The Chicago area is a wonderful tourist destination to visit any time of the year. With countless concerts and events, great places to say, and a wonderful smorgasbord of eating establishments, it should be on your list of "must see" destinations.
During the long baseball season, Chicago is a mecca for ball fans who can combine their love of sport with their vacation. The world famous Chicago Cub have their home at historical Wrigley Field, playing host to other professional ball teams, all season long.
Baseball fans are inevitably history fans, at least when it comes to the game of baseball, and Wrigley Field is steeped in moments that echo down through the years. Built way back in 1914, 2009 marks its 96th season showcasing Major League Baseball. Incredibly the Cubs have played there for 94 of the 96. Only Fenway Park, built in 1912 in Boston, can claim seniority.
What baseball fan hasn't heard of Babe Ruth's "called shot". The story goes that in the third game of the 1932 World Series, Ruth was up to bat and before the pitch he pointed to an area in the bleachers. The opposition's pitcher Charlie Root fired, and The Babe connected for a homer that landed in the area he had just pointed to. It's a legend that will live on forever.
Wrigley Field started out as Weeghman Park on land that once housed a seminary. Charles H. Weeghman acquired the land, investing a sum of $250,000, bringing in more than 4.000 yards of soil and planting four acres of bluegrass on the outfield. This ball diamond became home to the Federal League with Weeghman financing the startup baseball club, first known as the Federals and later as the Whales.
April 23, 1914 marked the very first major league game. The Federals beat Kansas City by a score of 9-1. Art Wilson, the Federals catcher, smashed a two run blast off Kansas City's Chief Johnson in the second inning, marking the park's very first home run.
After the 1915 season, the Federal League collapsed due to financial problems, and Weeghman bought a team called the Cubs and installed them at his two year old ballpark. With a little bear cub looking on, the Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in a game that went 11 innings. This was the first National League game and it happened on April 20, 1916.
In 1920 Weeghman Park morphed into Cubs Park when the Wrigley family bought the team. The name Wrigley Field began in 1926 to honor the club's owner William Wrigley Jr., and has stuck ever since.
About ten years later, in 1937, a scoreboard and bleachers were built in the outfield because attendance was increasing. This scoreboard remains to this day with numbers that are changed by hand. Imagine the thrill of being the person posting those numbers to the assembled crowd.
Perhaps you have seen the magnificent wall of ivy at Wrigley Field. It is very distinctive and many folks have seen it on televised games. A gentleman by the name of Bill Veeck is responsible for that horticultural touch. He first strung bittersweet from the top to the bottom of the wall and then planted ivy plants all along the base. Now, seventy years later, the wall is simply blanketed in green.
It is hard to fathom this fact, but no batted ball has ever hit the scoreboard in center field. With the number of games that are played, and the skilled players who have hit many home runs, not one has connected with that scoreboard.
Two have come really close, however. Way back in 1948, Bill Nicholson hit a home run onto Sheffield Avenue, and then in 1959, Roberto Clemente smashed one onto Waveland Avenue. Could 2009 be the year someone makes contact with that fabled board?
Here is another charming tradition. If you drive past Wrigley Field and spot a white flag flying from the scoreboard masthead, with a blue letter "W", that indicates that the Cubs were victorious that day. If the flag is blue with a white "L" it means that the Cubbies were beaten. If it was a doubleheader with a split result, then both the flags are hoisted.
This summer or fall would be a great time to visit Chicago and soak up the sights and sounds of the city as well as see some great baseball. Be sure to get your Chicago Cubs tickets today.
SitClose.com provides Cubs fans with Chicago Cubs tickets, entertainment packages, corporate events, and superb catering. Nick Messe is the founder and president of Lead Frog LLC which provides elite private business consulting services.