the Chicago Cubs didn’t always play in Wrigley Field

the park used to be called Weeghman Park, named after the owner who bought the team in 1913 and moved them to clark and addison after the cubs played for 23 years at West Side Grounds. in 1920 the Wrigley chewing gum family bought the team and renamed the field Cubs Park.

in 1932 both Weeghman and cubs owner William Wrigley passed away. the park had been named Wrigley Field since ’27 and the Cubs were a very competitive team in those days.

the only problem was that Babe Ruth was also playing in 1932 for the new york yankees. in ’31 he hit a cool .373 with 46 homers, and in ’32 he slipped a little, averaging only .341 with 41 homers and 120 ribbies. it would be his last monster season. in ’33 he would barely hit .300, in ’34 he dropped to .288 and in ’35 he would be booted off the bombers unceremoniously after completely changing the face of baseball.

but despite all the records as a hitter, and all the amazing stats as a pitcher (23 wins in 1916 and 24 wins in 1917), the most impressive feat of all has to be his called home run in the fifth inning of the third game of the 1932 world series against the chicago cubs at wrigley field off Charlie Root.

wrigley field wasnt the generous hitters park that you’d think back then. in ’32, their best slugger Johnny Moore only belted 13 homers which led the team. Root had only given up 10 homers the entire season.

a career 200 game winner, Root was wearing #12 on his back for one of the first times in his career. the Cubs in ’32 were the last team to adopt numbers on their uniforms. some would say it was because of the influence of newly hired Bill Veeck who would eventually put ivy on the outfield walls.

in the first inning of the game 33 year old #12 found himself with two men on and big fat #3 up. #3 knocked one over waveland for a three run dinger..

in the fifth inning with the score tied at 4, the fans booed ruth so hard that even the cubs bench joined in and witnesses say that the ruckus made it hard for the bambino to be heard as he shouted to the home team’s bench at the friendly confines.

some say he was informing the cubs that he was about to do something that barry bonds should do if he finally wants us to respect him.

some say babe ruth took two called strikes and then told the cubs that he was going to hit a home run to deep center field right there in the third game of the world series.

on the very next pitch babe ruth hit a homer in extremely deep center field right there in the third game of the world series.

some say Ruth hit the scoreboard in centerfield where he had just pointed, but it’s not true, Veeck wouldnt create the famous scoreboard until five years later, in 1937.

but it is true that cubs fans spit on ruth and his wife the night before his famous called shot as they entered their hotel. which should be a lesson to all of us.

don’t mess with a show off in front of his true love right before he has a good chance to show off.

too bad barry bonds isnt a show off when it matters.

too bad barry bonds doesnt have any respect for baseball history and what went down 70 years ago.

too bad barry bonds doesnt have what it takes to point to those ridiculous exploding mountains of turd in left center of Edison Field in anaheim.

too bad barry bonds would probably get anxious and pull it foul.

Root, nicknamed Chinski because he liked to throw at batters’ heads, said that the Babe never pointed to center or he would have thrown the next pitch at Ruth’s head. ruth said that root had turned around while he called the shot and never saw the dis in the making.

when i was just a little kid growing up in the hood,

i dreamed of finer places, the kinds i saw on television, where everyone had a front yard and a garage and a pretty white woman who’d have milk and snacks waiting for them after school.

little did i know that you all were deep frying twinkies at the fair, studying macroeconomics in learning labs, and teaching the kids about the power of individualism in the catholic schools. now i know how the west was won. finally ive seen the light.

ah, but i chide, for i didnt grow up in the projects in the south side but i was raised in a townhouse in the suburbs just like you. i let a strange man help me with my pinewood derby race car, i had my nanny make my science fair project, i clipped the coupon for a big wheel from the back of a cap’n crunch box and handed it to my mother and in four to six weeks it was mine and i could park it next to the stoop of any house in my neighborhood and never fear that it would get stolen.

the only place i had to lock my bike was at school, and thats because they made us do it there. they taught us that people stole. even though no one stole shit in my town.

back then it was much harder to be a theif. the kids played outside and knew each other. the parents didnt all work. the cops werent anything to be afraid of. and in the wintertime in certain cul de sacs the rain would come and then the cold and little ice ponds would appear overnight.

over by the big hill they even formed a little Hot House with an electric stove so the kids wouldnt get frostbitten so easilly and so the teenagers could find a warm place to practice their french kissing. i once got kissed in the hot house by a girl named dianne, and ten minutes later by her little sister heather. i ran home not knowing what had happened to me.

dont worry love, my nanny said, you’ve simply entered manhood. your life is ruined now.

ding dong?

those girls didnt like me. hardly any of them did. they just decided that they wanted to kiss boys that afternoon and there i was in the wrong place at the wrong time. just like in 98 when i joined the dot com. just like when i was nine and turned on the tv and saw the cubs.

parents cant protect you from everything, nor should they.

hot houses, hot boxes, hot blondes, theyre all tootsie pops of fun with a chewy center of cyanide and if it doesnt kill you it just makes you addicted for more.

a wonderful girl wrote me today with a serious question of what to do when at a bar and the boys smile but none of them come over and my answer is control your own destiny just like those sisters did. of course i liked them both but i was more interested in my tobaggon than i was in what i thought was an impossiblity of the two hottest and smartest sisters in school wanting to share some spit with me in my snowmobile suit.

get up like they do on tv and walk over to the shy boy in the corner and ask him if he has a light.

now this wont work in california where you cant smoke in bars, but i bet ya he’ll pull out a lighter anyway. and if he doesnt ask him if he’ll watch your table for you and when you return thank him with a shot of something.

i would fucking die if a hottie bought me a drink.

i think a gentlemen would have to be inclined to buy her one right back.

jello shot, what was your name again? ah yes, jello shot, victoria?

two jello shots, please.

i miss the mexicans on mission street

who would celebrate for the 49ers and the Giants. Lord knows they were the only ones who wore the hats and jerseys on a regular basis, and bought the flags and ponchos.

