As an ardent Chicago White Sox fan, I’ve never felt quite right about attending Cubs games at Wrigley Field. Still, as a baseball fan, when a friend offers me a free ticket to a game I’m not going to turn it down. Beer is beer, baseball is baseball, and women are women, so I’m going. Once inside the rotting corpse that is Wrigley Field, though, I kind of start feeling like an Israeli in Palestine. It just doesn’t feel like I’m really wanted there, and during the fifth inning of last night’s Cubs game, Mother Nature/The Gods/Whoever is in charge of this dog and pony show we call Life made it painfully clear that my presence was not appreciated.
It started as your typical rainfall, and while I watched all the fans in the seats in front of me retreat to the concourse for cover, I relaxed in my seat behind home plate and under the grandstand dry as a bone. I laughed at the drenched masses running as though they were the Wicked Witch of the West, all of Wrigley Field transforming into a scene from The Wizard of Oz. Suddenly, a siren could be heard going off. A tornado? In the city? Then the wind suddenly shifted and began gusting at phenomenal speed. The rain was being driven through the fenced facade of Wrigley, and everyone seeking refuge under the grandstand found themselves soaked.
All of [the storm] giving a new, unsettling meaning to “It’s Gonna Happen.”
Apparently, though, that catchphrase holds true for games delayed even when Mother Nature decides to up her slugging percentage. The Cubs-Astros game was apparently gonna happen, come hell or high water, until it was mercifully called at 11:51 p.m. as a 2-0 Astros victory.
The first holdup was a 2-hour-45-minute monsoon delay when a wicked front rolled through before the sixth inning. The second delay, thanks to a reprise of thunder, lightning and rain blown sideways in a gale—began at 11:13 p.m. and brought things to a close with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
I hadn’t stuck around long enough for the second delay, as after the rain started falling sideways and I was soaking wet, I turned to my friend and told her it was time for us to get going. While inside the stadium it was hard to assess the damage being done around the city, but the first sign was as we were walking out of Wrigley and found ourselves wading in water that was ankle deep.
As we got to the car and I lit a cigarette (seriously, Wrigley, designate a gate where fans can smoke like they do with Gate 5 at the Cell), we began the long drive home and surveyed the damage. All along Clark Street there were parts of trees in the road, and at one point there was a newspaper box (you know, the little boxes where you put in the change and are only supposed to take one paper but take like five) that had blown out into the road, as well. Those things aren’t exactly lightweight, yet the winds had carried it a good fifteen feet.
All in all, it was probably the most fun I have ever had at a Cubs game. The fact the Cubs would eventually be handed the loss when the game was called only made it that much sweeter.