Former Chicago Cub Used To Hide Drugs In Wrigley’s Ivy That Was Thrown To Him By Fans
Wrigley Field was a WILDLY different place 50 years ago.
If you haven't been to Wrigley Field in a few years, you might not recognize it. The Cubs front office have turned Wrigley into a Disneyland type experience, if Disneyland had 23-year-old frat bros puking on the corner, it's at least a Disney-like experience today.
If this sounds like an old man shaking his fists at the clouds, that's because it kind of is. In my mind Wrigleyville should always be what it was like in my 20s, just like everyone else who complains about things changing around them. Wrigleyville is now modeled after what today's 20-somethings want, and while it's disappointing, I fully understand that I, who now visits the area about once every other year, is not their target demo.
And that's how I'm sure the bleacher bums of the 70s felt when Wrigley got lights and turned into a destination that was crowded, and not a casual place to hang out with your friends.
The Wrigley bleachers of the 70s were very different from the bleachers of today. Bleacher tickets are some of the most sought after tickets in town and have been since the 90s. It's half baseball game, half frat party, and it's usually packed. Back in the 70s it was a much more casual atmosphere, with regulars that treated it more as a local watering hole where you could hang out with friends, than a live sporting event.
There was even a play written about the Bleacher Bums. If you have a spare 90 minutes, it's worth checking out sometime.
I Came Here To Read About Drugs
Ok, here's the payoff.
This all leads me to a story I just learned about Joe Pepitone, who spent a short time in Chicago but shared a legendary story with Rolling Stone. Pepitone is an interesting character who has run into his share of difficulties. He was recently in the news when his lawsuit against Baseball's Hall of Fame was thrown out of court.
Pepitone spent most of his career with the Yankees but he made a lot of friends in the bleachers during his short stint with the Cubs.
In an article with Rolling Stone from 2015, Pepitone says that the Bleacher Creatures used to thrown him drugs during the game that he would then hide in the ivy and return to fetch after the game.
Pepitone says that he began his friendship with the bleachers by tossing a football back and forth with them after one of them tossed one onto the field during warmups. Shortly after, he was hit with a different type of projectile.
One time, someone hit me in the back with some foil, all wrapped up, and there's like four joints in it. I went and stuck it in the ivy on the outfield wall, but I remembered where I put it. Once they saw me do that, the regular Bleacher Bums started throwing things at me every day; I'd get hit with a little packet, I'd look and there's a gram of coke in there.
Weed, coke, and who knows what else just being tossed onto the field at the Federal Landmark. No TV cameras or cell phones to catch what was going on. Truly a different time.
Something tells me too that Pepitone's carousing of Wrigleyville would have put Mark Grace to shame.
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