A Short, Quirky History of Wrigley Field

Hey Chicago, whaddya say!? The Cubs are gonna win TODAY!

Learning the history of a city I love always makes me feel like a part of an old shared story. Touring Wrigley Field a few weeks ago completely inspired me to do more touring of my home. While my all-time favorite is the Architecture Boat Tour, the walk through Wrigley Field was so informative and fun! I’ll be writing a review on the tour itself soon. 

On April 23rd, 2014 Wrigley Field celebrates its 100th birthday. Read below for the short, quirky history of Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field Marquee
Famous green seats!

Originally, the Chicago baseball team was called The Federals. Weeghman let the community vote on a new name. They picked THE WHALES (what!?). The Whales (can’t get over it) played in Weeghman Park in 1914, which was renamed Cubs Park in 1920. It didn’t actually become Wrigley Field until 1926! 100 years, huh!?

The press box at Wrigley Field is the smallest of any other ballpark – and has no air conditioning! Chicago summers are humid and hot, not a good combination for no A/C. I love the heat, but that sounds terrible. Let’s get those guys some A/C boxes!


There are 3 famous historic landmarks at Wrigley Field:  1) The Outfield Ivy 2) The Iconic Red Wrigley Field Marquee and 3) The Hand-Turned Scoreboard.It takes two full weeks of 60 degree weather for the Ivy to get green.  It was added to make the brick wall look nicer and to add a cushion. The clock on the top of the scoreboard was added when the Bears began to play at Wrigley Field. No doubt I’ll be sharing these with everyone who will listen when I’m at Wrigley!

Wrigley Field Celebrating 100 Years

There are very specific rules about balls that get stuck in the Ivy. A player can search for the ball, but it’s in play as soon as he starts looking. To say it’s “stuck” and the outfielder is letting it go, a player must put both of his hands up. The, the batter gets an automatic double. In 2013, a ball was hit into the Ivy. The outfielder went searching for it, and out popped TWO balls! He threw one to first and the next to second. The umpire finally called it, but it was the first time in history that two balls had been in play at the same time during a baseball game. I kind want to sit out in the bleachers and just drop in a ball at the “right” time…

Weeghman was the first owner to allow fans to keep their caught foul balls! He’s the reason spectators bring baseball gloves to games. Legendary.


The pennant flags on top of the scoreboard are the actual rankings of the teams. The phrase “race to the top” used in baseball was coined because of the actual pennant flag race to the top of the scoreboard! I will admit I thought “race to the top” was just a term for a state education grant. 


Original owner Weeghman was a true innovator. During games, snacks were sold on carts that were pushed throughout the stadium. He noticed that fans got annoyed with the carts, so he created the first concession stand where fans could walk to get their own snacks. Who invented the front-carrier model? Those look so heavy!

The Chicago Cubs fans began singing the Star Spangled Banner before games  in 1918. The song was not adopted as the official national anthem until 1931. Trend-setters, those Cubbie fans.


What’s your favorite way to get to know a city’s history? 

Follow me on twitter and instagram @letsroamwild!

Like this post? You should check out my review of Wrigley Rooftops!

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I'm Emily - a twenty-something female travel-enthusiast - here to serve and inspire you. Need help planning your next trip? Email me at emily [at] letsroamwild [dot] com and tag your own travel pics to share with the world @letsroamwild.

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