Home plate, the field, there is something special about the dirt on the baseball field. It’s like a time machine to the past spirits of the greats. It has been said baseball is a religion–it could just be true. Squatting down next to home plate on the Kelvyn Park baseball field in Chicago, IL, as a kid, my earliest recollection of feeling the life of the game. Picking up the dirt and letting it run through my fingers, the feeling was a unique one that I remembered as a kid. I really didn’t get it–that feeling.
Done with my fascination with the dirt, I returned to the kid things of playing in the park and swinging on the swings on a hot summer day. The memory of the dirt was not recollected until many years later into my adult life.
June 2005, the Baseball draft was under way. My brother, Adam Rosales was set to be selected. Drafted in the 12th round, he began his professional baseball career with the Cincinnati Reds, making his Major League Baseball debut in 2008. Through Adam’s career and my opportunity to attend many baseball games–I was reminded of my initial memory as a kid–of the dirt of a baseball field and looking out into the field and feeling the magic of the game. Now, able to put words to that feeling–life on the baseball field, a passion for the game and the gratitude for the history and the life lessons baseball has stored in it’s back pocket.
Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, some of the stadiums that I have had the opportunity to visit, each having its own feeling and personality. This summer, June 2017, visiting Chicago–my hometown–a deep desire to visit Wrigley Field and step onto the dirt of the baseball field, I found the Wrigley Field Stadium Tour.
Geared up to visit the stadium, my husband and I set out to tour Wrigley Field. Entering the stadium, I was reminded of a baseball game I went to with my grandparents when I was a kid. The enormous amount of people, the noise of the crowd and looking forward to the seventh inning stretch with Harry Caray.
Entering the stadium for the tour–a much different feel–a calmness and the personality of the stadium could be felt. We entered with a group and my mind wandered–why each of these people decided to take this tour. There were comments and reminders of games that were attended, watching the players play and people’s own personal baseball experiences. Truly, there was a reminder of the love of the game that each person felt.
Since childhood, I have always loved Wrigley Field stadium. It felt like baseball and it seemed like the spirits of the old-time players live there. Walking up the stairs–seeing the stadium in its emptiness–fans could be pictured in the stadium as well as players on the field. The city landscape was beautiful.
Listening to our tour guide’s account of the history of Wrigley–I learned that one of the suggested original names of the Chicago Cubs was the Chicago Chickens. I am glad that was not the chosen name. Where Wrigley was built there used to be something similar to a synagogue which might explain the reverence of the field. The Ivy, I think we all learned never to try to get a ball out of it–it might just suck you in–much better as a player to throw your hands up and accept the ground rule double. Continuing on the tour, we visited the press box! Now, that was amazing. Walking up to the press box–pictures of the players lined the walls. Entering the press box, passing through the hallway–passing by the box that Harry Caray would sing his infamous “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Everything was so alive even in the silence of the empty stadium. The view from the press box of the city landscape was amazing. The buildings are magnificent. Our last stop of the tour, the field. Walking, sitting in the dugout–imagining the players headed out of the clubhouse ready for their game.
Lastly, to touch the dirt–bringing me back to the dirt of the Kelvyn Park baseball field, the appreciation of the game and the magic of the game that somehow continues to hold the history of the past.