I only live a few blocks from Wrigley Field, so I walk by it quite often on non-game days, especially this week in anticipation of this weekend's playoff series against Arizona. A little cloudy with a hint of rain yesterday, but beautiful warm sunshine today. Feels more like June than October. At first glance, the activity level in the neighborhood looks pretty normal, a far cry from the chaos and madness that will descend upon it this weekend. But in taking a second look, I can definitely see and sense an undercurrent of excitement.
Souvenir stands open for business on the street corners. People taking pictures of the marquee and posing in front of the Harry Caray statue. Beer trucks double-parked in front of bars unloading their wares. Guys on the rooftops making last minute adjustments, somebody in front of Murphy's with a power-washer hosing down the sidewalks. The fire house for Engine Co. 78 got a facelift recently with a new brick driveway and a picnic table. And not long ago, the fire hydrant at Waveland & Kenmore received a fresh coat of purple paint.
But it wasn't just around the park - it was inside as well. That old brick and concrete house of dreams was definitely getting lots of attention. The beep-beep-beep of forklifts as boxes of food and other assorted sundries are unloaded, workers everywhere sweeping up and wiping down. Some of the grounds crew inspecting the newly laid sod in the outfield while others getting ready to spray paint the NLDS logo on the grass by the dugouts. Even Harry seemed to be clearing his throat, ready to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" again. Everyone stepping lively, moving fast and all in good spirits.
I had to chuckle as I made my way around the park - it kinda reminded me of stories my mom used to tell me about how the high school girls back then would spend all that time primping, prepping and getting all gussied up before their big date...
Then I stopped short as a chill went down my spine, for it was at that moment I realized this marvelous beauty of a baseball cathedral was getting ready for her own big date - a date with Destiny.
Go Cubs! Make Wrigley Field (and us) proud!