Chicago: Wrigley Field – Scoreboard from Waveland
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Wrigley Field has served as the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. Nicknamed the Friendly Confines, it the oldest National League ballpark and the second oldest active major league ballpark, and the only remaining Federal League park. Wrigley Field also served as the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) from 1921-1970, the Chicago Tigers of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920, and the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1977-1979.
Located in the residential neighborhood of Lakeview, Wrigley Field sits on an irregular block bounded by Clark and Addison Streets and Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. The area surrounding the ballpark, typically referred to as Wrigleyville, contains bars and restaurants and is dotted with the Wrigley Rooftops–flat rooftops of the apartment buildings across Waveland and Sheffield, which actually pre-date the ballpark, and are now effectively part of the park’s seating area.
Wrigley Field was built in 1914, as Weegham Park, for the Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Chifeds (later the Whales). Owner Charles A. Weeghman hired Zachary Taylor Davis, architect of Comiskey Park, to build a new ballpark on the grounds of the the former Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary for Bill Weegham. Built at a cost of 0,000, the single grandstand park had a seating capacity of 14,000. Two years later when the Federal League folded, Weegham purchased the Cubs from the Taft family of Cincinnati and movd the club to his two-year old ballpark. Renamed Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchased the team, the ballpark was finally renamed Wrigley Field in 1927 in honor of family patriarch and chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr. A second deck was added to the grandstand that year, as well.
The scoreboard was constructed along with the bleachers in 1937. The clock atop the scoreboard was added in 1941. With the exception of a few modern touches, such as the electronic message board, the original scoreboard remains just as it was in 1937. The score-by-innings and the pitchers’ numbers are still changed by hand. The numbers signaling batter, ball, strike and out, along with "H" and "E" to signify hit and error, are eyelets. The scoreboard also uses a unique method to track pitchers being used in out of town games. The SP on the scoreboard stands for Starting Pitcher and the RP stands for the current relief pitcher in each game. The numbers 1 thru 16 are used to indicate the actual pitcher being used for each out of town team. To find out which number has been assigned to a pitcher, fans need to buy an official Wrigley Field Scorecard.
In September 1937, Bill Veeck strung bittersweet from the top of the brick outfield wall, and planted the original Boston ivy vines at the base. The famous marquee, at the corner of Clark an Addison, was added to the ballpark in the 1930s and was originally green porcelain. It was painted bright red in 1960. Wrigley Field was the last American ballpark to install lights, with the first night game taking place in 1988.
Wrigley Field was designated a landmark by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development on February 11, 2004.
In 2007, Wrigley Field was ranked #31 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.
National Register #87002652 (1987)