Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Wrigley Field!

Today is the 100th anniversary of the first baseball game at Wrigley Field.

In 1914 on the former grounds of a Lutheran Seminary (holy ground??!!), Weeghman Park, home of the Federal League Chicago Chi-Feds hosted its first ball game.  Today the Cubs and Diamondbacks are wearing the uniforms of the two teams.  Hastily constructed in just a couple months, the single-decked ballpark seated about 18,000 fans.

When the Federal League folded after the 1915 season, the Cubs were bought by the Chi-Feds owner and he moved his new team into his two-year old park.  A few years later William Wrigley gained control of the team and renamed the park Cubs Park.  Prior to the 1923 season the grandstands were cut into three pieces and two of the pieces were moved back.  New seats filled in the gaps and the ballpark now seated nearly 31,000.

In the late twenties over the course of two winters the upper deck was added, again increasing capacity.  The parks name changed again at this time too, becoming Wrigley Field.

The final major renovation took place in 1937 as the brick was added along the walls of the grandstand and the bleachers were built.  The scoreboard and ivy were added at the same time.

Lights were added in 1988, the luxury suites in 1989, a few extra rows were built in the front of the grandstands, and the bleachers were expanded in 2006,  but otherwise the ballpark has remained pretty much the same since 1937.

I attended my first game at Wrigley in 1970, sitting in the general admission grandstands on the first base side.  If I were to sit in the same seat today, the view I'd have would be almost the same as the one from then.  I think that is pretty cool.

The ballpark might have some crumbling concrete, the concourses are tight, the bathrooms have troughs, and there isn't a video board (yet). But when you sit in a seat, you're sitting in history, rich baseball history that has vanished from almost every other big league venue.

You all need to attend at least one game at Wrigley Field.

I searched through my cards for any that were specifically Wrigley Field cards.  I thought I had more, but I found only eight.

Fleer 2002

Score 1989 Season Highlights

Factory Team set 2009

Factory Team set 2011

Factory Team set 2012

Factory Team set 2013

Triple Play 1992

Upper Deck 2010


  1. Nice write up.

    I thought there was one about planting the ivy in the Aunt Millie's set last year? And I vaguely remember reading about a top moments of Wrigley set here. But they probably weren't overhead shots like the ones you showed.

  2. Very cool. I'll have to keep a look out for pics from today's game. I love throwback Unis.

  3. You never forget your'e first time. I haven't. I do miss the feel of the neighborhood outside the outfield walls before the commercialization.

  4. Looking forward to visiting the Friendly Confines in August.