The first day of the 2011 KSR MLB Road Trip is in the books and it feels like we’ve been gone for three months. Our journey began Friday night in Cincinnati where the three of us piled into one car before driving to West Lafayette, Indiana for the night to cut down the drive to Chicago. Saturday morning, we arrived in The Windy City and watched the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field in our first of nine baseball games in nine days. Let me tell you about it…
A journey like this needs a Journey like this.
The Kia “Rajon” Rondo was retired in a beautiful ceremony at Enterprise after the CBS College Basketball Trip of 2010, so a new mid-size crossover SUV had to be picked up on waivers. So we called up the appropriately named Dodge Journey to be our home for these nine grueling days. It’s a midnight train goin’ anywhere and it goes on and on and on and on…
West Lafayette, Indiana
Rather than getting up before before the sun and the Mexicans Saturday morning, we chose to spend Friday night in West Lafayette, Indiana. Not only would this split up the drive from Cincy to Chicago, it would also give us the opportunity to party with the Boilermakers. If we could go back in time, we would’ve kept driving. But you know what they say, hindsight wears the three goggles.
Forecast for Purdude University: It’s Raining Men
Purdue has an unbelievable amount of male students. That, or each bar was hosting football tryouts. We should’ve picked up on this when the long line outside gave us flashbacks to the line for free sports physicals in high school. To make things worse, the few girls we saw looked a lot like the many guys we saw. Matt and I were a little harsh with our Purdue jokes on Twitter, and for that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. Sometimes we forget how good we have it in Lexington, and a night in Purdue will make anyone realize that.
I estimate a 90 to 1 ratio.
I’m serious, I didn’t even know it was possible. Purdue has to rank up there with Rikers Island and the Daytona 500 for the highest TPC (testicles per capita) in the nation.
The ‘Magical Book of Mystery’ is back, and it never steers us wrong.
If you followed the basketball road trip, you’re probably aware of Matt’s refusal to use a Garmin GPS, or what he calls a “grundle”. So we’re doing it the way Meriwether Lewis and William Clark did, way back before that robot woman started shouting out directions from her computers in the sky. We’re on our Rand McNally swag aka The Magical Book of Mystery aka The Book of Secrets. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve become quite the cartographer. That’s someone who creates and reads maps. Boom. Educated.
Gary, Indiana makes for great roadside scenery…
… if you like rundown industrial plants and an overall feeling of poverty and murder. I bet it’s still better than West Lafayette.
Hey, look! The Sears Tower!
We made it to Chicago about an hour before game time so we drove straight to Wrigley to get parked and pick up the tickets in time to sing along with the National Anthem. We don’t have time to tour the city. This trip is all business.
Grading the Dog: (7.5)
“Chicago Dog”: $6.25… A soft poppyseed bun was a good touch to go with the pile of grilled onions on top of the frank. The 8 year-old redheaded kid was Quick Draw McGraw with the cash register too. It’s the first one of the trip so I’ll give it a 7.5.
Old Style beer: $7.00… A Cubs tradition.
Today, we’re all Morrisons.
Our seats for the game were in the visiting family section, which was really the Logan Morrison family section. Morrison is the left fielder for the Marlins and his family rolled deep to Wrigley for this game. Since we were surrounded by #20 t-shirts and jerseys, we immediately became LoMo fans. A quick Wikipedia search got us the facts and history we needed to fit right in. Our fanhood peaked when our new favorite baseball player went yard in the 6th inning with two men on. I think Uncle Morrison is still standing and flexing at Cubs fans.
Cubs 3, Marlins 13
Our hopes of a 0-9 record for the home teams on our trip got off to a good start when the Marlins pummeled the Cubs. DJ took the loss pretty hard but the perfect weather and those ice cold Old Styles eased his pain.
Been there, done that, got a Burt Reynolds t-shirt.
It’s sad, but the highlight of our afternoon in Wrigleyville was a store called Strange Cargo outside the stadium. The hipster store had everything from Charlotte Hornets throwback jackets to Golden Girls stickers and ‘It’s Blumpkin Time’ t-shirts. While those items were tempting, we passed and went with the vintage Jim McMahon and Burt Reynolds t-shirts. And by “we” I mean Matt bought a Jim McMahon and a Burt Reynolds t-shirt.
After-party at The Pony, Chicago’s official UK Alumni bar
We didn’t have much time to hang out after the game, but you make time when the UK Alumni bar is just a few blocks away. We stopped by The Pony for “The Big Blue” cocktail and “The Wildcat” sandwich before leaving town. The drink sucked, the sandwich was decent, but look at that UK logo on the menu! #BBN #lafamilia
Up Next: Detroit