Take Me Out To The Ball Game: Top 5 Chicago Cubs Games To Attend This Season

Take Me Out To The Ball Game: Top 5 Chicago Cubs Games To Attend This Season

Steaming dogs overflowing with condiments. Sunshine peaking through the clouds after a long winter’s nap. Salty peanuts. The smell of fresh cut grass. Nine dollars for an ice cold beer. There’s something about the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of baseball season that induce the highest levels of nostalgia. Nothing compares.

The first Bulls game of the season; I’m excited. That first Sunday the Bears take the field every September; I’m beside myself. However, when it comes to opening day for the Chicago Cubs, nothing comes close to how excited I get. Multiply the excitement a 6-year old feels the night before Christmas by the number of beers Harry Carey crushed in his lifetime and you can begin to get an idea of the levels of joy that first game brings me. And I am not alone. This is how most Cubs fans get during those first early April days. And as World Series favorites this year, (that is not a typo, but as a fan, it’s still hard to believe) they mind as well declare opening day 2016 a state holiday (Honestly, though, if Rahm wants to get out of the doghouse with the entire city of Chicago, making opening day a holiday would be a good start).

Anyway, with opening day approaching, my roommates and I have began buying up tickets like hotcakes in recent weeks. However,everyone should note that since the team is relevant again, tickets are much more expensive than in years past. The days of scalping 2nd row down the first base line for $20 are over, which is why planning on what games to attend is more important than ever.

In any case, if you haven’t bought tickets yet (I am disappointed in you if you haven’t, but I guess I understand),  I have put together a list of the top five games you should look into attending this year. Although attending Wrigley field on any day is magical, heading to one of the games below will leave you with a memory that you can drift to the next time the man gets you down (and let’s face it, the man is going to get you down. I really hate the man).

5. Saturday, April 16th against Colorado

Watching the Colorado Rockies, a team that finished in last place in the National League West last year and have few redeeming qualities (besides All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado, who Kris Bryant will have a tough time unseating as the best 3B in baseball), may seem like a questionable choice for a list of games to attend and in most cases, that would be a fair assessment.  However, this game is the first Saturday game of the season and generates almost as much excitement as opening day (without the hefty price tag).

4. Thursday, July 18th against Chicago

I can’t remember the last time both Chicago baseball teams were predicted to both win their division, but let’s just say it’s been awhile. The cross-town classic games should always be circled on everyone’s calendar simply for bragging rights alone, but this year, the added competitive nature of the game should make the match-up all the more entertaining.

Honestly, I don’t see the White Sox winning their division, but having a beer on a warm summer night watching Sale vs Arietta duel it out is not a bad way to spend a Thursday.

3. Saturday, September 24th against St. Louis

Watching the Cubbies play St. Louis is a must every season. They hate us because Chicago is 100 times better than St. Louis in about every way imaginable and we (and they) know that. We hate them because they unexplainable run their franchise like a well-oiled machine, winning division titles and World Series at a clip we can only hope to achieve one day. And now, with both teams gunning for a World Series and Chicago fresh off completing a heist of Cardinals players that would make John Dillinger blush, the bad blood is at an all-time high.

We have three series with St. Louis at home this season, but you want to go this game (or at least a game in this series). By this time of the year, the humid Chicago summer will be ending, pumpkin flavored everything will sit on the shelves of every grocery store (I am looking at you Trader Joe’s), and we will most likely be in the midst of fighting St. Louis for the divisional crown. I would be shocked if this game didn’t include playoff implications and tensions will be high. Wrigley will be electric on this Saturday and you will want to have a seat in the stadium to hopefully see Heyward stick it to his former teammates.

2. Monday, July 4th against Cincinnati

Hot Dogs. Fireworks. Baseball. America.

There is something about attending a baseball game on our nation’s independence day that brings Knowshon sized tears to my eyes (If you don’t understand this reference, please YouTube “Knowshon Moreno National Anthem” and prepare yourself for something special). Although the NFL is now considered America’s pastime, the beautiful game of baseball still pulls at my patriotic strings. And is there really a better way to spend our nation’s independence day then taking in a baseball game at a field that was constructed before WWI?

1. Friday, September 16th against Milwaukee

Kyle Schwarber. Babe Schwarber. Schwarby. Son of the baseball gods (think this will catch on more once he belts 40+ HR’s every season for the next decade). In just a few months last season, Kyle Schwarber captured the imaginations of baseball fans across America and sent bars on Clark street into a frenzy with every moon shot he launched last fall. I can’t remember the last time a Cubs player made such an impact after a late season call-up and it’s impossible to describe my excitement for an entire season of Schwarber (I have already dubbed this summer the “Summer of Schwarber”).

With my Schwarber man crush shamelessly out in the open,  it comes to no surprise that the first tickets I purchased when they went on sale a few weeks ago were for this day game on September 16th. At first glance, you may question why (I mean who wouldn’t? When was the last time someone talked about Milwaukee in an exciting manner? Seriously, think about it).

However, this game holds a special place on my calendar not because of what will take place on the field that day, but what I will be handed upon arrival at the pearly gates on the corner of Clark and Addison; a Kyle Schwarber bobblehead. And not just any bobblehead, but a bobblehead that immortalizes one of the greatest moments in Cubs postseason history. The official descriptions reads:

“John Morrison, the Cubs assistant director of brand development and activation, said the Schwarber bobblehead will document the massive home run that got stuck on top of the right field scoreboard in the team’s NLDS-clinching win over the Cardinals”

To get my hands on this Schwarber shrine is easily worth the price of admission. At this point, I am convinced Schwarber will have a statue outside of Wrigley field in roughly 30 years that I can pray to every time I enter Wrigley, but until then, the bobblehead will have to do just fine.

Filed under: Baseball, Chicago Cubs, Sports

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