April 13, 2006,
(Show in Google Maps)
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 (10mm)
Wrigley Field, the second-oldest major league baseball park, is the home of the Chicago Cubs, major league baseball’s least successful team. Wrigley was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park, home of the Chicago Whales of the Federal League, but became home to the National League’s Cubs in 2016 and was renamed Wrigley Field in 1927.
The Cubs have played in Wrigley (and Weeghman) for a hundred years, but have never won a World Series in that time. The last time the Cubs were World Series champions was in 1908 (the second straight year the Cubs won the Series) when they played in West Side Park. That’s 107 years without a title. The Cubs have reached the World Series as National League champions six times during their Wrigley years, the last in 1945. That’s 70 years without winning the league.
That’s epic futility.
I’ve watched games in Wrigley. As a life-long baseball fan, seeing a game at Wrigley was on my bucket list. But I wasn’t attending a game the day I shot this photo. I had a couple of hours to kill between meetings in Chicago so I hopped on the L (Chicago’s elevated train system) for a quick ride north from downtown to the stadium. My plan was to walk around Wrigley’s exterior, grab some photos, then hop the L to get back in town for my next meeting.
The Cubs happened to be playing the Cincinnati Reds (my team) and the game had just started when I arrived. I fought the urge to play hooky from work, buy a ticket and a beer and watch the game. But I stuck to my plan for a quick photo walk.
Wrigley sits in an irregular-shaped block, bounded by Clark Street on the west, Addison Street on the south, Waveland Avenue on the north and Sheffield Avenue on the east. I grabbed a number of photos during the walk that I liked, including the iconic red “Wrigley Field” marquee over the main entrance to the stadium and fans watching baseball for free through an open service entrance on Sheffield Avenue behind right field.
I was standing on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland, facing south, when I took this photo. The large Cubs sign at the top of the stadium is the back side of the scoreboard in center field. Police barriers block Waveland Avenue as late-arriving fans move toward the bleacher entrance.
This scene caught my attention because of how well the blues worked together. The lines of the blue police barriers lead the viewer’s eye toward the people approaching the entrance and the blue-gray sky down Sheffield Avenue. The blue Cubs’ flag logo brings an additional blue element to the composition.
The Cubs have been lovable losers for more than a century, with their fans always looking to next year for better things. 2016 has a strong possibility to be the “next year” of Cubs’ fans dreams. The Cubs have a strong team and have the best record in baseball. But it’s a long season and it’s only the first week of June. There’s still plenty of time for the baseball gods to smite the Cubs, moving their fans to talk of what might have been and dreaming of next year again.
Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.