October 6, 1945 - The Beginning of Da' Curse of the Billy Goat.
William "Billy Goat" Sianis and his pet goat Murphy were allowed into Wrigley Field for the fourth game of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers. Sianis and the goat made it onto the playing field before ushers intervened and led them to the grandstand aisle. Billy Goat Sianis maintained that he had two $7.20 box seat tickets and that there was no disclaimer preventing him for using a ticket for his goat.
After a short argument, Sianis and the goat were allowed to occupy the seats for which he had tickets. Nevertheless, they were later ejected at the command of Cubs' owner Philip Knight Wrigley due to the animal's objectionable odor. Sianis was furious over the ejection and placed a curse on the Cubs that they would never win a National League pennant or play in a World Series game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lost Game 4 and eventually the World Series. Sianis sent Wrigley a telegram that read,
"Who Smells Now!"
October 14, 2003 - Cubs collapse five outs away from the World Series.
Five outs from winning their first National League pennant since 1945 and going to the World Series, the Cubs blew a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning when the Florida Marlins scored eight runs. The collapse began after a Cubs fan (Steve Bartman) unintentionally hit the foul ball with his hand as Moises Alou was attempting to catch it. The Cubs lost the game that night, and the series the following night.
Short on Wrigley Field:
Known as ‘The Friendly Confines,’ the stadium was built in just six weeks in 1914 for $250,000. It was first the home of ‘Lucky Charlie’ Weeghman’s Chicago Whales of the Federal League and, had a capacity of either 14,000 or 20,000. I could not find a definitive answer on the maximum capacity.
After the Federal League folded, a group that included Weegham and chewing gum company owner William Wrigley Jr. bought the Chicago Cubs of the National League and moved the club to the park. When Wrigley gained the controlling interest of the Cubs in 1918 the stadium was re-christened Wrigley Field.
The most prominent feature of Wrigley Field is its ivy-draped outfield walls.
The iconic ivy vines were first planted in 1937 by Bill Veeck, whose father was the president of the Cubs at the time and who later created such promotions as 10-cent beer night and Disco Demolition Night. As the baseball season opens in late spring, the ivy on the wall has yet to bloom and is a mere maze of vines. But as the season progresses the ivy grows thick and green to, among other things,
protect outfielders from Wrigley’s inconspicuous brick outfield wall. Batted balls get lost in the ivy on occasions and the result is a ground-rule double.
In addition to the Cubs, Wrigley Field also was the long-time home of the Chicago Bears. The NFL team played its home games at Wrigley from 1921 to 1970 before relocating to Soldier Field.
The history is there, the memories for better or worse are as well.
So you ask, "Why a new Wrigley Field?"
The answer is simple. It is time. The second oldest ballpark has more flaws than competitive advantage.
In a city that expects success from its teams, it does nothing to help with this team's competitive edge. The iconic ivy is covering up brick, brick for God's sake, and the conditions for fans are deplorable. The neighborhood makes the field, the field no longer makes the neighborhood. "Why the Case For A New Wrigley Field?"
- Cook County or Wrigley Field Bathroom
People like Wrigley Field, because nowhere in the United States can you find a Major League ballpark entrenched in a living, working, everyday neighborhood. Plus, you can walk outside, throw a tennis ball and hit at least four bars in any direction.
The Chicago Bears used to play at Wrigley, the field has been altered since the 70's.The name doesn't have to change, even the ivy can stay the same. Everything else must go. New field, new accommodations, new architecture, new placement for sponsors ( so fans wont have to spend more to come to a new ballpark ). Even Chicago Stadium changed to the United Center, and the Chicago Bulls were actually winning NBA Championships ( that's a tradition to hold on to.)
To accommodate more seating, the Cubs reduced the overall dimensions of the field, making it impossible to play anything other than baseball. Northwestern University elected to use Wrigley to play the University of Illinois in what was meant to be a catalyst to many more football games played in the 'friendly confines'.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of space in the endzone, only one end of the field was used to its entirety and losers had to walk. It's old school, but doesn't encourage much hope that the way the field is currently will inspire many more college football games. Don't even think about the Bears coming back to play.
In conclusion, I am not asking for a billion dollar Jerry Jones-style ballpark. I want my baseball team to not have to worry about concussions from a brick wall in the outfield and wind conditions. I would like for the Cubs to expand revenue by being able to hold multiple sporting events, bringing more attention and recognition economically and socially to the city of Chicago.
Also, being a Cubs fan, there is nothing sweeter than diverting all attention away from the Southside.. Enough said.
No matter what you do to Wrigley Field, Wrigleyville will always be there. But on the bright side, no matter how the new field is constructed, if it ever happens. The bleacher seats can always stay the same!
Theo brought a World Series to Boston without having to blow up the ballpark, however we are not Boston, we are Chicago.
And we're better than that.