Kevin Kaduk: Wrigleyworld A Season in Baseball's Best Neighborhood



Ne trips to Murphy s and the Full Schilling and an ast coast road trip to see six additional ball games Naturally as I am want to do I digressThe Cubs hang around the Wild Card Race until roughly Labor Day as THEY are want to do before fading away with the warm Chicago summer The 2005 Cubs down the stretch go as cold as the brisk autumn wind blowing in off Lake Michigan Listen as long as I ve personally been a fan of this club I reached a certain point where I trade in my tin foil hat and pie in the sky hopes of a playoff berth with a sense of wellrationale It s not as if we the Wrigley Faithful are bad fans and give up so Second Time Loving easily Honestly who wants to sit in the bleachers on a Saturday in September and cling to the last straw of hope that they re only 10 games out of the Wild Card with 12 games to go It s not over First of all Saturdays in September were made for watching college football another staple of the Wrigleyvillestablishments Second if I m caught in Wrigley in September for whatever reason while I do njoy a good game of baseball anytime it s better for me to njoy it for what it is and no Let me start by saying I am a baseball purist I love reading books about baseball players teams and stories from the fan s perspective That said this book is about a man who likes to drink and pick up women baseball is a distant second in this man s life He begrudges the fake fans and frat boys who come to the Cubs games to drink and pick up women yet too much of this book is Dark Awakening exactly that a celebration of inebriation and the hunt for the hook up Look I appreciate somedgy humor but Kaduk goes too far in his description of women openly acknowledging that he is only interested in hooking up with them failing to discuss any meaningful conversations he has with any of them and making sure to describe their physical make up while at the same time describing men s personalities I was offended and see no reason why any female Cubs fan or baseball fan would want to read this The only chapter worth reading is the one describing the ball hawks who spend time outside the stadium to catch home run and batting practice balls Unfortunately there is far too few of these momentsThis book is perfect for the Gawker generation for the I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell crowd but for baseball fans this book offers nothing insightful meaningful or Hawks Way (Hawks Way even fun A waste of my time I guess I m of a Verducci guy as I get older A decent read for this genre but I couldn t get past how sophomoric it sounds at times Can t help wondering if I d feel differently about it if I read it in 2006 instead of 2018 or at age 26 instead of 44 though I read Wrigleyworld by Kevin Kaduk on a flight to Belgium Boy was that the fastest flight to Europe I vever had His book is positioned right at the intersection of the variant disciplines of writing for books in long form and writing for a blog in short form Family Men entries He basically uit his job as a sportswriter in Kansas to go home to Chicago and follow the 2005 season It wasn t a prosperous season for the Cubs but he found a way to make thevery day goings on at Wrigley seem Creative Participation extraordinary He talked about the ballcatchers outside the stadium The bars Restaurants Drunk fans Hot girls The victories The losses The taunting The friends and relatives he brought with him as he sought to go tovery single home game without the benefit of a season ticket He got in on the good fortune of scalpers for the majority of the games buying tickets in advance if his sister a parent or a college friend or lady was accompanying him Ever since reading this book in 2008 I ve been inspired to write just such an Sabina Spielrein essay aboutach trip I ve made to Wrigley Field Every day win or loss something incredible happens at a Cubs game Unexpected frustrating jawdropping triumphant humorous on all levels from the field to the stands to the broadcasting booth Wrigley Field is a special place and Kaduk gets it across in his dry self deprecating witty stream of consciousness relatable prose I would subscribe to whatever newspaper he writes for This is an absolute truthful portrayal of the whole atmosphere surrounding the phenomenon that is the Chicago Cubs and the area that has gentrified into a Summer playpenIt is an absolute joy to read and I am sure fans in other areas of the Nation still can not comprehend what all this hoopla is all aboutCertain books give the reader an absolute feel for what transpires in some facet of the world where they may never go or have little desire to xperienceupon reading a book such as this someone may just want to check out this Bourbon Street North Summer part. Wrigleyville the idiosyncratic neighborhood that has sprung up around Wrigley Field This is a rollicking adventure of baseball blind faith and America's pastime as it's played in America's heartla.

