Expansion - Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs
CONTENT IS FROM CUBS.MLB.COM
Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914, is playing host to major league baseball
for the 89th season in 2002.
Friendly Confines is the second-oldest ballpark in the major leagues behind Boston's
Fenway Park (1912).
Wrigley Field has
been the site of such historic moments as:
Ruth's "called shot," when Ruth allegedly pointed to a bleacher location during
Game 3 of the 1932 World Series ... Ruth then hit Charlie Root's next pitch for
- Gabby Hartnett's famous
"Homer in the Gloamin' " September 28, 1938, vs. Pittsburgh's Mace Brown.
- the great May 2, 1917, pitching duel
between Jim "Hippo" Vaughn and the Reds' Fred Toney ... both Vaughn and Toney
threw no-hitters for 9.0 innings before Cincinnati's Jim Thorpe (of Olympic fame)
drove in the only run in the 10th inning ... Toney finished with a no-hitter.
- Ernie Banks' 500th career home
run May 12, 1970, vs. Atlanta's Pat Jarvis.
Rose's 4,191st career hit, which tied him with Ty Cobb for the most hits in baseball
history ... Rose singled off Reggie Patterson September 8, 1985.
Originally known as Weeghman Park, Wrigley Field was built on the grounds once
occupied by a seminary.
Park was the home of Chicago's entry in the Federal League and was the property
of Charles H. Weeghman ... the club was known as both the Federals and the Whales.
- the cost of building Weeghman
Park, which had a seating capacity of 14,000, was estimated at $250,000 ... the
infield and outfield consisted of more than 4,000 yards of soil and four acres
- the first major
league game at the ballpark took place April 23, 1914, with the Federals defeating
Kansas City 9-1 ... the first homer in ballpark history was hit by Federals catcher
Art Wilson - a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning off Kansas City's Chief Johnson.
- when the Federal League folded for
financial reasons after the 1915 campaign, Weeghman purchased the Cubs from the
Taft family of Cincinnati and moved the club to the two-year-old ballpark at the
corner of Clark and Addison streets.
first National League game at the ballpark was played April 20, 1916, when the
Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings ... a bear cub was in attendance
at the game.
- the park became
known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchased the team from Weeghman
... it was named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club's
The Wrigley Field bleachers
and scoreboard were constructed in 1937 when the outfield area was renovated to
provide improved and expanded seating ... the original scoreboard remains intact.
- the score-by-innings and the
pitchers' numbers are changed by hand ... the numbers signaling batter, ball,
strike and out, along with "H" and "E" to signify hit and error, are eyelets.
- no batted ball has ever hit
the centerfield scoreboard ... two baseballs barely missed - a homer hit onto
Sheffield Avenue (right-center) by Bill Nicholson in 1948, and one hit by Roberto
Clemente onto Waveland Avenue (left-center) in 1959.
of the traditions of Wrigley Field is the flying of a flag bearing a "W" or an
"L" atop the scoreboard after a game ... a white flag with a blue "W" indicates
a victory; a blue flag with a white "L" denotes a loss.
The original vines were purchased and planted by Bill Veeck in September 1937
... Veeck strung bittersweet from the top of the wall to the bottom, then planted
the ivy at the base of the wall.
bleacher wall is 11.5 feet high ... the basket attached to the wall was constructed
- Ernie Banks' uniform
number (14) is imprinted on the flag which flies from the leftfield foul pole
... Billy Williams' No. 26 flies from the rightfield foul pole.
Wrigley Field added lights in 1988.
first night game took place August 8 against Philadelphia, but was rained out
after 31/2 innings.
- the first
official night game occurred August 9 vs. New York, when the Cubs defeated the
- in 2001, Wrigley
Field will be celebrating its 14th year of playing host to baseball under the
lights ... the Cubs entered the season having played 206 home night games (going
107-99 in those contests).
Field has also been the site of numerous construction projects since Tribune Company
purchased the Cubs in 1981.
office space was created and old offices refurbished in the administrative area
behind home plate in 1981-1982, while the ticket office was built directly behind
home plate in 1983.
the winter of 1984, a new home clubhouse was completed under the third base stands
... the visitors' clubhouse was renovated in 1990.
1989, private boxes were constructed on the mezzanine level, formerly occupied
by the press box and broadcasting booths ... a press box and broadcasting booths
were constructed in the upper deck directly behind home plate ... other improvements
included a food court in the upper deck.
renovations in 1994 and 1995, there are now 63 private boxes.
- an elevator was added to the third base concourse
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