Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Waiting all night for tickets in the good ole days...

This Friday is ticket day at the Friendly Confines and around the country many Cub fans will take their shot with the website or the 800 number. I have no real trick to recommend. Just have high speed internet service and cross your fingers.

Back in the late nineties gaius marius, VeHere and I used to make ticket Friday a holiday. Of course back in those days there were no wristbands. This was first come, first served, only the strong (or really drunk) survive. It all began one Thursday night when we were out at local establishments way to late. On our way home we walked by the ballpark and noticed about 75-100 brave souls in front of the park. We jumped in line and met a ton of nice people. We would sneak a few drinks and fight the chilling temperatures that make a Chicago February.

It's funny, but through the years I have met more great people in lines at Wrigley Fd. I was never quite smart enough to bring a chair or blankets. But someone was always nice enough to lend me a seat for an hour or two. These are complete strangers who you may never see again, but on these nights we shared the cold and the bond that this year might be the next year we keep waiting for.

The most memorable line for me had to be '98. It was a warmer but rainy night if I remember correctly. Harry Caray had just passed away and fans were putting flowers and pictures on his plaque in the Cubs walk of fame. Fans were taking pictures in front of this make shift shrine. This went on all night. By morning I was in great Cub spirits and very optimistic for the coming year. When I made it inside to fill out my ticket form I bought almost twice the amount of tickets I had planned. That season I was able to see 50 games at Wrigley (still my high water mark for games). I'll never forget watching Kerry Wood as a rookie or watching Sammy's HR's. The best part was the one game playoff against the Giants to win the Wild Card. (that's a whole different line story)

Now the Cubs do the whole wristband thing and make a big to do out of it by announcing the winner on WGN radio. It's a shame. Waiting in line all night made for some great memories.

Good luck to all in your pursuit of tickets

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