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  • (A big thank you to Dave Lauer for his story "The Smell of the Ballpark", which, reminded me of my unforgettable experience at Chicago's Wrigley Field)

    Welcome to Wrigley Field, one of the few remaining cathdrals of baseball. The gospel preached there is unchanged in over 100 years. I went to my first ever game at Wrigley Field in 2009, and will never forget it.

    The aroma smacked me as soon as I stepped in off of the street. Hot dogs, popcorn, sauteed onions, roasted peanuts. The scents are unmistakable. I walked around for a bit, taking it all in. The walkways around the stadium are dimly lit, with lots of shadows. Bright blasts of color and light appear as you walk past each "section" that leads out to your seats, and the field.

    Finally, I find my section, and head down the corridor towards the light, towards the field. The field reveals a little more of itself with each step I took, forming a larger, bigger picture as I get closer. Seeing the field for the first time was overwhelming. It was religious. It was beautiful. The greens are greener than you would imagine. The foul lines are so crisp. The clay so well manicured. You hear an occassional, and faint, "Beer here...popcorn here", from the vendors, who march up and down the steps, reminding you of what you are supposed to be eating while you visit the cathedral. The ivy on the outfield walls are thicker than how they appear on TV.

    The murmer of the crowd is soothing, as they settle in their seats with their ball park food and beers. Dads with their sons, sharing cotton candy, cracker jacks, and memories.

    The rhythmic CRACK of the bat during batting practice was the only thing that helped keep track of time.

    I just stood there, and stared, silently... taking it all in... sensory overload... first visit to Wrigley Field...

    The only way this day could get better would be if I were lucky enough to witness a Chicago Cubs grand slam, or better yet, catch that exact moment with my camera...

    Yes, it happened...

    That story is coming up next.
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