Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oh Bury Me Not On the U.S. Cellular Warning Track

A fun story of Cubs fan's dying wish to have his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field 19 years ago:

The scattering ceremony was unofficial. After Goodman died in 1984, his cremated remains ended up in the possession of his longtime friend and business partner Al Bunetta . . . Bunetta said team officials refused this request, so the remains sat in a box in his office for more than three years. That's when Goodman's younger brother, photographer David Goodman, got the job done the Chicago way: He found a guy who knew some guys who knew a guy who knew a guy in stadium security who would let them slip into the Friendly Confines with a portion of Goodman's remains just before Opening Day 1988 . . .

. . .The plan was to scatter them at home plate, according to an account confirmed by David Goodman that appears in author Clay Eals' "Facing the Music," a Goodman biography published earlier this year. But the tiny bone fragments -- they're not really ashes -- looked too rough to leave where players would be sliding. So they went into the bleachers: "We stood along the wall, sang the song and let his ashes flow in a beautiful snow," David Goodman wrote later. "One problem, the wind was blowing in that day and instead of coming to rest on Waveland Avenue, Stevie landed jus' a little short, [on the] warning track under the 368 sign."

Apparently the Cubs still won't officially let you haul your ashes to Wrigley for purposes of scattering. But the White Sox will let you do it at U.S. Cellular Field:

. . . the White Sox have a policy that allows those who ask -- a half-dozen or so families a year -- to conduct brief funeral ceremonies on the warning track at U.S. Cellular Field on non-game days."It's not something the club does on a routine basis," said Peter Chase, media relations director for the Cubs. "But we examine each request ... case by case."

Given that U.S. Cellular Field isn't likely to be ingrained in the consciousness of anyone over the age of 20, I can't imagine there are a lot of requests.


Clay Eals said...

Good to see your post about the ashes of Steve Goodman and my 800-page biography of Goodman published in May, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." If you like, please check my Internet site below for more info on the book. Just trying to spread the word. Feel free to do the same!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515
(206) 484-8008

Shyster said...

No problem, Clay. Sounds like a good story.