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Why don’t the Chicago Cubs like Wrigley?

Posted by ZA on September 17, 2008

Twice in the last week pitchers for the Chicago Cubs have been quoted in the media bashing venerable Wrigley Field.  The most recent was pitcher Jason Marquis who was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on his desire for Wrigley to have some modern upgrades.

Marquis said, “If I had a personal choice, I think they should knock down Wrigley and build a replica in the exact same spot to give it that same feel.”

That followed a quote made by pitcher Carlos Zambrano earlier in the week who said “Gosh, I wish we could have a new ballpark.”

I don’t fault the Cubs players for wanting more luxurious digs, but what they need to understand is you cannot replace history.  Wrigley Field is one of the two legendary ballparks for baseball, along with Fenway in Boston.  Tearing down Wrigley is akin to tearing down a national monument.  You wouldn’t tear down the Washington Monument, would you?  Which is why the people of Chicago, baseball purists, and Cubs fans across the country do not want to tear down Wrigley Field.  Folks in Chicago are so loyal to their historic sports venues that they choose to land a spaceship on top of Soldier Field, rather than tear it down and remodel it from scratch.

Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois

Does it look like a spaceship landed on Soldier Field?

It is obviously a difficult situation to decide how to treat Wrigley Field.  Cubs outfielder Jim Edmonds said it best, “Everyone is going to have a different opinion.”  Edmonds went on to say the Cubs players, “…enjoy it, and enjoy the history…of course it’s always nice to have a new place.”

My take is that certain things shouldn’t be upgraded, they are a part of fabric and too important to people.  Wrigley Field is that for baseball and the people of Chicago.  I absolutely think they should find creative ways to upgrade the facility so the team has the amenities that they need, but they should never follow the advice of Marquis to tear it down and rebuild it new.  That may seem like the same place, but it wouldn’t have the soul of Wrigley that carries all of the great history with it. 

It doesn’t matter that the St. Louis Cardinals tore down Busch Stadium or that the New York Yankees are building a new Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field must stay.  Those new stadiums will be incredible, but every fan who enters them will tell you that you cannot replace the history of the former ballparks.

Winston Churchill said it best, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”  The Cubs should learn from those other teams, and keep Wrigley Field the way it is.

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