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Wrigley Field: What’s in a name is plenty to Cub Fans.
By Mike Fak(18,246)
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008
View All Blog Posts submitted by Mike Fak
The other day, the entire front page of the Chicago Sun Times was devoted to the outrage storming through Chicago’s bars, taverns, coffee shops and even churches. Notorious new owner of the Tribune Corp, Sam Zell went on record as saying he was looking into selling naming rights to one of the architectural icons of the Windy City, Wrigley Field.
Now to Chicagoans and Cub fans you can do just about anything. In fact in the full century since the Cubs last won a World Series, just about everything has been done to them. But try and change the name of Wrigley Field for monetary gain? Those are fighting words in Cubdom whether in Chicago or Botswana.
I find it interesting that so much is being made of preserving the name when so little has actually been done to preserve the ballpark. The previous two owners, the Wrigleys and the Tribune Co. before Zell’s purchase, both always had the excuse that tampering with the venerable old ballpark would be a sacrilege. Thus nothing serious was done to the park until it started coming down in chunks three years ago. The field finally has been replaced after ballplayers voted that Wrigley had the worst field conditions in the majors. Players have commented that parts of the field were like running on an old mattress while other sections were harder than a billiard table’s surface.
Zell, who makes no bones about the fact his only interest in the Cubs and Wrigley Field, is how much money he can get for the both, is now officially the most hated man in Chicago and possibly all of baseball. What is lost on this generation of Cub fans is that for years the Wrigley Family was chastised every baseball season during the 50s through 70s as a family that didn’t want to spend any money to produce a winning team. Back then a statement that the name of the park was going to be changed probably would have met with high approval ratings. Not any more. Not with this generation of Cub fans who don’t remember all the 100 loss seasons fans were subjected to back in the Wrigley era.
As the baseball season comes ever closer, talk about Zell and his antics seem to supercede the story the Cubs might have a legitimate chance to get back to the Fall Classic. That’s too bad. This might be the best team the Cubs have had since Tinker to Evers to Chance. But then again there is also the chance another Cubby curse will rear its ugly head to doom the season. Maybe a chunk of the place will land on Carlos Zambrano while he is in the midst of a no-hitter.
Maybe rather than allow a company to put its moniker on the stadium, we should just rename the place the Temple of Doom. For five generations of worshipful Cub fans that’s what the stadium represents.
Renaming Wrigley shouldn’t be the chief concern of Cub fans right now. Fixing it so it doesn’t fall down midway through a season should take precedence.
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Posted to ProBlogs.com on Thursday, March 13, 2008
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