Baseball, Buona Beef and the Bums

I don't often go to ballgames, but when I do, I like to sit on a roof to watch.

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By David Hammond

I have the sports I.Q. of a 6-year-old girl (no offense intended to 6-year-old girls, some of whom no doubt know more about sports than I do). Really. I've tried to read the sports page, tried to remember the names of players, but nothing sticks because, though I bear sports no (or at least very little) ill will, I cannot remain interested in it for more than 60 seconds. Sports-related information bounces off my brain like bullets off Superman's eyes.

Really. About sports, I'm an idiot (no offense intended to idiots).

Case in point: I'm at Barn & Company on Chicago's north side, a BBQ place where my friend Gary Wiviott is the pitmaster. I was sitting at a long wooden table, right next to Pat Brickhouse, a publicist and widow of Jack Brickhouse, legendary Chicago sportscaster whose bronze bust sits today in front of the WGN studios at Tribune Tower. As Brickhouse and I ate our BBQ, I noticed that she kept glancing at the television monitors where someone was playing somethng.

"Is this an important game?" I asked, feigning interest.

"Yes," said Brickhouse, with charming patience, "It's the World Series."

Despite my almost pathological lack of interest in sports, we do enjoy a baseball game now and again.

Early this summer, we went to see Cubs vs. Nationals at Wrigley View Rooftop, one of many rooftop viewing areas that have developed around the Friendly Confines. Although watching the game from across the street lacks some of the immediacy and excitement of being in the stadium itself, there are many benefits to sitting on a rooftop on Waveland as you watch the game.

  • The sightlines are usually quite good. Though you're not in the park itself, you're elevated, there are few obstructions, and the view of the field is fine. The seats are pleasantly raked, so no one will likely get in your way.
  • The bathrooms are way closer to your seat: you don't have to walk a half-mile to relieve yourself, which is most helpful if you don't want to miss a second of play and much appreciated by even those of us for whom every play is not exactly an emotional experience.
  • The food is abundant and good. Buona beef, whose first location was on Oak Park Avenue and Roosevelt Road, provides the chow at Wrigley View, which includes Italian beef (for course!), burgers and hot dogs – standard ballgame food – but also big bowls of sliced vegetables, which are much appreciated. Like the food, beer is available in unlimited quantities, but when we were there, no one seemed over-served.

It was a pleasant experience.

Of course, the bums lost.

I don't often go to ballgames, but when I do, I like to sit on a roof to watch.



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Reader Comments

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John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: July 25th, 2015 11:36 AM

The "Bums" were the Brooklyn Dodgers. New York teams were the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.

David Hammond  

Posted: July 25th, 2015 11:21 AM

Kathy, as noted, I don't know sports at all, but I appreciate the correction. Thanks.

Kathy Slowiak  

Posted: July 24th, 2015 7:33 PM

The bums are the New York Dodgers, The loveable loosers, or worse, are the Cubs.

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