I went back and forth on this book so much On the surface a book on a guy trying to attend as many Cubs games as possible in a season would be a must read for me There was the added interest that the season in uestion 2005 is also the season I attended my most Cubs games in a season as well so I remembered many of the same vents The book worked best when the author focused on life in Wrigleyville and getting to know his fellow fans from around the world The book dragged a bit when he focused on his drinking antics and his adventures with women For a guy who uit his job and talked about having no money he was able to drink incredible amounts of alcohol A fantastic read about another typical lackluster Cubs season and the importance of the neighborhood surrounding its walls Casual fans will get nothing from Kaduk s tales from the season but diehards and true fans will Personnel Management in Government eat them up like I did 2005 holds a special place in my heart and always will Why is this when the season meant nothing but futility like so many others before and after it 2005 was the first time I finally set foot in Wrigley A lifelong Cubs fan since the day I was born in 1984 I d never actually made it to a game until thend of 2005 when I was 21 And wouldn t you know it Kevin and I were at the same game Of course he attended pretty much Out of This World every game at Wrigley that season which is thentire point of the book Me I managed to take in one the final home game of the Cubs 2005 seasonKevin recanted hanging out on Sheffield before the game for batting practice home runs and interviews with ballhawks then residing high up in the center field bleachers to watch the game The only way we could have been further apart was if one of us was actually outside the stadium something almost factually possible for me as I had a seat as high up and as far down the third base line as possible I attended the game with my aunt who had won 4 tickets via a contest at the UPS store in our podunk town my cousin my aunt s daughter and my cousins best friend who knew absolutely NOTHING about the game of baseball Before the game we stopped by the Lincoln Park Zoo where as we walked past the Hall of Lions or whatever it is called a passing seagull managed to take a huge steaming dump that landed directly on the right breast of my beloved Kerry Wood jersey that I had decided to wear that day despite him not appearing in the game in any capacity I took it as a bad omen for the day to come and would ultimately The Time It Never Rained end up right the Cubs welcomed my blue bleeding diehard fandom into The Friendly Confines with a 3 2 lossWe planned to leave the gamearly because it had started to rain and my aunt wanted to beat Chicago traffic plus the Cubs were down late Thankfully nature called and I had to use the restroom before we got to the car to head hours away to our home By the time I finished in the bathroom the Cubs had managed to load the bases in the 9th thus giving themselves a chance to win I rushed up to my aunt and shouted at her We can t leave yet there s a chance and bolted up the first set of stairs I found the ones that come out directly behind the home dugout Ever stern an usher was perched there and told me that without a ticket to that section I wasn t allowed any further than the top step Forget the fact that the Cubs were down to their final home outs and the stadium was practically a ghost town the usher would not waiver on his stance So beleaguered and refusing to run all the way back up to my actual seat at the very top of the stadium and miss any of the potential comeback action I stood solid on the top stepand watched the Cubs piss away a comeback chance in true Cubs styleMy love for the Cubs didn t waiver any after that day In fact it grew and has continued to grow The Child of the Soul and Other Stories each passing season I ve since returned to Wrigley 23 times which isn t anything worth bragging about but is at least a bit respectable considering I live out of state a full 25 hours away from the stadium A 2 hour and 15 minute drive to my preferred safepatrolled underground parking garage on Halsted next door to the Man Hole seriously and a 15 minute walk to the Confines I ve managed to rack up an 18 6 record in my 24 games which is very commendable given my last 4 visits to Wrigley have resulted in losses Yes at one point I was 18 2 a feat anyone would openly brag about which I didWrigley Field and the surrounding Wrigleyville have both changed drastically since the 2005 season but the ambiance is the same no matter where you re at inside or outside the stadium And there is still no better view in baseball than that of Wrigley Field from any vantage poin. In Chicago the Cubs are a source of hope and heartbreak not having won a World Series in almost 100 years But for Cubs fans never say die is a way of life And Kevin Kaduk is noxception so much so.

