Last summer, I wrote about going to Wrigley Field to see a Cubs game during the ballpark's 100th anniversary. It remains a gorgeous place to spend a few hours, and is indeed the "Friendly Confines" as the late, but eternal Ernie Banks coined it.
But 100 years is just a number, hard sometimes to wrap your brain around it. So, here's something to help a little bit. It gives substantive meaning to the last line of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," about how it's "One, two, three strikes you're out...at the Old ball game."
This video was passed along to me by Marty Rudoy, and MLB had a link to it, as well. It's footage of the fans and players at a game at Wrigley Field in 1938. No, that's not 100 years ago, but 77 years is a pretty good start.
And by the way, just to put this in proper perspective, this footage is from 27 years after the Cubs last won a World Series.
Most of the footage is of the fans, but especially later on there's some game footage. But what leaps out is how close that park from three-quarters of a century ago looks so similar to it today. And there's that glorious hand-maneuvered scoreboard still there, looming tall. (It's been expanded over the years, as more teams have been added to both leagues.)
You'll also note that this is before the ivy has come in on the outfield walls. But it's not before it was planted. The ivy was planted after the end of the previous season, in September, 1937 (by the legendary Bill Veeck, who was at that point just a young man, but his father, William Veeck, Sr., was president of the Cubs). But this video is likely from Opening Day, April 22,1938, against the St. Louis Cardinals. So, the vines haven't had time to grow due to the cold weather. Even today they don't tend to show up until a few months into the season.
(Note: the opening of the video says that this is from 1937, but commentors on YouTube explain why clues in the film make this more likely the following year.)
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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