As corny as it sounds, I strongly believe that there is nothing that says summer quite like a baseball game. I have never really been one for watching sports extensively. Yes, occasionally I’ll tune in to the Bears, peak in on the Hawks to see how they’re doing or even, on a rare instance, get roped into watching the PGA tour with my dad. Strangely baseball is the one sport I can watch unfailingly. It can be slow-moving, technical and last what can feel like an eternity, but there has always been something so raw and unique, some rare quality that has drawn me to the game.
What I’ve always loved most about baseball is the atmosphere. Sure, I’ll watch games on TV or occasionally even stream video online, but the atmosphere inside a baseball stadium is a phenomenon I’ve yet to find anywhere else. Nowhere in the “real world” do hundreds, even thousands, of people clamor for fly balls, essentially the rejects, for a scrap of a major (or minor) league hero. The distinct calls of each of the vendors in the stands – whether their wares include beer, hot dogs or Cracker Jacks – each has their own special cry. “Hooooooot dawgs,” declares one throaty yell. “Beer here, Miller, Old Style, beeeer” is thrown into the crowd by another, each it’s own distinct rhythm and timber.
I am, in truth, a Cubs fan. One of those lowly Chicagoans who holds out hope that this will, in fact, be the year. And since my summer adventures have led me away from the Windy City, I’ve settled upon the Iowa Cubs to fill my Wrigleyville void. Last weekend I ventured over to Principal Park with a few friends for a Chicago-style hotdog and a double header – the perfect official start to summer.