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Field ready for opener, but not ivy

Billy Williams Ernie Banks Fergie Jenkins Ryne Sandberg throw ceremonial first pitches. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg throw the ceremonial first pitches. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

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Updated: May 6, 2014 6:15AM



Nobody expected the ivy to be green for the home opener. But missing?

Two to three feet of brick across the top of the left-field wall was exposed Friday because of brick-replacement work late in the offseason that left the ivy a little short when it was reattached.

“It hasn’t started to grow yet. If we would have spring, you would see ivy,” said Carl Rice, vice president of ballpark operations, who wasn’t sure how long the process will take. “We need warm weather.”

The brick work is part of an “area-by-area” replacement process that is part of the larger renovation plan, Rice said.

The rest of the ballpark seemed remarkably ready for the opener, considering the severity and length of winter.

“It was difficult,” Rice said. “Three weeks ago, there was three feet of snow in right field that had to be removed.”

The process took a week to 10 days, he said. Crews then used tarps and large heaters to help the greening process for the grass.

“We got lucky with the weather those few days last week with just some warmth that helped us get the field prepared,” Rice said. “But it’s still going to be a challenge. We need spring to show up.”

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

Twitter: @GDubCub



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