3. Wrigley Field, Chicago. OPENED: 1914. SEATS: 41,118.
The field box poseurs accuse the Old Style army of not taking the baseball seriously enough. From the bleachers and rooftops comes this resounding response: Baseball? Seriously, what's not to love from any vantage point? The ivy, the marquee, the hand-operated scoreboard, the telltale flags, the low, red brick wall near the dugouts, the ball hawks on Waveland. Day baseball. This is the setting in which the game was meant to be played
3 REASONS WE LOVE WRIGLEY
1. The scoreboard flags. The flags atop the scoreboard in center field can tell you a lot: who's where in the standings, whether the wind is blowing in or out and, after the game, whether the Cubs won or lost.
RYAN DEMPSTER, Cubs starting pitcher: "It's fun when you're hitting. You get a fly ball up and think you maybe have a chance of getting a homer. But for me, as a pitcher, I don't really concern myself with whether the flags are blowing in or out. I just try to make pitches. And a lot of times when the wind's blowing straight out, it ends up making my split(-finger fastball) a little better or helping the movement on my fastball because you've got the wind in your face and a little bit of friction and things like that. I actually don't even mind it when it's blowing out because I'm trying to get a little movement anyway. There are some days, though, when I'm thinking, 'I'm glad I'm not pitching today,' when it's blowing out at 50 miles per hour. But it's not something where I'd ever come to the ballpark and say, 'Hey, Lou, can you push me back a day because the flags are blowing out?' "
2. The Ivy-covered brick wall. Bill Veeck, best known as a promoter extraordinaire with the White Sox, also left a lasting and unique legacy on the North Side in 1937, when he planted ivy along the base of the outfield fence.
REED JOHNSON, Cubs outfielder: "The ivy gets thicker during the summertime, but when you hit it going at a top speed, that's not really going to pad it for you. Even when you're just drifting back, you know it's there, and you're thinking about it. But I like having the ivy out there. That's what Wrigley Field is all about. When you think about Wrigley Field, it's the ivy. That's just part of the game."
3. Wrigleyville. If you want to get technical, the neighborhood is a subsection of the Lakeview area, but Wrigleyville's restaurants and bars make it a destination on game days (and nights), even if you don't have a ticket.
RANDY WELLS, Cubs rookie starting pitcher: "I remember the first time I got here, I got off the train, it was a 2 o'clock game, so, it's like 10:30 in the morning, and the streets were packed, the vendors were out, the people were all over in good moods. They're at the bars. Guys are selling tickets, guys are waiting for home run balls in BP. It was amazing. It's special. It really is."
ATLANTA (AP) - Matt Harvey pitched six hitless innings, John Buck homered and the New York Mets held off another Atlanta comeback, beating the Braves 4-3 Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
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