Wrigley Field: Home of the Cubs for 100 Years

The marquee at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Photo by Buster7 via Wikimedia Commons)

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Cubs’ first game played at what is now Wrigley Field.

Here are some things you may not have known about the ballpark and the Cubs.

The stadium was built in 1914 for the Chicago Whales of the Federal League. That team’s owner, Charles Weeghman, named the stadium after himself. The team and the league were disbanded after the 1915 season. Weeghman took over ownership of the Cubs and moved them into his almost-new stadium.

The first Cubs game played at Weeghman Park was a 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in 11 innings. Weeghman, however had financial troubles and was forced out as owner after four seasons.

William Wrigley Jr., the owner of the chewing gum company that bears his last name, assumed total control of the team in 1921. The stadium was named Cubs Park between 1920 and 1926.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field wasn’t the first baseball stadium to have that name. The Cubs’ minor league affiliate in Los Angeles opened their own Wrigley Field in 1925. The Chicago stadium didn’t get the name Wrigley Field until a year later.

In 1927, an upper deck of seating was added and the field’s signature wall-covering ivy was planted in 1937. The ivy is a combination of Boston and Japanese Bittersweet ivies. If a ball that is in play is lost in the ivy, the result of the play is a ground-rule double.

The stadium is also famous for being the last Major League park to install permanent lighting. The Cubs played their first home game at night on August 8, 1988. They were persuaded to add the lights after Major League Baseball threatened to move any scheduled postseason night games to St. Louis, the home of the Cubs’ bitter rivals, the Cardinals.

While the Cubs’ first night game at Wrigley Field was played in 1988, the first ever night game played there happened on July 1, 1943. It was the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League’s all-star game. It was played under temporary lights.

The Cubs are now the stadium’s only permanent tenant. Other teams to have called Wrigley Field home over the years include three NFL teams, including the Chicago Bears, and the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League.

In 2009, the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League played an outdoor game against the Detroit Red Wings. Center ice was at roughly the location of second base.

Despite the fact that they’ve played there for 100 years, the Chicago Cubs have yet to win a World Series title since moving to Wrigley.

Our question: Which Major League Baseball stadium is older that Wrigley Field?

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