100 years...that's a long time in this day an age where owners want bigger and better arenas and stadiums that have luxury boxes along with all the bells and whistles to draw revenue. While those new state of the art stadiums are nice, they are just the smoke and mirrors the owners use to lure fans in when the product is just not that good, or while the product tries to get better.
Wrigley is the exception...sure Fenway Park is older, but the Red Sox World Series "hardware" to back them up...not the "Friendly Confines who have entertained more heartbreak than Championships.
Wrigley Field opened on this day, April 23, 1914, back then the Field located at 1060 W. Addison Ave was actually Weeghman Park... and the Cubs were the Chicago Federals of the Federal League, which defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1.
Besides the name change there were other major changes to Wrigley:
- 1927-28 The upper deck was built
- 1937 the bleachers, scoreboard, and ivy came to fruiton
- 8/8/1988 the first night game was played, and rained out.
Wrigley has seen it's share of celebrations, but has endured even more heartbreak. Which may or may not have to do with the "curse" put on the Cubs by Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern who was asked to leave the 1945 World Series game between the Cubs and Tigers because the odor of his guest...his goat, was bothering the fans around him. The Cubs lost that World Series, and have not won a National League Pennant since. They have come close, but close doesn't really count. Who can forget, the ball that trickled through Leon Durhams legs in the 1984 playoffs against the Padres, or the "Bartman Game" on 10-14-2003 when the Cubs were 5 outs from the World Series before the wheels fell off, and they lost both games 6 and 7.
The only time there has been Championship joy at Wrigley, were the NFL Championships the Bears won there in 1933, 41, 43, and 63.
I've been to Wrigley several times as a fan and as a member of the media, and I wouldn't trade those times for anything. Wrigley Field gives the true baseball fan the ability to step back in time briefly and experience the romance of a by-gone simpler time in the sport they truly love.
Happy Birthday Wrigley!