Wrigley Field: Inside the Friendly Confines

“Welcome to Wrigley Field!”

One of the oldest and most beautiful ballparks in America can be found at 1060 West Addison Street on Chicago’s north side.  If you see hot dogs topped with sport peppers and yellow mustard, fans in red, white, and blue, and ivy-covered walls, there’s no doubt that you’ve landed in the middle of Wrigley Field.

Originally built in 1914 as Weeghman Park, it was the venue for the now-defunct Chicago Wales.  In 1920, the park was renamed Cubs Park to reflect the new team name.  In 1926, the park, along with the team was bought by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, to which the stadium was named after.

“It’s a home run!”

The stadium seats about 41,000.  It is the oldest National League ballpark and the second oldest active major league ballpark Boston’s Fenway Park, which opened in 1912.  Wrigley Field is known for its ivy covered brick outfield wall, the iconic red marquee over the main entrance, the manually operated scoreboard, and for being the last major league park to have lights installed for play after dark, with lighting installed in 1988.

“Peek-A-Boo!”

Back in 2007, I went to my first Cubs game with my cousins.  As I got off at Addison station, I noticed how close to the neighborhood Wrigley Field was.  It really is a throwback to the old days when ballparks were built near houses, apartments, and was literally a stones throw from  where John Q. Public lived.  The average fan could literally walk from their front door, and be at the ticket window in a matter of seconds.  You could see how close the houses and apartments were; it felt like being in a suburb.  There was no freeway entrance, or labyrinthian parking lot, or geodisic dome, or some corporate sponsor in giant neon lights.  This was as old-fashioned as you could get.  Looking up at the red marquee, I felt like I was in the opening of Perfect Strangers.  Our seats were in the outfield, right below the famous scoreboard.  As if the exterior of the stadium wasn’t ambiance enough, I could see the person inside the scoreboard changing the numbers and stats!  Throw in the fact that their jumbo-tron screen wasn’t that jumbo-sized, and I swear I was back in time to an era when ushers were dressed to the nines and hot dogs were in fact, a nickel.  The only thing that went wrong during the game was when I made the mistake of ordering a Mai Tai with my red hot.  I saw everyone drinking them, so I assumed they were good.  Note to my readers: hot dogs and Mai Tais do NOT go together!

“Live from Wrigleyville!”

Between the roar of the crowd, the aroma of Chicago hot dogs, the blue skies, the green ivy, and the creaking sound of the scoreboard tiles being shuffled around, there really is no place like Wrigley Field.  At the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, Wrigley Field casts a certain magic over every lover of baseball.  The only thing more magical than being at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, is being at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game during the World Series.  Did I mention that the Cubs haven’t played in a World Series since 1945?  And did I forget to mention that the Cubs haven’t won a series since 1908?  Make sure you don’t say that out loud to a Cubs fan during game day!

“What’s the score?”

 

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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