Thursday, February 12, 2009

Look Ma, No Feet!

Look closely at the background on each these cards. Ignore the player in front; look at the player, batboy, or ball girl in the background.

In every card, it seems as it they are missing their feet. No wonder the Cubs can't win a World Championship. They're using personnel with no feet!

Well, that sounds like a good excuse, but everyone is completely intact. So where are their feet, you ask?

They disappeared from view because of the sharp crown of the field at Wrigley. For years, the best way to drain rain off of a field was to crown the field. And Wrigley Field had a pretty sharp crown, up to 16" between the highest point in the crown and the base of the walls.

Over time, new drainage technology made the crown obsolete and none of the new stadiums had one. Their fields were flat. But Wrigley Field held out, keeping the crown and making it difficult to get a good view of the field from the dugout.

Finally, during the fall of 2007 (after the Cubs quick exit from the playoffs), the playing surface at Wrigley was dug up, the crown removed, and a new, modern drainage system was installed. During the work, the crew found some cement block buried in the field. These were used to hold the goalposts from back in the day that the Bears played at the Friendly Confines. They were sitting buried in the field for the last 37 years.

The field renovation was one reason that the hockey game could be played at Wrigley this winter. It would have been very difficult to place a flat hockey rink on a crowned field, but it was very easy with the Cubs new flat surface.

I put together a video that shows the work done from start to finish.

Cubs cards will no longer show feetless players and batboys. Its smooth sailing now. With feet intact, we are on our way to a World Championship!!

1 comment:

  1. drainage is something i don't think many fans consider. i recall it being discussed when qadry ismail was at syracuse, playing in a venue that was flat, rather than on a natural, crowned or sloped field.