A Brief History Of Wrigley Field

Originally known as Weeghman Park, Wrigley Field was built in 1914. It is the second-oldest ballpark in the majors, established only 2 years after Boston's Fenway Park in 1912. Weeghman Park was initially owned by Charles H. Weeghman and was known as the park for both the Federals and the Whales. The first Major League baseball game was held on April 23, 1914, with the Federals defeating Kansas City. The ballpark had a seating capacity of 14,000 fans, and it’s estimated to have cost over $250,000 to build. 

After the Federal League disbanded in 1915, Weeghman purchased the Cubs from the Taft Family. The first National League game at the ballpark was played April 20, 1916, with the Cubs facing the Cincinnati Reds. A bear cub sat among the fans, making this game particularly notable. One of the most historic games in baseball's history took place at Weeghman Park. On May 2, 1917, Jim Vaughn and Fred Toney entered a pitching duel with both Vaughn and Toney throwing no-hitters for 9 straight innings. Finally in the 10th inning, Jim Thorpe drove in the only run with Toney finishing with a no-hitter.

In 1920, the Wrigley Family purchased the Cubs from Weeghman, and Weeghman Park became Cub’s Park. In 1926, just 6 years after being named Cub Park, the ballpark was changed to Wrigley Field in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the owner of the Chicago Cubs. In this same year, on November 16 exciting plans were announced to double-deck Wrigley Field. Once completed, Wrigley Field would increase seating to a capacity of 40.000 fans. On October 8, 1929 Wrigley Field saw it’s first World Series game, the first of many to come. 

Wrigley Field’s first World Series game set the tone for several successes in Cubs’ history. In 1930, Hack Wilson has one of the greatest hitting seasons in baseball’s history, with an unmatched 56 homers and 191 runs-a-mark. Both the Chicago Clubs and Wrigley Field have seen historic milestones and notable moments. On May 18, 1947, Jackie Robinson makes his first Chicago appearance in front of the largest single game attendance in Wrigley Field history. Until the early 1950s, the Cubs had experienced a great deal of success throughout the entirety of their existence. Plagued by post war troubles and other social and environmental factors, the Cubs suffered a lull in their success throughout the 1950s. In 1960, P.K. Wrigley decided to reevaluate the structure and management style of the team. Instead of a single manager, Wrigley opted for a group of managers. This group of managers was known as the College of Coaches, and proved to bring success to the Cubs. After 65 years of ownership by the Wrigley Family, the Cubs were sold to the Tribune Company for $20.5 million. The Cubs have continued to see success over the past 3 decade, and with such an attractive record their future looks bright.