Baseball game

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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:01 AM
  #1
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Baseball game

We, (Husband & Wife in late 60's), are visiting Chicago next year, probably June, and would like to see a baseball game. We are total novices regarding the game (coming from the UK!) and we don't know how long a game lasts, whether we should see the Cubs or the White Sox, should we book ahead, what are the best seats to enjoy the game & the atmosphere - any help from aficionados of the game would be much appreciated.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:10 AM
  #2
dmlove
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Since you're not a fan of either team, you should see the Cubs, because they have a historic and wonderful stadium (Wrigley Field), generally considered one of the two best old-time stadiums in the US (the other being Fenway Park in Boston). The stadium where the White Sox play is new, but large and not at all intimate or interesting.

Games take anywhere from 2 hours up, with the average being somewhere in the 2-1/2 to 3 hour range.
 
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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You should see a Cubs game.

Games last between 2 and 3 hours.

Seats depend on your budget and how much you're willing to blow on a game. I personally like sitting the bleachers, but then I like to drink beer with all the other louts out there

Really, there isn't a bad seat in Wrigley Field, besides the seats that are blocked by poles and pillars and such. I've never had one of those seats.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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actually, the average game length is more like 3hours these days. I guess National league games (Cubs) are somewhat shorter than American league games (White Sox). But I believe 3:05 is the average. Nobody finishes in 2 hours any more.

I agree with dmlove, given the choice I'd visit the more historic Wrigley Field.

you should probably try to get tickets in advance, if your dates are set. They generally go on sale in the early spring, and you can check schedules and by tickets on the teams website. Check mlb.com for links to every team's official site.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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I just googled, and it's true: the average length of a game is much closer to 3 hours than 2.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Baseball schedules for next year have not been published yet, and most ballparks have tickets available on game day, so there's no need to start shopping yet. Some games do sell out, when the big rival team is in town or there's a particularly exciting star on the visitors' team.

Generally a game lasts about 3 hours, but since there is no clock (an inning lasts until each team has put out three opposing players), it could be closer to two hours (not very common) or go into extra innings and last all night (well, not quite) until the tie is broken.

Your schedule may determine which Chicago team you see, because each team usually plays a week at home alternating with a week on the road. You'll see the team that's at home when you are there. I'd recommend the Cubs if you have a choice because Wrigley Field is the quintessential baseball park. However, you might prefer the Sox as the American League often has more hitting (they use a designated hitter in place of the pitcher).
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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JJ5
 
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It depends when in June you choose to come, first. Get those dates set in stone and then get tickets for the game or games. Both teams overlap and sometimes are in town at the same times. Pick one of those times in June.

If you go to the Cubs, you will pay more and you may need to buy your tickets through a broker or middle person. Go to their website and you will see dates of earliest sales etc.

If you go to the White Sox and are staying downtown, you can take the redline for just a few stops and 90% of the time buy your tickets at the gate. And you can also buy them ahead of time through www.ticketmaster.com

The main thing is that you will need to fix your dates upon the schedules of when they are in town. And their 2008 schedules, I doubt will be finalized yet.

Be aware also that the Crosstown Classics are usually at end of May and in June. So in other words, you will NOT want to plan your trip for an outing at the SOX/Cubs (versus each other) game. For one thing, the tickets will cost more than your first born son if you can get them at all abd and two, it would be better as a novice to see either one or the other in their own league American or National environments to get a real baseball "feel", IMHO.

Wrigley Field is tradition baseball in an old stadium with a huge following and a young and hip social scene, restaurants, and lots of beverages. It's also the suits, and people who go to daytime baseball games instead of having to punch hours during the daytime.

Sox is one of the first teams in baseball historically, but in the American league with DH rules (pitcher doesn't go to bat and the player named the designated hitter does bat in place of the pitcher or 9th position) in a modern stadium with much family, working class and more $$ friendly choices. But U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Cominsky Park)is not in the same kind of walking around for miles to joints scene that may be of interest on the North side. It is in close proximity to a meal in Chinatown, close to the exact same red line. And also has good food right at the game.

