Friends, I am sorry to have been absent from you for so long. There was a death in my family and a kidney stone trying to exit my body. My own emotional and physical pain on brief hiatus, I’m happy to be back, on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday, to recount the 10 most historically important things that ever happened at the storied ballpark:
10) 1931 – Hack Wilson gets in a fight with reporters, and is suspended for the final 17 games of the 1931 season, narrowly avoiding leading the National League in strikeouts for six consecutive seasons.
9) 1953 – Rookie Ernie Banks incenses the veterans on the team when he suggests that he wants to play two baseball games in one day. Everyone else just wants to get home in time to spend an hour or two with the kids and fall asleep in front of the TV watching I Love Lucy, or go out on the town, get liquored up and meet a dame.
8) 1945 – A man brings a pet goat to the World Series, somehow believing this to be appropriate. When his fellow fans object and he is ejected from the ballpark. Somehow, this becomes the team’s fault, and the goat owner, rather than admitting his own failings as a patron of the sport, or show any loyalty to his favorite team, predicts “they ain’t gonna win no more.”
7) 1988 – For the first time, Shawon Dunston’s name is spelled correctly on a hand-made sign in the left field bleachers. He has been with the Cubs for four seasons.
6) 2003 – Sammy Sosa cracks his bat during batting practice, is surprised to find it filled with wood. “Now, where did I put the “just-for-funsies” cork-filled bat that I use only for batting practice?” he wonders.
5) 2013 – Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood discovers Andre Dawson alive and well in the ivy covering the outfield wall, finally solving the mystery that began when the Hall of Famer disappeared during a game in 1990 and was never searched for for some reason. Dawson refuses to explain how he survived for so long in the ivy.
4) 2014 – Former Cubs pitcher Mike Bielecki discovers the skeletal remains of Jerome Walton, still in the jersey he was wearing when he disappeared into the ivy in 1991, finally bringing closure to Walton’s family and loved ones. His bones show signs of gnawing.
3) 2003 – Steve Bartman goes to a baseball game, and sees Mark Prior, Kyle Farnsworth, and Mike Remlinger melt down following an Alex Gonzalez error, frittering away a chance at the World Series.
2) 1960 – Ron Santo is underappreciated for the very first time.
1) 1964 – And finally, most importantly, this:
— Dick Allen (@DickAllen_15) April 23, 2014
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