Ballpark Roadtrip : Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is located in Chicago, Illinois and has served as the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales.

It was called Cubs Park between 1920 and 1926 before being renamed for then Cubs team owner and chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley, Jr..

Between 1921 and 1970, it was also the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Most recently it hosted the second annual National Hockey League Winter Classic on January 1, 2009.

Located in the community area of Lakeview, Wrigley Field sits on an irregular block bounded by Clark (west) and Addison (south) Streets and Waveland (north) and Sheffield (east) Avenues.

The area surrounding the ballpark contains residential streets, in addition to bars, restaurants and other establishments and is called Wrigleyville. The ballpark’s mailing address is 1060 W. Addison Street.

Wrigley Field is nicknamed The Friendly Confines, a phrase popularized by “Mr. Cub”, Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. The current capacity is 41,009, making Wrigley Field the 10th-smallest actively used ballpark. It is the oldest National League ballpark and the second oldest active major league ballpark (after Fenway Park on April 20, 1912), and the only remaining Federal League park.

Wrigley is known for its ivy covered brick outfield wall, the unusual wind patterns off Lake Michigan, the iconic red marquee over the main entrance, the hand turned scoreboard, and for being the last major league park to have lights installed for play after dark, with lighting installed in 1988.

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Ballpark: B – Although many people think Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are great old ballparks, the truth is that the seating is cramped with narrow aisles. Many of the seats are rusty and uncomfortable. The corridors are tight and hard to pass.

Fans & Atmosphere: A – On a crumby weather day in the middle of the week, the ballpark is filled. Despite the fact the team is out of contention against another non-contending team.

Food: D – Had to be the worst food I ever had. Tossed some of it out. Chili dog, chicken fingers and soda for $20.00.

Mascot: INC – No mascot for old school team.

Staff: A – Surprisingly friendly and helpful. One security guard was very kind and insisted we take photos with him.

Team Tradition: A – The Cubs have not won the World Series in 104 years, the longest championship drought of any major North American professional sports team and are often referred to as “The Lovable Losers” because of this distinction. Ivy covered walls.

Location: A – Located in Chicago’s north side Lake View community at 1060 West Addison Street. Limited parking and the train was the best way to get to Wrigley.

Photos taken August 28, 2009 using a Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.

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