Get the dates correct first, as I know people who wanted to do this from Germany and picked a time when neither team was at home but was playing "away".

And then worry about seats second.

If you go to either team, stay down, more than up if you are new.

Also if you go to a Sox night game, try to pick one with fireworks. They're great.

Actually, although I am strongly prejudice, I think in the your late 60's I would across the board pick the Sox in one category as superior, just for closer proximity and niceness of available washroom facilities. Something that is rarely mentioned, except maybe by females, because of the state of "adventure" one needs to proceed with at times in the Wrigley environs if you are female and in need to use one.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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And I have been to probably 2 more than half of all the major league ballparks in the USA, and I strongly disagree that there is nothing interesting, nor intimate at Sox'park.

They have a Patio where you can eat in and look right down into the outfield, a bullpen bar, a Fundamentals for kids arena, shops for goods, and levels of food choices on each and all levels.

And I like the upper deck, and have been in others far more nosebleed, even in the theatre LOL!, but it is better to get box for your one time and lower, behind the dugouts, at either park, if you can and its just for a special and singular day.

It's much easier to park there at U.S. Cellular as well, if a car is in the picture.

Schedule would be prime importance- to be at either for the correct dates.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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dmlove
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FWIW, I've also been to more than half of all major league stadiums, so obviously, there are just the typical differences of opinion on this!
 
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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I am planning on a trip next year to Minn, Milwaukee and Chicago for the baseball stadiums. Given a choice between the 2 in Chicago, go with Wrigley Field as it is the more historic. Generally tickets go on sale in March so plan ahead. Average time for a game is 3 hrs, NL games generally do not last this long. Based on other parks, I usually try to sit near the 1B dugout, usually the 1st level (2 sections from the field) as you have a great vantage point but are higher up. Plan on spending more $ for seats but you will enjoy it more.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Jen
 
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While I don't disagree with anything JJ5 said, I think you'll like a Cubs game at Wrigley more. Cubs games, especially on weekends, will sell out very quickly. You can get tickets through a broker or on ebay, but they will cost much more, obviously. I would not plan to be able to buy tickets on the day of the game--especially if they're playing a rival team (like St. Louis or the White Sox). Cubs tickets generally go on sale in February, and the big games throughout the season will sell out that day. Watch the cubs' website this winter.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Hi, sailorman - we went to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field when we visited Chicago, and it was really fun. The fans have a lot of spirit. One hint: If you catch a ball that the opposing team hits into the stands, throw it back; the fans will love you.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 12:11 PM
  #13
JJ5
 
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If you want to see a World Series Champions flag of recent vintage, you will need to go to the one on the South side.

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Aug 13th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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JJ5: season's not over yet...

volcano: it's not so much that they love you for throwing it back, it's that they'll come after you if you don't!
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Aug 13th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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JJ5, don't remind me; I'm an Astros fan - argh!

Jen, true enough - you definitely don't want to hang onto that ball! It happened when we were there, and I think it must have been an out-of-towner who caught it. The crowd was going nuts until the person finally threw it back.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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I am a Cubs fan so I agree with the choice of attending a game at Wrigley. However if the dates you'll be here don't work for that and you have a mode of transportation consider going to Milwaukee to Miller Park, it is a beautiful stadium with lots to do and a great game atmosphere.
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Aug 13th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Baseball season starts end of March or April 1 and tickets go on sale, usually, at start of January. Go to the team's web site as soon as your dates are fixed and buy tickets. Print out the map of the stadium and understand the various ticket prices and sections - since once the seats are listed the computer program gives you a limited time to buy them.

Games usually last about 3 hours (some teams like the Yankees longer, since they tend to have long-at bats and lots of pitching changes). Also - plan on going in advance so you can see the teams practice on the field before the game.
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