Posts Tagged 'Wrigleyville'

Night Baseball Comes to Wrigley Field (8-8-1988)

The first night game in major league baseball was played in 1935.  By 1950 all the teams played night games—except the Cubs.  Longtime owner Phil Wrigley said the national pastime was meant to be enjoyed in daylight.

When the Tribune Company bought the Cubs in 1981, management began talking about putting lights in Wrigley Field.  The neighborhood didn’t like that, and pressured politicians to pass laws banning night games at the ballpark.  But night games made more money, and now it was only a question of time until the Cubs installed lights.  A compromise was reached, where the number of night games would be strictly limited, and non-resident parking would be prohibited on nearby streets.

8-8-88

On August 8, 1988, the Cubs met the Phillies in the first night game at Wrigley Field.  Naturally, the park was a sellout on that historic 8-8-88.  Just as naturally for something involving the Cubs, things didn’t work out as planned.  A major storm drenched the area, and the game was called after three innings.

Unlike a few hundred thousand Cubs fans, I can’t claim to have been present at Wrigley’s aborted first night game.  I was in San Francisco on vacation with my family that day.  When I finally did get to a Wrigley night game later in the season, the whole experience seemed surreal.  Even now, I still prefer going to the park for day games.  It’s probably a generational thing.

By the way, in the first official night game at Wrigley Field on 8-9-88, the Cubs beat the Mets, 6-4.

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Then and Now, Eddy-Southport

1908–Eddy Street @ Southport Avenue, view east

2017–the same location

Our location is a short block south of Addison Street.  This part of Lakeview was still thinly settled in 1908.  However, the Ravenswood branch of the North Side ‘L’ had just been extended through the area, with a station at Southport.  New construction was already starting to pick up.

In 1914 a baseball stadium for the fledgling Federal League opened a few blocks east of here.  Though the Federal League didn’t last, the ballpark still stands, and has given the neighborhood a new name—Wrigleyville.

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