Wrigley Field is one of Chicago's most celebrated landmarks. Even Sox fans can appreciate Wrigley's important role in Chicago's history. Everyone knows the basics, that Wrigley Field is home to the Chicago Cubs and that it is named for their longtime owner, William Wrigley Jr., but there are secrets the legendary baseball field holds. I'll give them to you free of charge. You're welcome.
Wrigley Field, when first built, was called Weeghman Park. Upon construction in 1914, the park was named for the land's original owner, Charles H. Weeghman.
Before it was a baseball park, Wrigley Field was a seminary. Before it became home to Chicago's Federal League baseball team, the land was a divinity school.
The team that originally occupied the park was called the Chicago Whales. Upon the Federal League's dissolution in 1915, the Cubs moved to the park.
Wrigley Field is the only Federal League baseball park still in existence. The only Major League Baseball stadium older than Wrigley Field is Fenway Park, which was host to the Red Sox, members of the American League.
Babe Ruth's legendary "called shot" took place at Wrigley Field. When Babe Ruth famously pointed to the bleachers in a 1932 World Series game, then hit the next pitch for a home run, he did it in Wrigley Field.
Wrigley Field was the last major league park to have lights installed for night games. Lights were not installed until 1988. The first night game was between Chicago and Philadelphia on August 8 of that year, but was rained out after only three and a half innings.
The Wrigley Field bleachers and scoreboard were constructed in 1937. The original scoreboard is still intact and used today. It is a hand-turned board.
The Bears used to play at Wrigley Field. Between the years of 1921 and 1970, the Chicago Bears played their games at Wrigley Field. In 1970, the team relocated to Soldier Field.
The park was nicknamed "The Friendly Confines" by Ernie Banks. The Hall of Famer coined the term, although fans had been using it for years before. "Mr. Cub," as Banks was known popularized the nickname.
The ivy covering the outfield walls was originally planted in 1937. Bill Veeck, the Cubs' general manager at the time, planted the ivy as part of a beautification plan for the park.
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