Jerry Pritikin remembers when he used to choose up trash at Wrigley Field together with his brother to get a free ticket to the following Cubs recreation. His first opener was in 1947.
Pritikin, 86, recognized broadly by Cubs followers because the “Bleacher Preacher,” is a lifelong fan and a fixture of the ballpark. He sits outdoors the stadium within the solar, sporting a straw hat with a propeller on high.
“Back in the day, I convinced someone to wear this hat for a play because it looked like the winds of Wrigley when he walked. It would spin,” he stated Thursday outdoors Wrigley Field as followers headed inside to catch the Cubs taking over the Milwaukee Brewers on opening day.
With a twinkle in his eye, Pritiken stated that Wrigley is not the “The Friendly Confines” he remembers as a child. At Pritikin’s first recreation, Hank Greenberg was taking part in in his first National League recreation.
“Greenberg was the first $100,000 ballplayer. Today, a bad player makes $100,000,” Pritikin chuckled.
In December, the Cubs signed shortstop Dansby Swanson for seven years and $177 million.
Though baseball salaries are a lot greater and the bleachers now look just a little extra like Times Square, for 10-year-old Malia and 11-year-old Naima, who held their dad’s hand and beamed, opening day seemed fairly pleasant.
“There’s a photo of us when we were less than a year old and we were wearing Cubs jerseys,” Malia stated.
The women are off from college for spring break, and opening day seems like a household vacation, they stated.
“They had no choice but to be Cubs fans,” stated their dad, Noel, who declined to offer the household’s final title.
The air hummed with power as folks pulled out their tickets and entered the ballpark — in white, purple and blue attire.
“Opening day score card here. $3 or 2 for $5!” distributors shouted.
At Yak-Zies Bar & Grill, a crowd gathered early within the morning to hearken to music and have fun.
For a few years, beloved Chicago radio DJ Lin Brehmer hosted a celebration on opening day, which was broadcast on WXRT-FM 93.1.
Thursday was the primary opener, a 4-0 Cubs’ victory, since Brehmer’s demise in January. Brehmer usually introduced in musicians, however this 12 months, a handful of DJs from the radio station honored him by taking part in songs he would have cherished.
Brehmer’s absence was felt, followers stated.
“It was tough. I do miss his spirit and reflection. I think they did a good job commemorating him,” stated Cindy Pingry, who has been at Yak-Zies on opening day for the previous seven years.
Her good friend Paul Bellendir added, “He’s in the big bullpen in the sky.”