We can be honest with each other, right?
Because as nice a Busch Stadium III is (wide concourses, good sight-lines, lots of food options) and as nice as Ballpark Village is… there still isn’t a better stadium to watch baseball in than Wrigley Field.
No, this isn’t a tacit admission of Cubs fandom by me or any other writer on this site. It’s just the truth. (Side: Cubs fans? NEVER.)
How cool would it be to have a stadium right in the middle of Soulard? A no frills place where we could watch the Cardinals and then pour ourselves right into the middle of tons of bars catering to every taste imaginable?
St. Louisan’s don’t come by the thousands to see GOOD baseball in Wrigley Field – it’s cheaper and easier to do that in Busch Stadium. Besides, the Cubs are generally not what most baseball fans would consider ‘good’. Nope. They come to Wrigleyville because it’s freakin’ the best place to SEE baseball.
Something about knowing generations of Cardinals fans have made the same trip you might be making this weekend 20 or 40 or 60 years ago is romantic. Puts your head in a different place. Makes you feel good. Takes the baseball experience to another level. Not better, not worse… just something special in the midst of a long season.
This season, Wrigley Field has been celebrating it’s 100th birthday.
The Cubs didn’t start play at Wrigley (then known as Weeghman Park) until 2 years later in 1916. Originally home to the Chicago Federals, it was Cubs Park for the lion’s share of the 1920′s before officially becoming Wrigley in 1926, named after the then owner of the Cubs.
Rick Hummel of the Post-Disptach has posted a nice history of the Cardinals vs Cubs from Wrigley in today’s paper (LINK HERE), so head over there and check out some of the great moments from the Cardinals 98 year old rivalry with the Cubs from the Friendly Confines.
Some other fun facts?
- Built for $250K. In today’s economy that would be $5.4 million.
- Bears called Wrigley home for 49 seasons (1921 – 1970).
- In 1937, Bill Veeck had the idea to plant ivy against the outfield walls.
- If a ball gets to the OF basket, it’s a HR. Distance to hit a HR shorter than the walls.
- Seating capacity was 14,000 when Wrigley Field opened.
More importantly, though? The Cubs are a pretty rotten baseball team. So the Cardinals need to be the turd in the punchbowl at this birthday party and complete a sweep.
Let’s just hope Matheny doesn’t decide to take a nap at the Cubby Bear before today’s game.