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Groundhog Day treat: A Cubs game frozen in time

  • Google StreetView's interior shot of Goose Island on Clybourn.
Google StreetView's interior shot of Goose Island on Clybourn. ((Google StreetView) )
February 01, 2012|By Mick Swasko, RedEye

The top of the fifth is underway in the first game of the Cubs' season.

TVs show Kosuke Fukudome as he steps to the plate against the Braves in Atlanta. He's 2-2 with a single, a double and a run, facing Derek Lowe. On this overcast Monday afternoon, a few patrons are gathered around the taps. Tomorrow, the Craft Brewers Conference is set to kick off and Opening Day IPA is brewing. For those that came to watch, more than a few of those suds might be necessary, as the Cubs would go on to lose 16-5.

(SEE THE Google StreetView here).

It's April 5, 2010, and like a digital Groundhog Day, it will always be the first game of the Cubbies 2010 campaign. At least in Google StreetView's version of Goose Island at 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.

As mentioned on Reddit on Wednesday, it's possible to place a little orange man on a map and walk in to the brewery for a 360-degree view, a permanent snapshot of an early-spring day when the lovable losers were kicking off their 138th season. A season, of course, that would end with a .463 winning percentage and a final spot above only the Pittsburg Pirates in the NL Central.

The relic of the game that would kick off yet another disappointing season for the North Sider's is encapsulated thanks to a pilot program Google launched that month, according to company spokesperson Deanna Yick, that allowed businesses to show off 360-degree views of their interiors just as StreetView does for their facades.

Austin Harvey, a manager at the pub, said he wasn't around the day Google came in to capture the panorama. And though he said a baseball beatdown in progress might not be the best representation of the bar during a season opener, it might be fitting.

"It seems like the perfect encapsulation of Cubs fandom--a 360-degree view of this rather unfortunate game," he said. "You have to view something like that with a grain of humor. Hope always springs eternal for another [season]."mswasko@tribune.com | @mickswasko

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