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Buy Me Some Peanuts…

Everyone knows that V I Warshawski is a Cubs fan, but it’s been a while since she went to the ballpark. For a book I’ve just started writing, I’m imagining a chase scene, down those nasty old corridors between the visitors locker room and the dugout, so I persuaded some friends to come with me for a tour of the park today.

Sara with Jo, Kathy and Louis

Sara with Jo, Kathy and Louis

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, 65 under cerulean skies, and we had a lively and knowledgable guide, who gave us some fun facts about the field, and baseball history. Charles Weeghman, who built the park, was a restauranteur–he installed the first concession stand in major league ball. The Wrigleys took over the majority ownership in 1920 and expanded the field, which was originally only about 2/3 its current size.

As most baseball people know, the Wrigleys thought night games would be a passing fad, although they did have a plan to install lights in 1941. After Pearl Harbor, they shipped the lights up to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station for use in simulating night landings on aircraft carriers, and it was another 47 years before permanent lights were installed. However, the All-American Girls Professional League played their 1943 championship game at Wrigley under temporary lights.

AAGPL Photo at Wrigley Field

AAGPL Photo at Wrigley Field

We weren’t allowed into the dugouts because high school prospects were trying out on the field, but we got to see the locker rooms–very bare-bone affairs compared to some of the newer parks, but surprisingly enough, all of the parks have pretty utilitarian facilities–just a place to hang clothes, a little safe for valuables, a chair to sit in before the game. Interesting factoid about laundry: the home team is responsible for washing the visitors uniforms. The night before a team arrives, a courier deposits their dirty laundry at the home park, where the staff launders the clothes and has them hanging up in the visitors’ locker room by the time the team arrives. Jobs I’m glad I don’t have…

View of the Field From the Press box

View of the Field From the Press box

View of the City from the top of Wrigley Field

View of the City from the top of Wrigley Field

In the visitors locker room

In the visitors locker room

We did get to sit in the press box, and, since no one was around, use the men’s room outside, which has an amazing view of the city.

I’m not sure I can really set a chase scene here–the fun place would be the old scoreboard, which no one is allowed into–but I do have my heart set on another possibility: guest host of the 7th Inning Stretch.

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  • Una Tiers

    Lovely! Another home run!

  • The Bag Lady

    Sigh. I had a clever comment all written out, but lost it when I had to create an account in order to comment….

    Thanks for the tour! What fun you have!

  • Aurea-Vicenta Gonzalez Martine

    Hi Sara. A pleasure to greet. In Spain still untranslated novels, a shame as I am a devoted fan. Best regards.

  • Kathy D.

    Slightly off topic here, but want to wish you a very happy birthday and hope that you celebrate many more healthy and productive ones for years to come. Thank you for the many years of great books, politics, principles and fun. And thanks for V.I. Warshawski, who set the tone and paved the road for so many independent, capable, smart, feisty women private detectives. Live on, V.I.! And many happy years ahead for you, Sara Paretsky.

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