1060 West Addison St.
For ticket information call (773) 404-2827
Opened: April 23, 1914
Cubs game: April 20, 1916
night game: August 8, 1988 (scheduled)
August 9, 1988 (official)
Surface: Merion Bluegrass and clover
Architect: Zachary Taylor Davis
Owner: Charlie Weegham (1914-1916); Chicago Cubs (since 1916)
Wrigley Field may be the perfect ballpark.
Every seat is great, close to the action and within range of foul
pops. Every game is different because the winds and shadows affect
play more than in any other ballpark. Wrigley is also the most
tradition-laden ballpark in the game. The practice of singing
"The Star-Spangled Banner" at the beginning of each game
started here during the first game of the 1918 World Series.
first permanent concession stand in baseball was built here in
1914. In 1941, the Cubs became the first major-league baseball
team to provide fans with organ music. Gary Pressy has been the
Cubs' organist since 1987 and plays on a Lowery Heritage organ.
shares a Wrigley Field press box-level booth with public address
announcer Paul Friedman and messageboard operator Les Brettman.
The custom of allowing fans to keep foul balls hit into the stands
started here, as did the custom of throwing back home runs hit by
opposing players. Fans have sung "Take Me Out To the
Ballgame" here (off-key) thousands of times, led by venerable
announcer Harry Caray, who died in 1998. Last but not least, there
are the famous "Bleacher Bums" - it started in 1966 with
just 10 fans, but these colorful fans are as much a part of the
game as the distinctive ivy-colored walls.
So pleasant is the experience of a ballgame here that hundreds of
fans watch every game from the porches and rooftops of the houses on
Waveland Avenue (behind the left-field fence) and Sheffield Avenue
(beyond right field). So much
is the park a part of the surrounding neighborhood that the area
in Chicago near the stadium is called Wrigleyville.
The park was originally built by Charlie Weeghman to house his
baseball team, the Chicago Federals (later, the Chicago Whales) of
the brand-new Federal League, which was challenging the
established major leagues. The park was then called Weegham
Park. The Federal League folded after only two years;
Weegham led a syndicate which included chewing gum magnate Willam
Wrigley, Jr. and purchased the Cubs of the National League. The
team was moved from West Side Grounds to Weeghman Park.
In 1918, Weegham lost most of hos fortune in the sugar futures
business, and Wrigley took over Weeghman's share of the team; by
1919, Wrigley had bought out the shares of the other members of
the syndicate. The name of the stadium was changed to Cubs Park in
time for opening day, 1920. It was renamed Wrigley Field in 1926.
The outfield bleachers, with their
distinctive ivy covering, went up in 1937, and the scoreboard was
constructed the same year by Bill Veeck. Veeck planted 350
Japanese bittersweet plants and 200 Boston ivy plants. Eight
Chinese elm trees were also planted on the bleacher steps to
complement the ivy, but the wind from Lake Michigan kept blowing
the leaves off and after multiple attempts at replacing the trees,
they were removed.
Built in 1914, it is the
second oldest ballpark in the major leagues behind Boston's Fenway Park
to purchase stadium replica from the Danbury Mint Collection
Wells: In left-center and right-center field, the walls turn
in towards the infield. The stands run closer to home plate, and a
few feet to the left or right can mean the difference between a
long out and a short home run. Because of this quirk, Wrigley is
the only ballpark in the majors where it is easier to hit a hoe
run 50 or so feet into fair
territory than down the foul line.
Walls: Behind the
soft-looking vines stands a solid brick wall. Outfielders must
always keep track of where they are, to keep from running headlong
into the solid fences; many have pulled up short for fear of
hitting the bricks at high speeds. The walls are at their most
intimidating in the first few weeks of the season, when the vines
have yet to regenerate their leaves from the winter hibernation.
After the first few months, balls that get caught in the leaves
are ruled ground-rule doubles.
The Bleacher Bums used to try to tightrope the walls here -
usually, depending on their alcohol consumption, they provide more
entertainment than the game itself.
The wall is topped by a basket that extends 5 feet onto the
playing surface; this makes the top of the wall closer to the
plate than the signs indicate. The baskets were installed to keep
inebriated fans from falling onto the playing field.
Now that Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium is gone and
Fenway Park is playing neutral, Wrigley has developed a
reputation as being perhaps the best hitter's
park in the majors (aside from Coors
Field). But the 2000 season was a shocker - the park depressed run production and home run
production by almost 20%, after consistently boosting both
substantially (by 5-15%) in years past - and 2001 was also a
pitcher-friendly year, with run production running 3% below other
major league ballparks and home runs running 8% behind.
But Wrigley boosted run production in 6 of the 8 seasons before
The major reasons for its favorable play for hitters are:
Most games are played during the afternoon, which means that the
added heat, the better light, and the park's relatively high
elevation (about 600 feet) favors hitters.
The hard, intimidating brick walls keep outfielders from charging
on long fly balls.
The power alleys are an accessible 368 feet, and the basket on top
of the wall cuts another 5 feet off of the official distance. The
wells help keep the walls in the power alleys from slanting away
from the plate too quickly.
One factor working against hitters is the shadows
cast over the infield during the afternoon. Typically, home
plate falls into darkness in the mid- to late afternoon while the
pitcher's mound remains bathed in brilliant light until the
evening; as a result, pitches come out of the light and are
plunged into darkness, making it difficult to pick up the
Winds: Early and late in
the season, cold winds blowing off Lake Michigan and make the park
play like one of the biggest in the majors. Winds blowing in at
more than 25 mph can make the 400-foot center field wall seem like
it is 430 feet away. While a constant 25-mph wind may sound like
an anomaly, in Chicago it is quite routine. On the other
hand, a stiff wind occasionally blows out, turning 350-foot outs
in the power alleys into home runs.
