(Chuckman Chicago Nostalgia)The Chicago Cubs organization is in the midst of a massive overhaul that doesn't just include the product on the field. They're also looking at a $300 million renovation project that would upgrade and modernize Wrigley Field significantly. And then, as we learned on Saturday, they're also exploring ways to make the atmosphere in the ballpark a little more kid-friendly.
A little more kid-friendly? I meant a lot more kid-friendly.
Here's the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan with details:
Among the kid-friendly topics fans were asked about were batting cages and radar gun zones, kids apps for smartphones and tablets, a kids section, a new Cubs song and "interaction with a mascot."
Yes, he really said a mascot.
A mascot at Wrigley Field? In the ballpark that still boos the Wave?
It may sound like heresy to some, but Darwin Barney is intrigued.
"What would it be?" he asked. "A Cub? A Bear? I think it could go either way. There's something fun about having that at the ballpark during the game. Especially with just organ music, there's not much to keep fans into the games at time.
Some people might be surprised to learn the Cubs have actually had one of those in the (way back) past. In fact, our own Dave Brown wrote about that just last year when the photo above (taken in 1908) surfaced. If you ask me, that wasn't exactly an inspiring or kid-friendly creature back then, but that doesn't necessary mean an updated mascot with a more cartoonish look wouldn't work now.
Or does it?
We're going to need another opinion. Thankfully Sullivan decided to ask pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who has experience with mascots from his minor league days , what he thought of them then and what he thinks of the possibility in Chicago.
"That didn't go over too well," Samardzija said.
But would it work at Wrigley?
"Probably not," he replied. "People aren't going to go to Wrigley Field and want to see a mascot. There are other things people want to see."
Like winning, awful celebrities and... well... not-so-kid-friendly things, I suppose.
Anyway, if the Cubs do decide to add a mascot, I honestly don't care what it is or what it does as long as it's wearing pants and not dancing around behind home plate while people are trying to watch the game.
Yeah, I'm looking at you, Dinger. It's time to grow up.