Photo via Wikipedia
Hell must be frozen over and pigs should be sprouting wings to fly about now. Get ready for anything unlikely and unfathomable to happen now that the Chicago Cubs are in the World Series. After a legendary losing streak that stretched out over 100 years, the Cubs have landed in the World Series.
I can’t explain how or why this happened because I am a Chicago White Sox fan, which means I’m accustomed to winning baseball teams. Huge swaths of the city have never witnessed championship baseball, however, so expect hordes of people wandering around Chicago with dazed looks.
This week’s World Series games will probably inspire visitors to check out Cubs lifestyle and folklore.(spoiler: there are several curses involved) If you don’t mind crowds and sloshy antics, consider this Chicago Cubs itinerary.
This landmark ball park, the second oldest in major league history, is a must-see even if you’re not a baseball fan. Wrigley Field or The Friendly Confines as “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, famously nicknamed it, was built in 1914 and boasts an ivy-covered, brick outfield wall and a hand-turned scoreboard.
The original name of the ballpark was Weeghman Park and it’s laid out on the former grounds of a seminary. Wrigley Field offers daily tours that supply an interactive park experience on both game days and non-game days. The 75-90 minute tour includes visits to the bleachers, seating bowl, field, press box and visitor’s club house although you will see more on non-game day tours.
Tickets for 2016 season tours are closed but 2017 tours will be available soon.
Of course, the best way to experience Wrigley Field is to attend a Cubs game, if you’re into that sort of thing.
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Of course, World Series tickets are already well into the four-figure realm, but during regular, non-winning seasons, you can snag an advance ticket and sit in the bleachers. Food is a big part of the Wrigley Field experience (and a fun way to bury Cubs fan frustrations) — highlights include Hot Dougs and Decade Dog for Chicago style hot dogs, Giordano’s for Chicago style pizza , Buona Beef Italian beef and sausages and a Chicago Dog Bloody Mary complete with celery salt and poppy seed rim at the Budweiser Bleachers.
Chicago Sports Museum
Chicago is a sports fan town and the interactive Chicago Sports Museum allows visitors to live in our shoes with high tech exhibits. Cubs fans can view the baseball used to make the last out in the 1945 World Series, broadcast on camera from a Wrigley Field broadcast booth replica, and try to unravel the mystery of the Cubs’ century-long losing streak with sports forensics.
Of particular interest are Sammy Sosa’s infamous corked bat, with a computer terminal that allows you to zoom in on the interior, CSI style, and the notorious 2003 Cubs playoff foul ball, which was officially destroyed at a public event in 2004.
The remnants are displayed next to an installation that lets fans detonate a replica of the ball for extra closure. Head next door to Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch, named for the iconic Cubs play by play announcer (although he started with the White Sox), to grab burgers and brews.
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Clark Street Sports
Across from Wrigley Field, at several locations along Clark street, you’ll spot sports souvenir shop Clark Street Sports. The store is crammed with jerseys, hats, foam fingers and bleacher creatures to celebrate Chicago sports teams. All the teams from the Sox to the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears, are represented but this is the place to stock up on Cubs paraphernalia. It’s cheesy and overpriced, but that’s part of the experience.
The Cubby Bear
This famous sports bar, perched on the corner across from Wrigley Field, is the place for after-game drinks and revelry. The Cubby Bear is filled with six projectors and over 75 high-definition TVs to view games as well as a full bar and hearty bar food. It’s always jam packed during games but it serves as a popular entertainment complex during the rest of the year.