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Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community In The Bleachers

Jese Leos
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Published in Holly Swyers
4 min read
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Wrigley Field, nestled in the heart of Chicago, is more than just a baseball stadium. For many die-hard fans, it's a second home, a place where friendships are formed, memories are made, and a sense of community transcends the game on the field. In the bleachers of Wrigley, a group of dedicated fans known as the "Wrigley Regulars" have forged a unique bond that goes beyond their love for the game.

Wrigley Regulars Enjoying The Game Together Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community In The Bleachers

History and Origins

The origins of the Wrigley Regulars can be traced back to the early 1980s when a group of passionate fans started attending Chicago Cubs games regularly. They soon realized that they were sitting in the same section for most games, forming an unspoken camaraderie. Over time, this group of die-hard fans became a recognizable presence in the bleachers, developing their own rituals and traditions.

Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community in the Bleachers
by Holly Swyers (Kindle Edition)

4 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 1083 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 202 pages

A Home Away From Home

For the Wrigley Regulars, the bleachers are their sanctuary. It's where they come to escape the stresses of everyday life and immerse themselves in the joy and excitement of baseball. Whether it's cheering on their favorite players, heckling opposing teams, or debating the latest game strategy, the bleachers offer a sense of belonging that is hard to find elsewhere.

The Rituals and Traditions

Every game day, the Wrigley Regulars gather in their designated spot in the bleachers. They arrive early to secure their desired seats and set up their customized banners and signs. One of their most cherished traditions is the "First Pitch Shot," where a designated member takes a shot of whiskey before the first pitch, signifying the start of another memorable game.

Another iconic tradition is the "Stretching of the Flags" during the 7th inning stretch. The Regulars proudly unravel an array of colorful flags representing different Cubs eras and legends, fostering a sense of pride and nostalgia among the fans. This ritual has become a staple of Wrigley Field and an enduring symbol of the Regulars' devotion.

Building Lifelong Friendships

What sets the Wrigley Regulars apart is the genuine connections they've formed over the years. This tight-knit community has become a support system that extends far beyond baseball. Many Regulars attend each other's weddings, celebrate milestones together, and even help each other through tough times. They have become a chosen family, united by their love for the Cubs and their shared experiences in the bleachers of Wrigley Field.

The Impact on New Fans

The Wrigley Regulars are welcoming to new fans, always eager to share their knowledge, stories, and passion for the game. They understand the importance of passing down their traditions and ensuring that the spirit of the bleachers lives on. They believe that by embracing new members, they can continue to foster a sense of community that is essential to the Wrigley Field experience.

Beyond the Bleachers

The influence of the Wrigley Regulars extends beyond the confines of Wrigley Field. Their dedication and commitment to the Cubs have inspired countless fans from around the world. The Regulars have become ambassadors for the team, spreading their love for the game and the unique community they've created in the bleachers.

Whether it's through social media, fan events, or simply striking up conversations with fellow fans, the Regulars continue to nurture the collective spirit of Cubs fandom, making the Wrigley experience accessible to fans from all walks of life.

Wrigley Field is more than just a ballpark. It's a place where friendships are born, where rituals are celebrated, and where the spirit of community thrives. The Wrigley Regulars embody this spirit, forging a unique bond that transcends the game itself. They are the heartbeat of the bleachers, a testament to the enduring power of sports to bring people together.

Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community in the Bleachers
by Holly Swyers (Kindle Edition)

4 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 1083 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 202 pages

Holly Swyers turns to the bleachers of Chicago's iconic Wrigley Field in this unique exploration of the ways people craft a feeling of community under almost any conditions. Wrigley Regulars examines various components of community through the lens of "the regulars," a group of diehard Chicago Cubs fans who loyally populate the bleachers at Wrigley Field. In a time when many communities are perceived as either short-lived or disintegrating, the Wrigley regulars have formed their own thriving set of pregame rituals, ballpark traditions, and social hierarchies.

Swyers examines the conditions, practices, and behaviors that help create and sustain the experience of community. At Wrigley Field, these practices can include the simple acts of scorecard-keeping and gathering at the same location before each game or insisting on elaborate rules of ticket distribution and seating arrangements, as well as more symbolic behaviors and superstitions that link the regulars to each other.

A bleacher regular herself, Swyers uses a qualitative approach to define community as the ways in which people arrive at an awareness of themselves as a group with a particular relationship to the larger world. The case of the regulars offers a challenge to the claim that community is eroding in an increasingly fragmented and technologically driven culture, suggesting instead that our notions of where we find community and how we express it are changing.

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