Wrigley bleachers have changed, but it's still great place to watch game

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After a long time away, Paul Sullivan returns to the Wrigley Field bleachers to see if much has changed since the recent

While working nights at the Tribune city desk in the 1980s, I spent a good part of my summers sitting in the bleachers.

The possibility of one day moving into the press box never crossed my mind, and like any other bleacher denizen I was mostly attracted by the sunshine, the scenery and the Old Style.

During that time span in the pre-lights bleachers, the seldom won, except for the miraculous 1984 season, and the product on the field was usually not worth watching. I was annually dejected and once ejected, emotionally numb and oftentimes glum, frequently overserved but rarely overwhelmed.

There are bleacher photos I pray never see the light of day, and moments I never would forget if only I could remember them.

But looking back there was no other place I would rather have been.

After a long time away, I returned to those bleachers last weekend to see if much has changed since the recent renovations.

The biggest change, except for the intrusion of the giant video board in left field, is the actual price of the seat. Back when I first began sitting there in 1977 you could get in for $1.50, and it was still only $3.50 back in 1985. Now the face-value price varies, from $49 for Tuesday night's game against the Mets to $119 for next Saturday afternoon's game against the Cardinals.

Overpriced? Of course. But that's the market and the Cubs probably could charge more this season. Almost every seat was filled last Saturday when I visited for a Cubs-Brewers affair and spent some time in left, upper center and right.

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