THE AMAZING ART OF STRICTLY WRIGLEY

June 16, 2016

CUBSQUEST STAFF 6/16/16

Michael Meade is a Cubs fan. He is also an amazing photographer, who translates his lifelong passion with his beloved team and the historic confines they occupy into unique and beautiful art. Mike has been documenting his Chicago baseball experiences for decades and lovingly offered them to an appreciative fan base since 2013. A base that includes many Cubs players current and past, even receiving accolades from Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.

Mike’s work captures the moments in and around Wrigley which define the magical essence that this team and their beloved park have cast upon the historic north side neighborhood, the city of Chicago, the U.S.A., the World…  In Mike’s photos, the ivy is greener, the players more intense and playful, the experience more vivid.

Mr. Meade’s pedigree is deep and varied. He resides in Wrigleyville and knows every nook and cranny of it. His Mom is just as rabid a fan as he, and – amongst her own many unique experiences in Cub lore – she hung with Cub lefty Kenny Holtzman after his historic first no hitter in 1969.  There’s more to it then that mind you, but catch Mike at Murphy’s after a game, cozy up with a draft of Goose Island 312, and he’ll fill you in on the details.

His amazing pics can be seen at www.strictlywrigley.com.

To appreciate the art is to appreciate the artist, and there’s no better way than in his own words…

Every team has fans. For many, its a casual appreciation for a team that their city’s name is attached to. They go about their day, not really paying attention to the play-by-play. Perfectly happy hearing about a final score a day or two later from a stranger on the train. Their field  is a patch of grass surrounded by concrete without much romance or history. The players are just faceless men, and numbers like 10, 14, 23, 26, and 31 are just… Numbers. For most fans, this is the case, and it’s just fine…

Thank the Good Lord I’m a Cubs fan!
Becoming a Cubs fan wasn’t by accident. I was born into it, just as anyone is born into any other religion. I was enrolled as a Die Hard Cubs Fan at BIRTH, and I was “blessed/cursed” by Jack Brickhouse, to “someday grow into” Wrigley Field. My fascination grew after listening to the stories told by my grandfather of seeing Babe Ruth play in the World Series, and was spurred on by the amazing strings pulled by my Uncle Dan while he worked at WGN in the 1980’s. Today, my mom, who has some amazing Cubs stories of her own, continues this wonderful family tradition as she greets the thousands of Cubs fans that enter The Friendly Confines to see our Cubbies take the field.
But there’s more than just a love of baseball that has fueled my passion for this jewel of a ballpark. Some of the most cherished memories I’ll ever have happened within and around The Friendly Confines. A few seasons ago, I made a conscious effort to photograph everything Wrigley Field, and the surrounding neighborhood of Wrigleyville since so many changes were on their way. Concerts, hockey and football games, marathons, neighborhood/holiday celebrations, and even sunsets keep me entertained when the Cubs aren’t home.  I capture views and memories for myself to look back on and remember “the good ole days”. 
Apparently, my photos have struck a chord with other baseball fans, and I’ve gained an appreciated and enthusiastic following from Cubs fans around the world. These photos are my presentation to Cubs fans and Wrigley Field romantics, of my view of the players, the field, and the game. 
Simply stated, Wrigley Field may be home of the Chicago Cubs… But it’s where I feel at home, too. I’ve always loved baseball, but I’ve fallen in love with this team and this field. For all the disappointment throughout the seasons, for all the heart aches, tears, head shakes and jaw drops… I know it will be worth it to know that feeling of absolute elation when it finally happens for the Chicago Cubs…
Hopefully “next year” is finally here.
Cubsquest welcomes the artful photography of Michael Meade’s “Strictly Wrigley” photo odyssey!