At the end of August and the very beginning of September, I went to Chicago (and Milwaukee) with my father on a long-delayed trip to the three MLB stadiums there, as well as some museums and other sites. This is the first of three or four installments featuring pictures and memories/neat stuff I remember. Go below the jump (after the first picture) to see them:
After arriving on Friday and then working our way to “The Loop” through public transportation, we checked in at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, which we’d been able to get cheap online. The Blackstone, the green-covered building at the end of the row in the picture above, is actually a historic hotel that has hosted Al Capone (who frequented a barbershop that once was in the hotel) as well as various presidents- it’s where JFK first found out about the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example. It’s also the place where the “smoke-filled room” term originated: when GOP kingmakers came to Chicago for the 1920 convention, a newspaper reporter wrote that they had decided to nominate Warren Harding in a “smoke-filled room” at the Blackstone. Neat, huh?
Anyway, the first stop was the Field Museum of Natural History, because it has dinosaurs, and dinosaurs are inherently awesome:
That’s Sue, the world’s most complete and preserved T. Rex skeleton. 90% of that skeleton is actual Rex-bone, the rest are models, as is the head (simply because it’s too heavy and beat-up to keep on the rest of the skeleton).
Of course, I couldn’t help but get a picture of me making a fool of myself:
That’s Sue’s head. It was warped from a few milennia in the ground. Notice the pockmarks on the jaw? Those aren’t wounds or damage from being a fossil all these years- the scientists think that Sue probably had a nasty parasitic infection. The skeleton itself is actually full of little bumps, bruises and half-healed bones that indicate injuries that she must have sustained through life. Neat, huh? Here’s some other pictures from the Field Museum:
So, once that was done, it was time to go down to the South Side to see White Sox-Mariners at
New Comiskey Park US Cellular Field… Guaranteed Rate Field. Whatever it’s called.
It should be noted that originally the plan was to maybe go up to Milwaukee for a game on Friday and then go to the White Sox on Saturday or Sunday, but then we saw the starting pitcher match-ups and saw that White Sox-Mariners would be Chris Sale vs. Felix Hernandez. And so, to the El Train we went after getting tickets from an app.
When we arrived, we walked around a bit outside of the stadium before going in. A good thing, too, since I was able to find the location of home plate of Old Comiskey Park:
I mean, look at that. Frank Thomas stood at that plate. Joe Jackson, too! This was where the first All-Star Game was! And now I was kneeling next to it. Neat!
Speaking of Frank Thomas…
The White Sox have several statues up of previous greats, and they no doubt have more room for more in the future. I didn’t get pictures of all of them (angles were a bit odd), but I was able to snap a photo of Minnie Minoso…
And this image of Carlton Fisk standing with the sun at his back (this image is slightly edited for color):
Also, there’s this old inexplicable shower there for hot days- the sign explains a bit of it:
Eventually, we got to our seats. They… didn’t suck:
Also, the scoreboard there is way bigger in person than it looks on TV. You can also see the “exploding scoreboard” pinwheels, which you don’t always see on TV:
Of course, eventually the game started. Here’s Chris Sale warming up in the bullpen:
And then the game started: Chris Sale…
vs. Felix Hernandez
Of course, there were plenty of other luminaries at the game. Like Robinson Cano:
It was a good game! Chris Sale pitched better, striking out 14 over a complete game. However, as has happened throughout the year, the White Sox were anemic in run support for him, and lost 3-1.
However, there was one major issue I had. You see, I like at the end of each MLB game to get a picture of me in front the final scoreboard. But because it was Elvis Night, they took down the linescore quickly and put up a big ELVIS sign.
Next Time: In Which I Place A Curse on the Milwaukee Brewers