Friday, March 11, 2016

EXTRA: Just under one month, and we’ll have baseball back so I won’t have to scour the Internet for this stuff

I have to confess – the first time I ever got into the clubhouse facilities and onto the playing field of a major league baseball stadium (at the structure now known as U.S. Cellular Field), I felt the need to head over to the dugout and perch myself on the steps.

Envisioning myself as a manager-of-sorts, trying to come up with the unique strategic move that would lead my ball club to victory, get me the owner’s praise – and a bigger contract for future seasons. Then, the fantasy ended, and I headed up to the press box to cover the ballgame (back in my UPI reporting days).
Assuming the managerial pose

SO WHILE SCOURING around the Internet, I came across a 1967 short film entitled, “No Game Today,” in which a young boy manages to sneak into an empty Comiskey Park and go roaming around the field.

Even taking a few seconds to make that same managerial pose I once did.

Although I found myself watching the film (which clocks in at just over 10 minutes) more for its details of the old Comiskey, a ballpark I still remember fondly. Heck, I recently had a dream in which my brother and I were at a ballgame – sitting in those stands even though the structure hasn’t existed since 1990.

Although the ballpark appeared a lot cleaner back in ’67 than it was in those final seasons when I saw ballgames there (I still remember the time under the stands in the right field corner when I tripped because of a foot-deep pothole that had developed throughout the years).

I ALSO COULDN’T help but notice that the famed pinwheels on the center field scoreboard that we presume always existed didn’t way back then.

Now I’m not going to proclaim there’s anything deep or telling about this piece of film-making. Just a chance to reminisce about a piece of old Chicago, while also anxiously awaiting the beginning of Chicago baseball ’16.

And if this video isn’t enough, then perhaps this other bit on the website (which manages to find the most trivial, but intriguing, bits of Chicago television programming) will help.

It’s the entire final ballgame of the Chicago White Sox’ 1980 season – against the California Angels, with the voice of Harry Caray doing the play-by-play back before his Chicago Cubs days, when those fans were likely to think Harry was too much of a drunken lout to ever fit in as part of the Wrigley Field scene.

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