Wrigley Field celebrated its one hundredth birthday in 2014 and now, one year later, remains just as vital and viable as it was when it opened for business in 1914.
Graphic via lakeshorepublicmedia
This iconic ballpark has been home to countless baseball games, none of which ever took place in a World Series. Yes, Chicago’s much-loved Cubs have not won a World Series, nor have they actually played in one in over a century.
That is, by any measure, “scaling the heights of ineptitude.” And yet, this team continually plays before large crowds, often full houses.
Chicagoans love the Cubs and support the team by attending games regularly. With so many devoted fans cheering loudly, days or nights at the ballpark are lively affairs.
Wrigley Field, which was known as Wheeghman Park from 1914 (the year it opened) until 1920, was purchased by the Wrigley family in 1921 and has remained in that family right up to the present.
This old, but incredibly charming, stadium is famous for its iconic red sign at the front gate which reads “Wrigley Field, Home of the Chicago Cubs.” It is also well-known for its ivy-covered outfield fences, for its manually-operated scoreboard and for its hitter-friendly dimensions.
Left field is three hundred fifty-five feet from home plate while right field is about the same, three hundred fifty-three feet away. The deepest part of the park, center-field is a reachable 400 feet away.
Those modest dimensions led Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, to coin a phrase that best described Wrigley Field. He called it “the friendly confines.”
Of course, as any baseball fan knows, the old ballpark is situated close to Lake Michigan and, as a result, is a target for the winds that frequently blow off the lake.
When the winds are blowing out in Wrigley Field, home runs fly over the fence with alarming regularity. And when the wind blows in, the park becomes “too big” for even the most prolific slugger
This second-oldest of all major league ballparks (Fenway Park in Boston is older) was once the home field for the Chicago Bears. This original NFL franchise played there nearly fifty years, from 1921 until 1970.
The National Hockey League (NHL) held its annual Winter Classic outdoor game at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009. The Chicago Blackhawks played host to the Detroit Red Wings. It was a game attended by thousands of fans even though it was a bitterly cold day.
And on July 19, 2013 old Wrigley Field was the site of a sold-out concert starring Pearl Jam. In fact, the ballpark on the fashionable north side of Chicago has hosted many concerts by some of the top performers in the music industry.
Perhaps best of all is the fact that in 2014, Wrigley Field celebrated its one hundredth year in existence with what amounted to a “summer-long party” and celebration of the many events that have taken place across all the decades of its existence.
It was a time to reflect on and enjoy the countless memories that are so much a part of Wrigley Field.
Graphic via csnchicago