Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred

A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred
by George F. Will
Crown, 2014.  223 pgs.  Nonfiction.

     George Will is probably best known for his political columns in the late-lamented Newsweek  magazine and now for his participation on ABCs Sunday Morning news show. But he writes about baseball from time to time, too, and as one of millions of hapless Cubs fans, he has a lot to talk about. In this slim volume his topic is perfectly suited to the wry humor of his delivery, as he explains how Wrigley has made the Cubs what they are and have been, both for good and ill.  P.K. Wrigley, the chewing gum magnate who built Wrigley didn't care so much about winning and losing as he did about creating a place where the whole family could come and enjoy the day in "the friendly confines" and beautiful spaces of Wrigley - a picnic-like atmosphere, is how he expressed it. Apparently he foresaw what would not be happening on the field; i.e., winning, so he made the surroundings so pleasant that even now, after all these years of losing records, Wrigley's stands are generally sold out which makes the Cubs even less likely to win because there is no financial incentive to pay for a team that could win. Will incorporates American History, religion, philosophy, and architecture, among many others things, in his ruminations about one of the two most iconic ballparks in America and it is fine, fine reading, whether you like baseball or not.


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