Sutter texted me last Sunday.
"SRO going for $150. Interested?"
I park north of Irving and west enough for parking on the street.
Walking to the park, I see this:
Breathtaking, isn't it?
We meet upstairs at Casey Moran's, decide to go in about 6.
The entire area around the park is one big crowd.
Sutter: "Lets go in the back entrance (he's pointing to the Waveland/Clark entrance that's kinda hidden by construction and temp walls). I read that's the fastest gate in the paper, which means nobody else knows because nobody reads the paper."
We literally walk up, empty our pockets, go through security and we're in.
He actually scouted Standing Room Only this earlier in the year.
We walk all the way around the park and go up to the mezzanine - in the very corner there's like a little porch behind the seats there and... you can see the scoreboard.
While Sutter had watched some of the game from this area on his scout, tonight we get the bum's rush from security who just say you can't stand there.
Okay we walk back along and find an open area between 1st base and right.
I walked upstairs to get a dog (ran into CB reader DB! Hi DB!), turned around and took this pic to give you an idea:
Then another security guy comes along and I think we're gonna get pushed out again, but instead he explains that SRO isn't allowed to butt up against the people in seats. So you have to stay against the back wall and leave the walkway open.
"So, what do you think will happen when something exciting happens?" he asks.
"All those people in that last row are gonna stand up, and you won't be able to see."
He advises us to move up onto the ramp itself, where we can lean on the rail and don't have to worry about that.
Here's a wide shot of our view:
So, we don't get the scoreboard, but the little TVs have some information. We won't get to see any homers actually leave the park, either, but hey man, what do you want for $170 with tax?
We met a couple Cub Fans, Daniel and Sean, who came from Cincinnati to watch.
You think you know serious Cub fans?
These guys were spitting out facts and stats like Google.
Sean even had ear buds attached to a transistor (DUH - if you go SRO bring your freaking radio).
Anyway, I have to say this was both an adventure and SUPER FUN.
Because the home team won.
Did you know that?
5-2 Cubs over Giants.
Here's what happened:
Hendricks mowed 'em down 3 up 3 down in the first (well, there were a couple foul balls that were kinda close to big hits, but
Then Fowler leads off with a double.
It is loud like jet airplane.
When Bryant comes up, the crowd is screaming "EM VEE PEE EM VEE PEE".
When Rizzo comes up next, the crowd screams the same thing - SO COOL!
But neither gets a hit and it turns out to be Ben Zobrist knockin' in Fowler.
Top of the 2nd features a BaezToRussellToRizzo double play to end the inning, and these are the things that just ruin Other Teams.
The bottom of the 2nd features the other stuff that ruins Other Teams.
Heyward pulls the ball to right for another leadoff double.
Then Baez walks and Willson Contreras singles and now the bases are loaded and nobody's out and Bruce Bochy is thinking man why didn't I start Matt Moore as he says, "Go talk to Samardzija will ya Dave (Righetti)?"
While feared power hitter Kyle Hendricks waits at the plate.
And then, the single from Hendricks (YOU CANNOT IMAGINE THE NOISE) knocks in 2, which puts him in the lead for 2016 Cub playoff RBIs.
Fowler flies out, but then Bryant knocks in Contreras and at the end of the 2nd inning, it's Cubs 4 Giants nothin'.
The Cubs smelled blood and gave Samardzija the Piranha Treatment (thanks Piranha 3D).
Our SRO position on the ramp is an easy walk up the ramp to the men's room/beer stand so I run up there and when I come back, the Giants have scored a couple.
I don't care.
Dexter Fowler led off the game with a double and then scored.
When that happens, my anxiety is dialed down to a minor hum.
But then Kyle Hendricks took a ball off his... torso? OH GOD NO NOT HIS ARM.
He throws a couple times and Joe takes him out.
I knew he was gonna bring in Travis Wood, and he did.
A cool, calm veteran head just to settle everybody down, which is what he did.
What we didn't know he'd do was HIT A FREAKING HOME RUN.
He curtain called and everybody damaged their vocal cords.
Seriously, like 5 minutes ago, Wood was just sitting in the bullpen.
Then, quickly this stuff happened.
Bumgarner pinch hit.
He smacked one to Bryant, who muffed the grounder, picked it up, whirled and threw into the Giant dugout. 2 E's on the same play, but had Rizzo been able to stretch another foot Bumgarner woulda been out.
Carl Edwards came in and got impressive outs: Posey, Pence and Pagan. (Crawford singled but so?)
How cool is Willson Contreras?
Then Mike Montgomery came in for 4 outs.
Hector Rondon came in for 2.
And at the end when "Wake Up" by Rage Against the Machine blasts out the speakers, you know it's Chapman time.
All my nerve endings were electric and the end soon came.
And when you walk out, you get to see this.
What a game, and hey if you can afford Standing Room, I highly recommend.
Bring a transistor and earbuds, go in the back entrance, find a ramp and you're good for 9.