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Capacity: 38,902
Wrigley Field

 

Area of fair territory: 108,000 sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: Very small

 

Fences: LF - 15.92 ft

             LC to RC is 11.33 ft

             RF - 15.5 ft

 

Elevation: 595 feet

 

2002 TICKETING
Club Box $15*
Club Box $30**
Field box $15*
Field box $28**
Terrace box $11*
Terrace box $23**
Upper Deck Box $11*
Upper Deck Box $23**
Family Section $11*
Family Section $23**
Terrace Reserved $9*
Terrace Reserved $18**
Upper Deck Reserved Adult $6*
Upper Deck Reserved Child (13 and under) $4*
Upper Deck Reserved Adult $10**
Upper Deck Reserved Child (13 and under) $6**
% Senior Citizens $4*
% Senior Citizens $9**
Wheelchair Area $15, $9*
Wheelchair Area $23, $18**
Bleachers (unreserved seats) $10*
Bleachers (unreserved seats) $20**
Standing Room Only $6*
Standing Room Only $8**
* -- Value Dates- Monday thru Thursday afternoon games from April 4 thru May 17
** -- All others- Opening Day, all weekends, night games and Friday games, Memorial Day, May 31, and all games in June, July and August.
& -- Only on Wednesday afternoons

General Information

Address:
1060 West Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613
For ticket information call (773) 404-2827

Tenant: Chicago (NL)
Opened: April 23, 1914

First Cubs game: April 20, 1916

First 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)


Cost: $250,000

 

Wrigley Field

 

 

History

 

   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.  The 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.  He 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 (1912).

 

 

Click to purchase stadium replica from the Danbury Mint Collection

The 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.

 

The 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.

 

 

Analysis


 
  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 2000.

 

   The major reasons for its favorable play for hitters are:

 

1) 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.

 

2) The hard, intimidating brick walls keep outfielders from charging on long fly balls.

 

3) 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.

 

The Shadows: 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 baseball.  

 

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.

 

Defense: 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. 

 

 

 

1999-2001

2001

Error Index: 98 89
Infield-error Index: 93 91

 

 

Who benefits: 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

Jon Lieber              12-1         8-5                    3.39           4.24

Kerry Wood             5-4          7-2                    2.67           4.10

Julian Tavarez          6-4         4-5                    4.40           4.62

 

Who gets hurt: 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.

 

 

Park Factors

 

 

  Run HR Avg L-Avg R-Avg L-HR R-HR H 2B 3B
1992 101 102 98 101 95 82 121 100 98 158
1993 106 116 102 106 99 83 162 102 109 124
1994 84 97 94 103 89 144 79 94 80 73
1995 102 109 103 104 103 99 115 102 100 83
1996 104 108 99 102 98 82 124 101 96 102
1997 114 148 103 106 101 101 176 105 78 79
1998 99 104 103 103 103 111 99 101 105 99
1999 112 115 105 109 102 101 126 108 112 88
2000 81 83 95 94 95 67 93 94 78 50
2001 97 92 98 97 98 71 109 95 91 73

 

 

1999-2001

2001

Walks: 104 106
Strikeouts: 103 109

 

Location

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 Avenue.

 

Seating Chart

Club Boxes Terrace Boxes ($20, $11) Bleachers ($15, $6)
Field Boxes ($25, $15) Terrace Reserved ($16, $8) Family Section
Mezzanine Suites Upper Deck Boxes ($20, $11) Group Section
Super Suites Upper Deck Reserved
Adult ($10, $6)
Child (13 & under) ($6, $4)

Click here for a printable seating chart

 

Dimensions - History

Left field: 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: 357 (1938)

Power alleys: 364 (1914), 368 (1938)

Center field: 440 (1914), 447 (1923), 436 (1928), 400 (1938)

Right center deepest corner in the well: 363 (1938)

Right field: 356 (April 1914), 345 (June 1914), 321 (1915), 298 (1921), 399 (1922), 318 (1923), 321 (1928), 353 (1938)

Backstop: 62.42 (1930), 60.5 (1957), 62.42 (1982), 60 (current)

Foul territory: very small

 

Capacity

1914: 14,000 

1915: 18,000

1923: 20,000

1927: 38,396

1928: 40,000

1938: 38,396

1939: 38,000

1941: 38,396

1949: 38,690

1951: 36,755

1965: 36,644

1972: 37,702

1973: 37,741

1982: 37,272

1986: 38,040

1987: 38,143

1989: 39,600

1990: 38,710

1994: 38,765

1997: 38,884

1998: 38,902

 

Fences

Left-field corner: 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 fence)

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)

Center-field scoreboard: 40 (wood July 9 to September 3, 1937)

Center-field screen: 19.33 (8 wire above 11.33 brick June 18, 1963, to October 1964)

Right-center triangle: 17.5 in front of catwalk steps sloping down to 15.5 (screen 1928, plywood 1979, removed 1985)

Right-field corner: 15.5 (11.33 brick with ivy, below 4.17 plywood), wire basket in front (1985).

 

Fun Facts

  • 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
 
  • The scoreboard, which went up in 1937, is still manually operated, and it still has never been struck with a batted ball 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 since 1938.

  • 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


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