoon ballgames.
White Sox fans have never attended a school.
Fans removing shirts in windy 40-degree weather:
At Wrigley, drunken college guys remove their shirts. At least I think they’re college guys–the guys on the right look like they’re in about junior high. Reasonable people wonder exactly what kind of moron would even consider such an insanely stupid act. (See below.)
At Comiskey, fans wait until the temperature drops down below 35 degrees and there’s a downpour. Then, they remove their shirts and holler. These fans include my cousin and his buddy–answering the question posed at Wrigley. (See below.)
Response to routine fly ball to shallow left by the visiting team:
Cubs fans shout with incredible glee, as if they are on a loop-de-loop rollercoaster at Mardi Gras.
White Sox fans shout “COME AAAHHHNNN!!!” as if certain something disastrous is about to happen. (They react this way regardless of the situation, actually.)
Wearing opposing colors:
Wear opposing colors–whatever you want.
Wear opposing colors, but accessorize with a flak jacket.
Result of game and fan reaction:
Who cares? We were just here to be seen anyway.
The Sox lost, again, because they’re out to keep us miserable.
BASEBALL STUFF I SAW ON THIS DAY:
Matt Clement struck out 12 Reds. Steve Sparks took care of the White Sox’s bats.(Written April 2002.)