Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

January 11, 2009

Two Bluefielders find hockey heaven at Wrigley Field

Note: This is the final part of Jed Lockett’s chronicle of a trip with his mother Nora to the National Hockey League Winter Classic, played on Jan. 1 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

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BLUEFIELD — Wrigley Field is one of those rare sporting venues that has a certain magic about it. You can feel the history, the tradition and the meaning of the place. Just getting there can be a religious experience.

Wrigleyville is a residential neighborhood that just happens to be the home to one of the most beloved teams in all of sports. Most of the buildings here are houses, many of which have some form of identification as an adoptive home for the Cubs.

The easiest way to get to Wrigley from other parts of the city is via public transportation. We rode the train towards Addison Street. We watched more people got on our car at every stop. Their clothes gave their destination away with many wearing Blackhawks or Red Wings jerseys.

When the blue line train arrived at the Addison station, we got off to catch the bus to the park. Soon three buses quickly pulled up. It was slow going and the closer we got, the more people got off the bus and walked the rest of the way. My mother and I stayed on, where it was warm.

The first thing we noticed about Wrigley was the famous sign at the front of the ball park. The phrase “larger than life” does not begin to describe it. On this cold morning it was framed by banners celebrating the occasion and flags of each of the participating teams.

But we did not have time to enjoy the scenery. When we got out of the bus, the sidewalk in front of the park was packed with people waiting to get inside. As we tried to get in line, a man passed in front of me. I am guessing he was a Blackhawks fan and that he had a beverage or two before coming to the game by his loud statement to me after looking at my Red Wings jacket and hat.

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