The Wrigleyville neighborhood on a Chicago Cubs game day is one of the best places on Earth. Thousands of Cubs fans cram into the tiny neighborhood with the common purpose of cheering on their team and having a damn good time doing it. A big part of having a good time is the 29 bars one can choose to go to before or after the game to either celebrate a Cubs victory or drink away a Cubs loss.
The discussion of “best bar in Wrigleyville” is one that I always enjoy having with friends. While I’ll admit my favorite Wrigleyville bar now is definitely not the same one when I was 21-years-old, Sluggers World Class Sports Bar will always remain in my top five list because they can offer something that no other bar in the area can.
Anyone that’s been a Cubs fan for any amount of time knows that the world famous Sluggers is the only place in Wrigleyville that you can step into batting cages and show all your buddies how much of a better hitter you are than professional hitters.
Anyone that’s stepped into those cages also knows that the “fastball” has the tendency to move around a bit so I think it goes without saying but taking swings after spending all day at Wrigley produces some pretty goddamn funny material.
Recently, the 32-year-old cages have been completely refurbished thanks a multi-year partnership between Red Bull and Sluggers Sports Bar. Now dubbed “KB’s Cage” after Red Bull’s poster boy, Kris Bryant, the cages look MUCH different now. The last time I took hacks in those infamous cages was in 2006 when I wanted to prove to my friends I was a better hitter than Jacque Jones. Twelve years later, the cages look completely different.
I was lucky enough to get invited to Kris Bryant himself christening “KB’s Cage” today. Bryant stepped into the cages around 11 AM this morning and took some hacks for a handful of media members and let me tell you, his swing is as good as advertised.
— ✶ Sports Mockery ✶ (@sportsmockery) April 11, 2018
— Adam Nissen (@nissen54) April 11, 2018
The cages are set up “game style” with the hitters having a chance to hit a variety of targets that hold different point values. Bryant took ten swings and didn’t hit a single target but it was apparent he was swinging at about 25%.
Here are the rules for KB’s Cage.
The event was hosted by Ryan Dempster who interviewed Bryant throughout his time in the cages and I’m happy to report that NO Harry Caray impersonation was done by Dempster. Overall, it was a pretty cool event and even cooler to see Bryant take some live swings in the cages.
Here are some other pictures from this morning.
The cages are now open to the public on a first come first serve basis. The only advice I’ll give you is to stay as sober as possible before stepping foot into the renovated cages (unless you want to make yourself look like a complete ass.)
Sluggers is located at 3540 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 or you can look them up at www.sluggersbar.com.