On days that he was scheduled to pitch, Houston ace and Cy Young
Award winner Mike Scott refused to watch batting practice if the
winds were blowing in - he found it too demoralizing.
The sun makes right field one of the toughest in the majors,
because the low Wrigley grandstand does a poor job of blocking the
light. In addition, the small foul territory - and the fact
that the bullpens are located along the foul lines - makes it that
much tougher to field. The winds and the intimidating brick
walls also make the Wrigley outfield one of the most difficult
places to work in the game.
The thick grass slows down the infield grounders, and can help
range-deficient infielders look competent.
The alleys are fairly short - a hair over 360 feet
- and with favorable winds, power hitters and flyball hitters are
best off. Last season, the winds didn't blow out as much,
and there weren't any extended hot spells.
Kevin Tapani, a groundball pitcher, had the greatest home-road
differential - he was 6-6 at home, with a 3.08 ERA; on the road,
he was 3-8 with a 6.59 ERA - but the other Cubs starters did
better at home as well:
Home record Road record
Home ERA Road ERA
Pitchers, particularly flyball pitchers. Their
only hope is to keep the ball on the ground, especially when
Wrigley warms up in the summer. The park often plays as a
pitcher's park in April and May, when the Chicago weather is still
cold, so pitchers who start the season strong can take advantage.
Chicago, Illinois, North Side.
The left field (N) abuts West Waveland
Avenue; third base (W), Seminary Avenue; home plate (SW), North Clark Street;
first base (S), 1060 West Addison Street; right field (E), North Sheffield
Boxes ($20, $11)
Boxes ($25, $15)
Reserved ($16, $8)
Deck Boxes ($20, $11)
Adult ($10, $6)
Child (13 & under) ($6, $4)
here for a printable seating chart
345 (April 1914), 310 (May 1914), 327 (June 1914), 343
(1921), 325 (1923), 348 (1925), 364 (1928), 355 (1938)
Left center deepest corner in the well:
364 (1914), 368 (1938)
440 (1914), 447 (1923), 436 (1928), 400 (1938)
Right center deepest corner in the well:
356 (April 1914), 345 (June 1914), 321 (1915), 298
(1921), 399 (1922), 318 (1923), 321 (1928), 353 (1938)
62.42 (1930), 60.5 (1957), 62.42 (1982), 60 (current)
15.92 (11.33 brick with Boston and Bittersweet ivy,
below 4.59 plywood), 3 wire basket in front 1985 (does not change height of
Transition between left-field corner and bleachers:
12.5 (screen and
yellow railing on top of brick wall); left-center to right-center: 8 (screen,
1914), 11.33 (brick with ivy, 1938); in front is wire basket (May 1970)
40 (wood July 9 to September 3, 1937)
19.33 (8 wire above 11.33 brick June 18, 1963, to
17.5 in front of catwalk steps sloping down to
15.5 (screen 1928, plywood 1979, removed 1985)
15.5 (11.33 brick with ivy, below 4.17 plywood),
wire basket in front (1985).
Second highest batting average factor in the NL in 1999
Second highest run factor in the NL in 1999
Second highest home run factor in the NL in 1999
Second highest hit factor in the NL in 1999
Second highest error factor in the NL in 1999
Second highest RHB avg factor in the NL in 1999
Third highest LHB avg factor in the NL in 1999
Third highest double factor in the NL in 1999
which went up in 1937,
is still manually operated, and it still has never been struck with a batted
although Roberto Clemente and Bill Nicholson each hit home runs that barely
missed. Sam Snead hit it once with a golf ball teed off from home plate.
The dimensions of the park have not changed
Wrigley was the site of Babe Ruth's "called shot" - the home run
he hit in the 1932 World Series in Game 3, off of Charlie Root, after
gesturing prophetically towards the outfield wall
Wrigley was the last ballpark to play night games. The lights were finally
lit on August 8, 1988,
after 5,687 consecutive day games. That game
was rained out after 3˝ innings, and the first official night game took place
the following evening against the New York Mets. Lights had actually been placed
in the ballpark for installation in 1941, but Wrigley instead donated them to a
shipyard for the war effort the day after Pearl Harbor. In the late 1980s,
however, Cubs management insisted that the team was in danger of leaving Wrigley
if lights weren’t installed, and Major League Baseball threatened to make the
Cubs play postseason games at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
After each game, a white flag with a
blue "W" flying from the center-field flag pole signifies a Cubs
win, a blue flag with a white "L" a Cubs loss. Until the early
nineties, the win flag was blue and the loss flag was white.
Wrigley has the smallest seating capacity in the majors
The center field 400 sign is slightly right of straightaway center field.
Dead-center field is actually about 405 feet away.
An 8-foot-high, 64-foot-wide batters’ background wire fence stood on top
of the center-field wall from June 18, 1963, through the end of the 1964
season. It was called the Whitlow Fence because Cubs Athletic Director
Robert Whitlow put it up. The screen prevented 10 homers, 4 by Cubs and 6 by
visitors and 1 each by 500-plus homer hitters Ernie Banks and Willie McCovey.
A green Astroturf cover on center-field seats, used for batters’
background, debuted on May 18, 1967. It was replaced by rows of evergreen
plants in 1997