Take me out to the renovated baseball stadium


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Originally Posted Online: April 18, 2013, 7:33 pm
Last Updated: April 18, 2013, 9:13 pm
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By John Marx jmarx@qconline.com

"It's one of the worst places in baseball for, well, just about anything. I really don't like it. Count me in the group of people extremely happy to see that ($500 million in renovations to Wrigley Field).
There is a tremendous history associated with it, and there is something special about playing on the same field that guys like Babe Ruth did. But really, what kind of history is there? It's not like there has been one championship after another. It's mainly been a place for people to go and drink beer."


The quote above is attributed to Texas Rangers' designated hitter Lance Berkman. He speaks the truth.

If you love baseball, every major league field is gorgeous. There is something special about walking up the ramp and seeing a big-league playing field.

Heck, Olympic Stadium at Montreal, as hideous as it was with its worn Astroturf, was still a site to behold the first time I laid eyes on it.

Same for when you hit the top of any ramp at Wrigley Field. The site before you is breathtaking.

Today's sermonette is not about my disdain for the Chicago Cubs and the cesspool of a stadium they call home, Wrigley Field. It's about progress and a dumpy, rundown ballpark in need of the fixing it's proposed to get.

Face it, folks, Wrigley Field needs fixin'.

The allure of Wrigley, in a neighborhood on Chicago's north side, is not lost on me. I get the "cool'' quotient of all the bars and eateries in "Wrigleyville,'' a sappy name someone in the 1980s gave to the area surrounding the ballpark. Outside Wrigley Field is unique.

I also get no parking, a cracking foundation, crappy concession areas, the world's worst restrooms and walks unable to handle any decent-sized crowd. I also have been in the clubhouses — visiting and home — and they are the worst in the game.

It's time Cub fans. You deserve better.

The Ricketts family paid nearly a billion dollars for the Cubs a few years back and now want to invest another $500 million to fix Wrigley. Good for them. I'd like to know where they are getting the financing for another half-bil, but good for them.

Park renovations, a planned hotel across the street from Wrigley, a video board and signs, will give the Rickets family a chance to get back some of the 1.5 billion they're on the hook for. It gives them a fighting chance to stay up with other big-league clubs. More dollars means better players. Salaries and what a game costs are for another day.

As for the rooftop piranhas behind Wrigley, let 'em fly in the wind. If the Ricketts family wants to put up signs blocking them, too bad. They have sponged — and don't play the 17 percent the Cubs get from them on me — long enough.

It's 2013, and Cub fans, thank goodness, have gone 105 years without winning a World Series. I can live with another 105, but Cubs fans — and I have heard from my share through the years — cannot. As much as this hurts, you deserve more.

My father will turn in his grave and lightning will strike me down for penning this, but the only way the Cubs will ever sniff the World Series is if they fix Wrigley Field.

If it doesn't happen, I hope the fans — and it's hard to match a Cub fan's loyalty — enjoy going to Rosemont to watch their beloved boys in blue.

Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309-757-8388 or jmarx@qconline.com.
















 



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  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.




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