Wrigley Field: 100 years of memories

Their are few places in the world that make a person smile and fill them up with happiness even in the face of a miserable defeat. It’s hard to picture a place where that even exists, but it has been proven on 1060 West Addison Street on the North Side of America’s windy city. Wrigley Field has been noted as one of the most important landmarks in American history, bringing joy to fans that might never get to see a championship.

Wrigley Field is the second-oldest park in the MLB (Boston’s Fenway Park is older by 2 years), and has yet to see a championship. The Cubs last championship was in 1908 back when they were playing at West Side Park. Even though the franchise hasn’t seen a trophy in over 106 years, they still manage to sell more tickets than many franchises in baseball, giving them the nickname the “lovable losers”.

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Wrigley Field (Photo credit: Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia)

Wrigley can also be a storyteller, telling tales from a goat named Billy and his frustrated owner that would put a seemingly eternal curse on the friendly confines, to the time a fan named Steve Bartman robbed Moises Alou of what could have been a game-saving catch (although I think the real fault lies with Alex Gonzalez’s fielding skills). There have been good times though, like Milt Pappas’s no-hitter to the time Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters in a single game. Yes, the ivy covered walls have seen good times and bad, and even though a loss is usually expected from the Cubbies, you can always see a smile on the face of a fan knowing they had a good time watching the home team play.

Wrigley hasn’t just played host to the Cubs though, the NFL’s Chicago Bears called Wrigley home from 1921 to 1970 before the construction of Soldier Field. The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks were hosts at Wrigley for the 2009 Winter Classic when the Blackhawks played the Detroit Red Wings. Even Northwestern University were guest hosts to the field when their football team took on the University of Illinois in a regular season game, although there could be only one end zone between the two teams.

There have been talks though that the time of Wrigley might be done, as rumors have spread that the Cubs could be moving on to a field in Rosemont, IL, 30 min away from the Cubs current home away from Chicago. Although these rumors were brushed away by the organization pretty quickly, a following has been arising that has kick started a debate on whether or not the legendary field should still be around. Even though Wrigley is old and really isn’t the most eye-appealing field in the majors, it has a place in all our hearts and shouldn’t be torn away from us to move to someplace a little farther out of the city and a little nicer.

A number of legends have also called Wrigley home over the past century, and have made every game more enjoyable for the fans with their amazing talent. Hall of Famers like Billy Williams, Ernie Banks aka Mr. Cub, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, Andre Dawson, and now inductee Greg Maddux have all worn the blue and white pinstripes in the friendly confines.

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There are countless memories that can be relived through that memorable field. It would take days and days to go through every moment that was cherished or heartbreaking, and I can’t fit all the moments that made us root for the Cubs in one article.

I remember the first time I stepped inside that park in August of 2007, when outfielder Jacque Jones hit a double against the Brewers in the 7th inning to break a 3-3 tie, giving the chance for Ryan Dempster to close out the game. It was a great moment, cheering alongside the crowd and singing the winning song as the W flag was raised above the scoreboard, marking a win and a great time for all of the fans there to enjoy

If you have a favorite moment from Wrigley or from the Cubs that you wanted to add, please post it in the comments section below and share your thoughts on this historical landmark. Hopefully there will be a lot more great moments we can share in the next 100 years, maybe even a World Series victory

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