The Deadheads had Steal Your Face tshirts with the Giants logos, i liked those.

The old ladies had the satin jackets and big buttons from the olden days. The geeks had the Croix De Candlestick pins in their hats.

But it was the Mexicans who would show up at Mission and 24th right by my favorite taqueria, El Farolita, and cheer to the traffic and wave and raise their fist. Those are your Giants fans, frisco, those are the ones who’ll be watching the series in bars and in tiny apartments after work. Those will be the ones who will be depressed when the Angels sweep em. Those are the ones who i saw when i worked at the Stick. not you.

this whole idea of building new ballparks that look like old ballparks isn’t to attract the middle class blue collar worker who buys their kids Giants bibs or Giants baby caps, it’s to get the people in San Jose to drive up the 101 and load up on garlic fries, ten dollar chicken burritos, and plastic cups of chablis.

there was nothing wrong with candlestick in 97 when the Giants were in first place for most of the season, but there were only two sell outs that year. opening day and one day in september when the dodgers were in town and the gyros were about to clinch it.

rarely were the yuppies represented in the stands because it just wasnt hip to find yourself at the stick. there were no velvet ropes. there were no ethernet jacks for your palm pilot. there was no buzz on the streets.

but there was buzz on the streets. in the mission there was plenty of buzz. same buzz as always. it took a while to hit noe valley and the marina but they’re always a little behind the times anyway unless its super new and kitschy and overpriced, like the new ball park that looks like an old one. one where the giants fans will get their hearts broken in in a few weeks.

the new ballpark is just as windy and cold and soon to be miserable as the stick, but its new and its pretty and it looks great on tv. just like little tears. and expensive jewels.

candlestick is still orange and green and brown and without much character unless you forget about the fact that ballparks are only backdrops. as gorgeous and heavenly as wrigley field is, it will be known, for me, as the place that Babe Ruth called his home run blast. and candlestick is where montana made all those memories and where steve young ran for my favorite touchdown of all. none of those guys cared about the wind or the fact that the wealthy couldn’t be pampered in luxury boxes.

let the dogs leap from the yachts in mccovey cove and scrounge the Old Navy splash hits deposited by the likes of anderson, glaus, salmon and kennedy. the angels have tried to turn their park into disneyland too, but the fans always have the last laugh and the fans know they’re in orange county so they all dress alike and they’re all white and they bang their plastic bangers and they buy their monkeys and crack open fortune cookies from panda express that say you will always have this moment so dig it.

these are two teams that i don’t like very much and two ball parks that can burn for all i care, but i do love the fans and these two teams have fans that have waited a while for this, but the best fans this october, im surprised to say, are those in anaheim, and im happy their team will win.

sorry, mission street mexicans, propagators of soul in a city at a crossroads. wave your flag as high in defeat as you would in victory, for you will lose, and the yuppies will have already switched to their niners colors before the first cork is popped in the anaheim locker room.

ive gone a few years without a car

and it doesn’t bother me much, if at all. you’d think it would but it doesn’t. your heart can take you places that a car could never.

if a pretty girl wants to go somewhere either she’ll drive or close her eyes and go with me somewhere.

one particular girl isn’t happy about driving an hour to see me any more and when she closes her eyes thinks of someone else.

its sorta like the traffic, how can you argue with it, its part of living. it’s like raising your fist at gravity. everything changes baby that’s a fact. and maybe everything that dies some day comes back. put your make up on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me tonight in atwater village.

i fell asleep last night after cold pizza and beer watching monday night football. there was a little tap at the door. no one taps at my door. i don’t even have a peep hole. good thing im not afraid to die.

opened the door and there she was. anna.

her hair seemed a little darker. she had a little french braid tucked behind her ear. glitter that she’d powder puffed on her neck and cheeks and arms. the cutest little sleeveless shirt that she found at a thrift store. shes not into bargains, but she knows that i like her that way. she had a cute little package with a bow around it. a real copy of Dreamweaver 4.

oh anna.

we got a fire started in the hearth. fall had come bringing guests: wind, leaves, frost.

she curled up in my lazy boy and wanted me to squish in there with her, ended up in my lap and we talked about fine art and the sound certain words make like ricochet.

the sake was warming on the stove as the christmas lights twinkled and the mechanics next door slammed the chain link fence closed after a long long night.

my life isn’t perfect she told me and it’s not what i want right now, but im glad you’re here with me, right now.

and i knew what she meant.

and we went to bed without getting naked, but like sexy friends, the kind you read about.

okay i got naked in the morning, but im a perv.