CHICAGO — For one of the most successful decades in Chicago Cubs history, Bruce Bohrer said that he had the best seat in the house.
Bohrer, 63, was a Wrigley Field usher from 2003 to 2011. The Cubs made the playoffs three times in that span, including a 2003 playoff run that saw them five outs from their first World Series since 1945.
“Oh it was just incredible every day, those couple of summers,” Bohrer said. “It was a party atmosphere all the time. From the time gates open till well after the games ended, it was an electric, exciting place to be.”
Early in his tenure with the Cubs, the North Side native began jotting down notes on interesting things that happened in the stands. Every week, Bohrer would transcribe the notes onto his computer.
“By my third season, I began thinking, ‘gee this might be an interesting book.’ So I became a bit more meticulous and a little more descriptive of what I was writing down,” Bohrer said.
Those notes are now the backbone of Bohrer’s book "Best Seat In The House: Diary Of A Wrigley Field Usher."
Bruce spoke about his favorite memories from Wrigley Field on DNAinfo Radio:
Bohrer said most of the book focuses on interesting stories from the stands, rather than on the field. He recalls one day when he noticed that dollar bills were falling from the upper deck.
“A fan was throwing them down. There must have literally been thousands of them,” Bohrer remembered. “One guy must have collected a hundred dollars.”
But it’s the fans’ appreciation of the 100-year-old ballpark that sticks with him the most.
“I remember walking one couple walk down to their seats, and the husband leaned over to his wife and said, ‘Honey I think we’ve arrived in heaven.’”
The book details some of his favorite games, including the June 7, 2003, matchup against the New York Yankees. Roger Clemens was the starting pitcher for the Yankees, and going for the 300th win of his career.
“And Kerry Wood, this up-and-coming star, was pitching for the Cubs.” Bohrer recalled. “It was a beautiful day. A nationally televised game. It was just a crazy, crazy day.”
The Cubs beat the Yankees 5-2 that afternoon. But when the team wasn’t doing well, memorable games were often few and far between.
“If they’re not playing well, then they all kind of blend together,” Bohrer said.
As for the likely installation of a video scoreboard in the park’s near future, Bohrer admitted that he’s a traditionalist.
“I hate to see any change to the park, but I understand why they have to do it,” Bohrer said. “I was against the lights in the late '80s. I’m a real sentimentalist. If it were up to me, I would keep it exactly as is.”
The book is available online, and Bohrer will be hosting a book-signing at Murphy's Bleachers on Sunday, before and after the Cubs' afternoon home game.
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