Wish Wrigley a happy 100th birthday! Fans from around the world are getting ready for the "Party of the Century" at the legendary baseball shrine, Wrigley Field. Built in 1914 and home to the Chicago Cubs since 1916, the stadium celebrates 100 years in 2014. Head to the Friendly Confines this season to mark the occasion and time travel through decades of history.
With the famous ivy-covered brick walls and the original, hand-operated scoreboard, Wrigley Field is already a living museum to America's favorite pastime. But ten themed homestands planned for 2014 - complete with unique entertainment, honored guests, special events and commemorative merchandise - will break open the time capsule to its fullest in celebration of the ballpark's 100th birthday.
Check out the highlights below and get the full schedule of happenings, including all the latest updates, at wrigleyfield100.com.
Courtesy of Chicago Cubs
100TH BIRTHDAY GAME: APRIL 23
On April 23, 1914, Wrigley Field opened its doors for its first baseball game, a Federal League matchup between the Chi-Feds and Kansas City Packers. Exactly a century later, Wrigley Field's 100th birthday will be celebrated April 23, 2014 with a 1:20pm matchup versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.
While the entire season will commemorate the milestone, this game will be a birthday bonanza packed with special guests, entertainment and gifts - and of course, cake and a Happy Birthday serenade.
An extended pregame ceremony will give fans a chance to welcome back a lineage of Wrigley Field's most important icons. Throughout the day, Wrigley Field will mirror the sights and sounds of a century ago, including throwback uniforms, music and décor. Birthday tributes from players, alumni and celebrities will play on the right field video board throughout the game. In the 5th inning, the crowd will have a chance to sing "Happy Birthday" to their favorite ballpark. And don't leave without dessert! This party will be passing out sweet dessert treats to fans as they go.
Visit wrigleyfield100.com for more details about the April 23 birthday game as it becomes available.
10 DECADES, 10 UNIQUE HOMESTANDS: A SEASON-LONG CELEBRATION
Celebrate the centennial throughout the 2014 season. The Chicago Cubs are planning 10 themed homestands inspired by each decade, with all sorts of fun thrown in for history buffs and fans alike, including:
Historic Bobbleheads: During the first Friday home game of each decade-themed homestand, the first 10,000 fans in the ballpark will receive a never-before-produced bobblehead honoring key individuals or events from that decade
Throwback Uniforms: On "Throwback Sunday" games, the Cubs will wear throwback uniforms from significant events during each decade
Retro Toys: For the kids, each "Throwback Sunday" game will offer a retro toy giveaway to children 13 and under
Dining through the Decades: Fans can enjoy specialty food items and beverages that were popular from that homestand's era and offerings throughout the park will be served in commemorative collectable cups, helmets and more
Ballpark Décor: Wrigley Field 100th birthday décor and logos will be featured throughout the interior and exterior of the ballpark -from up on the flags to down on the bases and the grass behind home plate and center field - as well as on the players' uniforms
Wrigley Field's 100 Great Moments: Starting with the Cubs Convention and continuing through training and the regular season, the Cubs will unveil and pay tribute to 100 great moments in the ballpark's history, honoring several former athletes, performers and dignitaries in the process
*TIP... Keep an eye out for foul balls and homeruns! Each game ball will also be stamped with the Wrigley Field 100 logo so you'll be taking home a memorable souvenir if you can catch one.
Courtesy of Chicago History Museum
WRIGLEY FIELD HISTORY
One of the most storied stadiums in all of sports, Wrigley Field has been visited by generations of loyal Cubs fans and holds countless memories of games past. It has been the site of some of the game's greatest moments, such as Babe Ruth's alleged "called shot" in the 1932 World Series, Ernie Banks' 500th home run; Pete Rose's 4,191st career hit (tying Ty Cobb for the most hits in baseball history at the time); Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game; Sammy Sosa's 60th home runs in 1998, 1999 and 2001; and Greg Maddux's 3000th career strikeout.
For trivia buffs, the stadium holds a treasure trove of tidbits. Brush up on your knowledge of Wrigley Field history before your visit with this cheat sheet:
In 1914, the 14,000-seat ballpark was built on the grounds once occupied by a seminary for a cost of $250,000
Wrigley Field was originally called Weegham Park, after the owner of the Chicago Federals
The park hosted its first game April 23, 1914, with the Chicago Federals defeating the Kansas City Packers 9-1
In 1915, the Chicago Cubs were bought and moved to the park for the 1916 season
In 1926, the park was renamed Wrigley Field in honor of the club's owner, William Wrigley Jr.
The bleachers, score-board and ivy in the outfield were installed in 1937 and remain today
In 1988, lights were installed at Wrigley, and the first night game took place on August 8