Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed "Wrigley Field Day" to mark the 100th anniversary of the iconic Chicago ballpark. The first ballgame was played at Wrigley Field on April 23, 1914, exactly 100 years ago today.
"Here's to the next 100 years at Wrigley Field," Governor Quinn said. "I saw Jackie Robinson play at Wrigley, which is the last standing ballpark the great number 42 ever played in. From the scoreboard to the ivy and all the legendary athletes that ever stepped foot on its diamond, Wrigley Field is not just an Illinois landmark, it's a national treasure."
The Governor visited the ballpark this morning to highlight how Wrigley Field has long been a source of pride for Cubs fans and players as well as a critically important athletic, cultural and economic institution.
Wrigley Field was built in 1914 and was originally called Weeghman Park. Its name was changed to Cubs Park in 1919, and later Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley, Jr., the Cubs' majority stakeholder most famous for his chewing gum company. Since then it has been home to numerous Hall of Fame inductees such as Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Greg Maddux; and iconic announcers, such as Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse -- Ronald Reagan even served as a radio announcer. Wrigley Field is the second oldest standing ballpark in Major League Baseball.
The famous ivy along the outfield wall has been a mainstay since the 1930s, which was also when the scoreboard and the "W" Cubs win flag made their debut.
In its storied history, Wrigley Field has been the location of Babe Ruth's famous "called shot" in the 1932 World Series, the first field to have organ music and has been featured in memorable movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where the marquee read "SAVE FERRIS," and A League of Their Own, which told the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League founded by Philip K. Wrigley in 1943. Wrigley Field also served as the home of the Chicago Bears until 1970.
The Chicago Cubs are planning to celebrate Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary all season long and honor each decade of the ballpark's history by wearing retro uniforms, hosting special events and handing out commemorative giveaways to fans.