T in the bleachers That will never changeA great book to read and reminisce about given the Childrens Phantasies events took place 15 seasons ago and a pretty cool moment for myself getting to read about a game I was at my very first from a different perspective from someone also in attendance p 82 We last until theighth inning and then retire to a television with pints of Bass in the warm confines of the Shillingp 86 Every so often a jackass will rise from his seat and announce to his section that he ll be watching the rest of the game from Murphy s or Slugger s or wherever ven if it s only the fifth or sixth inningNot ven baseball can keep him from bellying up to the barHate to break it to you Mr Kaduk but I think you might be that jackass Interesting look at a baseball season focused on the Chicago Cubs and the culture surrounding the team After reading this book you should be able to name the year the Cubs last won the World Series hint it was before you were born name the 4 streets that border Wrigley Field identify the following Ronnie Woo Wild Bill Holden ballhawks Steve Bartman and what announcer has a statue just down the street from Wrigley s main The Soviet Union entrance name at least 3 or 4 famous Cubs players The author took a year off to do almost nothingxcept watch Cubs games Baseball fans will Gods and Heroes enjoy it and for interesting Cubs info it gets 4 stars For bad language crude humor and alcoholism on parade it gets 1 star The author will be a much better writer when he dries out and gets married Gather round and I shall regale you with a tale about a little place on the north side of Chicago She s one of the most beautiful things you vever laid Science, Technology and Culture eyes on that is if you can get over the smell of urine and stale Old Style running through the bleachers There isn t much to be said about beautiful Wrigley Field that history s greatest columnists authors and politicians haven t already mentioned Wrigleyworld isn t your conventional hey I wrote a book about the Cubbies literary adventure I ve been a Cub fan since I can remember The years peel away and people write what they think is an original take on the Cubs and Wrigley They aren t original Think of using the same rusty metal cookie cuttersvery year at Christmas I want something new and No Beast So Fierce exciting something that won t make me uestion my self worth as a Cub fan as I read it Kevin Kaduk finally delivered what I and so many of us north siders want A Cubs book that doesn t dwell on the disparaging history of the franchise Someone actually put a positive spin on subject that leaves uite a bit to be desiredven from its most loyal backersKaduk first points out how he must observe the 2003 Cubs season from afar as a columnist for the Kansas City Star The phone calls and texts from friends living it up during a magical run towards a division title prove to be too much for him when he decides to do what many of us probably would not have done leaves a steady job to go and watch baseball He arrives back in Chicago and moves in with a couple of friends just a few blocks to the north and west of the Friendly Confines Ultimately we find out Kaduk attends sixty two of the Cubs 81 home games during the 2005 season Having never purchased a ticket in advance for any game he details his season long trials and tribulations with scalpers on Sheffield the Ballhawks on Waveland and a supporting cast of uniue if not friendly characters who call Wrigleyville home For one season all he wants do is watch baseball And consume an obscene amount of alcohol Most would argue this was one of the most half baked ideas imaginable Now while it s certainly not something I would have done I admire Kaduk s desire He actually found a way to go through with it Let s face it jumping ship to xperience Wrigleyville in what could possibly be a special season was a pipe dream at best The team had never put together three consecutive winning seasons so the odds were already against him He went anyway no regretsHe never does reveal xactly how much money he leaves Kansas City with though at one point he uips he s surviving on his book advance which was 50 worth in food stamps a Cubs painter s cap and a gift tin of popcorn It had to have been a fairly significant advance for this book otherwise he s charging himself into an unfathomable amount of credit card debt From Opening Day to the final out in September Kevin Kaduk never held a job nor did he have the desire to attain gainful mployment I still can t wrap my head around this regardless of which scenario is indeed accurate Whatever advance he was awarded for this book diminished rapidly to have afforded 62 home games routi. That in a fit of loyalty to his Lovable Losers he uit his job as a sportswriter in Kansas City and moved back to the Windy City on a uest to find the heart and soul of what has come to be known as.

Kevin Kaduk Ó 9 characters

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