Monday, July 28, 2014

A Nice Little Place Down the Street

Once upon a time, when my day started with a quick run or a dog walk around the neighborhood, and every day was sunny but not too hot, I would occasionally stop at the ticket window to see if they had any of those $15 day of game bleacher tickets. And more often than not, certainly more often than I should have, I would buy one and spend my afternoon, not in my broom closet turned office doing work that I actually hated, but in the beautiful bleachers at Wrigley Field, with 3,000 others who also hated their job or were happily unemployed.*

My mornings no longer start with a run, the dog died, my job is not so bad and bleacher tickets cost over $50; I hardly spend anytime at Wrigley, a very nice place just down the street, my favorite place to be on a summer afternoon.

George Will shares my love of Wrigley, which he writes about in A Nice Little Place on the North Side. Will, conservative columnist and Cubs fan, ambles through the history of Wrigley Field with the pace of a lazy summer day. His anecdotal tour of Wrigley, and the Cubs, is a delightful and engaging read, the past easily building the story of modern day Wrigley.

Will, born a Cubs fan, covers not only the history of the ball park but how that history plays a key part in the Cubs consistently dismal summer standings. Only one other team in Major League Baseball is so closely tied to a stadium, and they seem to have figured out how to win, not so the Cubs. Is it true, that the beauty and experience of Wrigley, the friendly confines, contributes in part to the Cubs consistently lackluster performance? Will's writing is engaging and clever, and full of arcane stories that all come together to create a historical portrait of a beloved team playing in an equally beloved ballpark. Will's story is not just a birthday card, it's a delightful romp through one hundred years of baseball, Wrigley, Cubs and heartache.

Through Blogging for Books, I received a review copy of this book.

*See Elia's infamous tirade, "don't these people have jobs?"

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