THIRTEEN FACTS ABOUT WRIGLEY FIELD
As Eddie Vedder sings in his Cub tribute song, “Someday We’ll Go All the Way:”
When you’re born in Chicago you’re blessed and you’re healed/every time you walk into Wrigley Field.
Now that it's April and another season has begun, it's time to honor one of the most special places on the planet ... "the home of our joy and our tears" ... Wrigley Field.
1) Built in 1914, it’s the second oldest park in the majors (Boston’s Fenway is two years older)
2) It’s pretty. The vines were added in 1937 and they make Wrigley Field feel more like a park than a stadium.
3) That’s the original scoreboard! The inning-by-inning scores are still changed by hand from inside the board.
4) The park was christened "The Friendly Confines" by Cub great/MVP/Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks.
5) Ernie’s nickname is "Mr. Cub." His statue graces the front of the park. As do statues honoring Billy Williams and the late, great Ron Santo.
6) SIX Cubs have had their jerseys retired, and their numbers fly on flags above the park (14 – Ernie Banks; 10 – Ron Santo; 26 – Billy Williams; 23 – Ryne Sandberg; 31 – Both Fergie Jenkins and my beloved future Hall-of-Famer, and personal all-time favorite Cub, Greg Maddux)
7) Ernie hit his 500th career homerun in this park.
8) Sammy Sosa hit his 60th homerun here during three separate seasons (1998, 1999 and 2001)
9) Perhaps the most famous player of all time, Babe Ruth, added to Wrigley Field’s legend, and his own. In 1932 he pointed to the bleachers, indicating exactly where he would hit the next pitch, and then made good on the brag with a homerun.
10) When one of baseball’s most infamous, Pete Rose, got the base hit that tied him on the all-time list with Ty Cobb, he did it in Wrigley Field.
11) A “W” or “L” flags flies over Wrigley Field at the end of each game. Before the Cubs added lights, all Wrigley Field games were played during the day. The “W” for win flag (and “L” for loss) were flown for commuters on their way home who were unable to watch or listen to the game.
12) Another Wrigley Field tradition is for bleacher fans to throw back any homerun hit by an opposing player. I’ve heard that sports memorabilia collectors actually weep when think of the money that right-thinking Cub fans toss back onto the field.
13) The first night game at Wrigley Field took place in August 1988, and was suspended because of a torrential rainstorm. Some of us believed it was God’s way of saying baseball is meant to played under the sun.