Since 1916, Wrigley Field Stadium has been the home of the Chicago Cubs. It was built in 1914 as a home for the Chicago Federal league baseball team, the Chicago Whales. From 1921 to 1970, it was also home to the Chicago Bears football team. Wrigley Field hotels are plentiful, and their location near the ballpark gives Cubs fans and anyone interested in Chicago history the chance to explore a historic landmark.
History of Wrigley Field: The Early Years
If you read up on the history of Wrigley Field, you will discover that it was the first ballpark on Chicago's North Side. Wrigley Field cost $250,000 when it was built in 1914. Charlie Weeghman built the park as a home for his baseball team, the Chicago Federals. The Federals, also known as the Chicago Whales, were part of the new Federal league that was challenging the established major leagues.
Unfortunately, the Federal league folded after only two years, so Weeghman organized a ten-man syndicate, which included chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. to purchase the Cubs of the National League. The Chicago Cubs were moved from West Side Grounds to what was then known as Weeghman Park. In 1918, Wrigley took over Weeghman's share of the team and by the time the year 1919 rolled around, he had managed to buy out the shares that belonged to the other members of the syndicate. The name of the stadium was changed to Cubs Park in time for opening day, 1920. It was renamed Wrigley Field in his honor in 1926.
History of Wrigley Field: The Bleachers are Built
The outfield bleachers went up in 1937. In that same year, Bill Veeck constructed the scoreboard. To this day, the scoreboard is still manually operated. Amazingly, it has never been struck with a batted ball. However, Roberto Clemente and Bill Nicholson each hit home runs that came close.
Wrigley Field is also famous for initiating baseball's first permanent concession stand. Additionally, the custom of allowing fans to keep foul balls hit into the stands started at Wrigley Field, as well as the custom of throwing back home runs hit by opposing players.
Wrigley Field Chicago Cubs
Like the Boston Red Sox, Cubs baseball games seem to attract people who love to cheer for the underdog. However, no major league team has continuously represented the same city longer than the Chicago Cubs baseball team and their predecessors, who date back to 1870. As such, attending a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field is a great way to take in a bit of Chicago culture.
You also might enjoy taking an organized tour of Wrigley Field, which includes;
- Cubs Clubhouse
- Press Box
- Visitors Clubhouse
- On deck circles
- Mezzanine Suites
- Security Headquarters
The $20 fee goes to Cubs Care, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation.