Short Stops - The Windy City - The Hallowed Walls

The meaning of "Ivy Covered Walls" to most people means Yale, Cornell, Harvard or Colgate but to most Chicago dwellers the phrase is synonymous with Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs or, as they are affectionately called, Da Cubbies.

Wrigley may not be a seat of academic learning but to the faithful fan it is, in fact, an institution of learning.  It's there that I learned Ernie Banks hit his 500th career home run, May 12, 1970, Pete Rose's 4,191st hit tied him with Ty Cobb for the most hits in baseball history and "The Babe" was proported to have called "a shot" by pointing to a bleacher location during the 3rd game of the 1932 World Series and hit his next ball to that location for a brilliant homer.

With Chicago's erratic climate and the even more erratic airlines, who hasn't experienced down time in Chi Town?  Have a few hours to while away? Take in a game. Have time between business appointments? Take in a single or a double header.  Or, if you're pressed for time, take the historical tour of Wrigley.

Educate yourself.  It may not qualify for inclusion in your resume, but you'll absolutely amaze your friends when you get home to Los Angeles.  You'll have a degree in baseball history having learned, among other things, that Wrigley Field was built on the site of a seminary, that the first National League game there was played April 20, 1916 when the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings and the bleacher wall is 11.5 feet high.

No time for a 90 minute tour or a game?  Take a taxi or bus ride to the hallowed ivy covered walls at Addison and Clark Streets to make the pilgrimage and kiss the bricks as a friend of mine did who was visiting from baseball teamless New Jersey.

By the way, about those ivy walls, the greenery was planted in September 1937 by non other than Bill Veeck.

Another thing, if you do take in a game…don't reach out from the stands to catch a foul ball in left field!

For a schedule of home games or tours call 773-404-CUBS or pick up a copy of The Chicago Tribune…they own the team.



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