(The purpose of this diary is hopefully to jog your own memories of your first Cubs game)
The excitement mounted as the days inched ever closer to June 13th 1967. Being a young boy of 9 ½ I was about to experience what I believe all kids should have an opportunity to enjoy. Dad and I began our pilgrimage to Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs, the ivy covered walls and oh those hot dogs. I had questions that stirred around in my head as we began our trip. Who will pitch? Will the top section be opened? How many hot dogs will I eat?
I could not get there quick enough. Down the Eden's to Addison we went. Once on Addison it seemed as the whole world was going to the game. As we crawled along I recall the White Castle Hamburger, the Commonwealth Edison building on California, going under the El tracks. All these things helped to feed what was shaping up to be a great day! Let us just hope the Cubs will win.
Finally, WOW what a site! The crowd was streaming in to Wrigley Field. The exterior was as beautiful as I imagined it would be. I could only imagine how wonderful the inside will be. Thought the gates and to our seats, pausing to stare at the ivy and green grass. The seats were spectacular. Behind the Cubs dugout a few rows up. Look, there is Ernie, there's Ronny. Boy Fergie is a tall one. All the players you had seen on TV are there, living right in front of you.
So who was pitching? A young left hander named Rich Nye. Not Hands or Jenkins, but hey I am here to root on our Cubbies. It was not until I started to get information on this game that I discovered that my memory was in error. For all these years I thought the Dodgers pitcher was Drysdale. With the help of the internet I found the box score and to my surprise it was Don Sutton pitching for the Dodgers. Strange how you can have been so convinced of something to find out it was not true. The box score took me back to names that I have since forgotten. Phillips, Savage, and super sub Paul Popovich. On the Dodgers side you had fleet footed Willie Davis, Ron Fairly and others. My memory did serve me correctly on the out come of the game. Nye out dueled Drysdale, oops so used to telling that story, I mean Sutton 3-2 that day.
The years have eclipsed. But the memories of that day, that game, the field and spending an afternoon with my dad will always be with me. See folks, baseball goes beyond homeruns, stolen bases and statistics. I believe it hits us all in the heart. And with that hit, we are forever a fan of this great game.
With attendance at a paltry 9378 that day, the upper section was not opened. Can you imagine an 87 degree summer day and the Cubs only drawing a crowd of that size? And oh yes, I had my hot dog(s).