By Brian Connor
They started testing out the stadium lights last week, at least the top row. Most important and oldest of the things first. Next I came home from work to see the blue neon glow of the Wintrust sign atop the jumbotron visible again: I say jumbotron because to call it a scoreboard gives it the impression it could even compete with its iconic counterpart in center. Finally they turned that TV on in full, testing templates for what looked like starting pitchers before turning it off. This week all parts will be firing on all cylinders.
I live about as east as you can go in Chicago, in a northern enough disposition that allows Wrigley Field to be visible from my apartment. For reasons I’m not quite sure of, the team leaves the stadium lights on all night following any home games, day or night. It’s worth mentioning the irony of my particular rooting interest- I sing a song of good guys wear black, of winning ugly, na na hey hey, he gone, gaaaaaaaaaaasssss- but it’s something I caught onto quick having moved there the first full attendance allowed game at the stadium last year.
I’d get used to coming home and looking out to see the stadium lights on in full. Some days it would be after a long work day with the pinkish summer sunset as the backdrop, some nights it would be about that witching hour time when that “one last bar” welcomed us for probably too long. And, frankly, Wrigley is the dame I recognize as beautiful but isn’t my type, and I’ve often thought someone who’s an actual fan of the team would appreciate that view and those endless stadium lights more than I who fell for the team who chose the faceless fireworks factory façade as a ballpark theme. But there’s something to coming home every time the team’s in town and seeing those stadium lights dwarf the apartments barely putting up a fight below in a summer night.
It’s been a long six months of seeing nothing but the neon “Chicago CUBS” sign- designed, I would have to think, to beckon the attention of the bleacher creatures to let them know that, in their drunken stupor, they’d found it- on and forever and always on. We were, for a while, in danger of having that happen for an even longer time: the disputes over the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the player’s association over the winter came to a lockout, and grew uglier by the day for quite some time. I can’t recall the day that I thought of penning “Baseball Bastardized II” for this site, but I had definitely made my mind up on number vs. roman numerals and the list of talking points. Continue reading “Brian Connor “Baseball: Back””