One hundred years ago, the North Side ushered in a new era of baseball with the opening of one of the most iconic stadiums in sports history.
It's been 69 years since the Cubs played in the World Series, but fans still line up outside Wrigley as they did in 1945.
Every seat was filled in the brand-new Weeghman Park when it opened at 1060 West Addison St. for baseball season in 1914. Thousands of spectators packed into the jewel box of a stadium, spilling onto the neighboring rooftops and the elevated train platform, to watch the Chicago Federals defeat the Kansas City Packers 9–1.
Built on the grounds of a former seminary, the park—renamed Wrigley Field in 1926—has since then borne witness to some of baseball’s great moments: Gabby Hartnett’s 1938 “Homer in the Gloamin’,” which essentially clinched the National League pennant for the Chicago Cubs; the 1945 World Series pitting the Cubs against the Detroit Tigers, which begat the infamous “Curse of the Billy Goat”; and Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks’s 500th career home run in 1970.
Although much has changed since the park’s opening, such as the 1988 installation of steel light fixtures to illuminate the field for night games, many aspects of the stadium have remained the same, from the familiar evergreen seats to the visitors’ locker room, where Babe Ruth suited up before the notorious “called shot” in Game 3 of the ’32 World Series. With its signature ivy-covered brick walls and hand-operated scoreboard (which, surprisingly, has not once been hit by a batted baseball), Wrigley Field still welcomes fans of all ages to revel in the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the joy of the game, just as it did a century ago.