Spring Ball Fever

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Baseball field walls have been adorned with catchy slogans and

advertising posters, practically since they started building them.

With the bigger stadiums, local news and television stations, major

automobile and other products have been featured and promoting,

along with paying money for the advertising. It is nice to be reminded

of Indianapolis’ being one of the first stadiums to display naturally

growing ivy at Perry Field. It sure would ‘cushion’ someone jumping

into the wall, to catch a long distance ball!

The Perry Field ivy is what inspired William Wrigley to decide to

decorate his new Wrigley Field, reaching its 100th anniversary this

year. A great book, written by George F. Will, better known for his

essays on politics was published in March, 2014. Its title is:

“A Nice Little Place on the North Side.” (Crown Archetype, a division

of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.)

The background story about Wrigley Field was they invested an extra

$200,000 to help make the bleachers reflect nature, along with the

idea of having the ivy walls. At the onset of building, they inserted

big cement tree boxes at the ends of the rows, where plans were made

to plant trees in each of these. Once they completed the stadium,

thy tried this, which sounded like a gorgeous natural setting,

with possible shade for some spectators, too. Unfortunately, the

trees were not able to survive. Gusts of wind off Lake Michigan,

repeatedly stripped the bark and leaves off the trees.

In the book, this simple description also shows Cubs’ owner,

William Wrigley’s frustration at the devastation:

“A week after we were finished, the bleachers looked like the

Russian Steppes during a hard, cold winter. Nothing but cement

and bark.”

George F. Will’s explanation:

“The forestation of the Wrigley Field bleachers was abandoned.”

The Boston Ivy was supposed to be planted and growing, when a call

was made to the ones in charge of this duty. They were only given

one day, so once agriculturalists were consulted, they chose to

plant a fast growing plant named, “Bittersweet.” It grew quickly

with lights strung along the wall. The ‘effect’ of green was able

to satisfy visiting guests to view the sight. Later, they inserted

into the bittersweet the Boston Ivy, since the original ‘quick fix’

for the presentation, still needed a more solid and denser growing

plant for the long haul. It took longer but is a magnificent wall

of flourishing ivy.

I have fond memories of going to the old cement stadium in Cleveland

to see both the Indians and Browns play. When they tore it down, to

build what was first named, “Jacob’s Field” I thought I would miss

the old one. It is a beautiful structure and ‘there isn’t a bad seat

in the house.’ I have never personally been to the Indianapolis Perry

Field or Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field, but enjoyed seeing the

photos and reading about the history of the latter’s field.

Happy 100th Anniversary, Wrigley Field!

Congratulations for making it to one hundred years!

Since I know that Columbus Clippers is having a whole weekend of

playing against Toledo Mud Hens, I will say I am ‘rooting’ for my

home team of the Clippers!

I can hear the old song, “Take me out to the ball game,” and imagine

the old Cracker Jacks and peanut shells falling onto the ground…

Have a wonderful weekend and I am now off to Mom’s…

(We only worked a half day today, due to a lot of overtime this

week… Also, my eyes are doing much better, less pressure than

in the Fall and Winter months! Hip hip hurray!)

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28 responses »

    • Thanks, hope you have been enjoying the beginning of the season! Is this the summer you will be traveling the country watching games? Had you already known of the book I listed above? Also, have you seen Perry and Wrigley fields? I bet they are cool to view in person. Anyway, off to my Mom’s so no worries about writing back… Happy Spring and Happy Easter, too. Have a treat and enjoy a brew, too!

      • Unfortunately, I’m a Twins fan, so there’s some misery in Mudville, but I do love having baseball season back. Another race to the World Series begins! I decided against the “All Ballparks Tour” idea, but I hope to visit some of the closer venues. Would love to visit Wrigley Field!

        Happy Jelly Bean Day!

      • I did not know about the new idea of closer distanced baseball games… So glad to hear about the new plans! Sorry about your luck with the Twins…
        I love Skittles’ jelly beans, lately! I have tried a variety in my pursuit of the perfect jelly beans. I do like the Jelly Belly different flavors, but expensive and too little, I also like ones that have pectin in them, they taste good! Hope you had a good day, too!

    • Thanks for you lovely wishes, Andro! Hope you had a delicious time!
      I had a great time with Mom and my brothers and one sister in law in Cleveland, then came back to the chaotic but fun 6 grandchildren, a delicious meal prepared by my son and his wife, and more Easter egg hunts! Hugs, Robin

  1. Happy Anniversary to Wrigley Field! They just opened a new stadium here in Charlotte, it’s minor league. I’m not a big fan of baseball on TV, but it’s fun going to a stadium on a beautiful day.
    Have a wonderful Easter, Robin!

    • I like minor league games, go to the Clippers and also, sometimes to local high school or league games. Fun to watch the players as well as the people in the stands! Thanks for the wonderful wishes, Jill! Hugs, Robin

  2. I used to love that song so much. And when we recited “Casey at the Bat” in school! πŸ™‚ Happy new week, Robin.

    • So glad that you are reminding me about “Casey at the Bat,” Luanne! I am glad you liked that song, they still sing it at baseball games and we ring a cowbell in Columbus at the Clippers’ games! Happy new week, back at you, Luanne! Smiles, Robin

  3. What a great baseball story! I had no idea where the idea to cover the outfield walls with ivy came from, but it is idyllic and symbolic of baseball as is Boston’s Green Monster left field wall. I am glad you brought in minor league baseball as part of this story, too. I enjoyed rooting from the Tacoma Rainiers (a carry over from the Pacific Coast League Seattle Rainiers before they got a major league team) and the Area 51’s from when I lived in Las Vegas.

    After a decade of watching M*A*S*H and knowing Klinger was a Toledo Mud Hens fan, it was like they became America’s favorite AAA ball club. Still, I would root for the Clippers because Klinger was a fictional character, and YOU are the real deal! I hope they have a great season in Columbus. – Mike

    • It turns out that one of my friends, Beth, above is a Mud Hens fan! Glad you reminded us that Klinger was a fan of the Toledo Mud Hens! That character was a really interesting one in M*A*S*H*!
      I am cool with the way you think I am the ‘real deal,’ Mike! I liked the way you included the minor league team you liked to follow while you were a Seattle resident instead of a world traveler, too!
      Thanks for this great set of comments, Mike! Smiles, Robin

      • Also, thank you for the reminder that Boston’s wall is called “Green Monster” left field wall! I always appreciate your additions of information, Mike!

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