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Craig Counsell shared his memorable first experience at Wrigley Field

6 months agoTony Andracki

Like so many who came before him, Craig Counsell has fallen under the spell of Wrigley Field.

On the day he was introduced as the 56th manager in Cubs history, Counsell acknowledged the level of energy he feels just from being around Wrigley Field and joining a new organization.

“The Friendly Confines” is no strange place to Counsell, who played more than 50 games at Wrigley over his 16-year MLB career. He also spent nearly a decade managing in the same division as the Cubs and making multiple trips to the North Side of Chicago each year.

But as Counsell returned to Wrigley Field Monday, he reflected back on his first experience at the corner of Clark and Addison.

Counsell Interview Endcard

He grew up in Whitefish Bay, less than 100 miles from Wrigley. Yet he never went there as a kid.

“I watched Cubs games on TV with Harry Caray,” he said. “My first game here was actually a year before I played here. I was in the minor leagues, I broke my leg. My wife, Michelle, had an apartment on Newport.

“She was teaching at Old St. Pat’s grade school and she dragged me here and I had a broken leg and I climbed up the stairs and I wasn’t very happy about being here, to be honest with you,” he said with a smile.

Counsell has a very different feeling around the historic ballpark now.

“This is the right thing going on here and this is something that’s really special,” Counsell said. “That’s been a big part of this for me. From a baseball standpoint, I think I saw quickly that the organization is just in great health. Jed [Hoyer] presented a very compelling vision of that.

“It is time to be a Cub. There is momentum happening here and it feels close. That means there’s a really exciting future ahead of us. And now it’s my job to be part of taking us to the next level.”

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