Cal Ripken Jr. knows that playing in Wrigley Field is the experience of a lifetime. He also knows how nuts it will be when the Cubs finally snap their World Series drought.
"It's a great sports town, we all know how great it is. We've all seen it. Our rival was the White Sox when we came through, and it was just fanatic here," Ripken said. "I've got to imagine this place would be crazy when the Cubs win."
Ripken got to experience Wrigley Field as an American League All Star back in 1990, when the All-Star Game was hosted on the North Side. He said that despite those infamous ancient accommodations — which are still giving headaches to players, particularly visitors, nearly a quarter century later — nothing compares to being on the field at Clark and Addison.
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"When you're out on the field, you're thinking, 'God, this is great,'" Ripken said. "And sometimes when you go underneath, it's not so great. Fenway Park was a little bit like that when you come in. Those spaces that we tend to spend all our time, the clubhouses and in the dugouts, you could come up with a few complaints. But nothing compares to having the experience on that field."
Ripken is in town as another group of baseball players are preparing to experience Wrigley. The Hall of Famer is promoting this weekend's Under Armour All-America Game, which will allow some of the best high school players in the country — and likely several future first-round draft picks — to play in the 100-year-old major league stadium.
"I had a chance to play there once. It was at the All-Star Game. We came in, I thought it was a great, great experience, like Fenway in the American League," Ripken said. "I don't know if the kids know how special it is yet when they come out. But they'll look back on it, and they'll cherish it, I'm sure."
Check out more from Ripken in the video above.