Built in 1914 , Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in MLB, next to Boston’s Fenway Park (1912). There are many things that make Wrigley Field unique and different than all other ballparks. From the basket in front of the bleachers to the ivy in the outfield, there is a mystique that is almost unparalleled. Eddie Vedder said it best: “There’s magic in the ivy and the old score board.”
The Illustrious Wrigley Field History
Before the park was named Wrigley Field, it had several other names. The park was originally named Weegham Park until 1920, and it was renamed Cubs Park following the sale of the club to William Wrigley. Finally in 1926 it was renamed from Cubs Park to the name we all know and love—Wrigley Field. The name has lasted through all the years with owners like William Wrigley’s son Phillip K. Wrigley. It survived ownership by the Tribune and even after the January 2009 purchase of the stadium by Thomas Ricketts at an estimated total of $875 million.
Facts about Wrigley Field
There is a lot of history surrounding Wrigley Field and some of it may be very surprising and satisfying. Here are some of the lesser known facts:
- Wrigley Field is home to the third most NFL games in league history. Chicago Bears played at Wrigley from 1921-1970. The only teams to hold more games at a single stadium are the Giants Stadium with both the Jets and Giants as occupants, and Lambeau Field, home of the Packers. (Greenfield, 2012)
- The first no-hitter at Wrigley Field was thrown on May 2nd, 1917 by Cincinnati’s Fred Toney. It was the famous game when the Cubs’ “Hippo Vaughn” also didn’t give up a hit until the 10th.
- Wrigley Field’s highest attendance was on June 27th, 1930, when 51,556 fan attended to see the Cubs play the Brooklyn Dodgers. At least 30,476 women attended the game free for ladies day.
- The original seating capacity was 14,000, although contemporary newspaper reports indicated more than 21,000 fans attended the first game. (Greenfield, 2012)