In March 1914, construction began on what is now known as Wrigley Field. At a cost of $250,000, Wrigley Field remains one of the oldest parks in the history of baseball. Located in Chicago, this facility is home to the Chicago Cubs. In the beginning, 10 investors purchased the team. In later years, however, each owner sold their remaining shares to William Wrigley Jr. , who was first known for Wrigley chewing gum. In 1926, the ballpark was renamed from Cubs Park to Wrigley Field in honor of it’s owner.
Many firsts were started at Wrigley Field, including permanent concession stands and permission for fans to keep foul balls that are hit into the stands. The bleachers and scoreboard were both constructed in 1937 and are still manually operated. Incidentally, the scoreboard has yet to be struck with a ball in play. Ironically enough, however, it was hit by a golf ball teed off by Sam Snead inside the stadium. Bill Veek, who built the bleachers and scoreboard, is also responsible for the landscaping throughout Wrigley Field.
In August 1988, the lights were lit for the first night game to be held at Wrigley Field. After more than 5,000 afternoon games, the Chicago Cubs were scheduled to meet under the lights for the first time on their home turf against Philadelphia. While the game was initially rained out, the New York Mets arrived the following night and were defeated as the Chicago Cubs were victorious in a 6-4 win.
Many of baseball's great historic moments occurred at Wrigley Field, including Ernie Banks batting his 500th homerun in 1970, Babe Ruth's “called shot" in the 1932 Game 3 of the World Series, Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb's record 4,191 hits in baseball history in 1985, Sammy Sosa's 60th homeruns in 1998, 1999 and 2001. In addition, fans witnessed Gabby Hartnett's famous “Homer in the Gloamin" against the Pirates’ Mace Brown in 1938.
Wrigley Field, which is the last Federal League park in existence, also remains to be one of the most traditional venues in the sport of baseball. The majority of the facility has remained free of advertisements with only a few lingering throughout the park. Flags, located on the grounds of Wrigley Field, continue to remind fans whether or not the Chicago Cubs are winning or losing in the standings. Although it is the current home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field has hosted more professional football games than any other stadium in America. In 2005, Wrigley Field celebrated 92 seasons of hosting Major League Baseball and 90 years as home to the Chicago Cubs.
Collectors who wish to request an autograph from any one of the players on the Chicago Cubs roster should send their letter and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:
c/o Chicago Cubs
1060 West Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613-4397
Fans requesting an autograph should limit their request to two items per letter. Popular items to have signed include photos, index or trading cards, baseballs, etc. Patience is key when requesting autographs through the mail, but the best time to reach an athlete is often during the off-season.
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