CHICAGO — Talk to former players, despite sport, about Wrigley Field and they’ll tell you the same thing: Let’s accomplish another 100 years.
Perhaps Hall of Famer and Cubs legend Billy Williams summed it down the best by noting the particular field’s significance beyond baseball. It truly is as much about life along with culture in Chicago because it is about the Cubs.
‘They built this ballpark to host baseball. … Nevertheless it has been the background for so a lot of adventurous times,’ Williams explained. ‘The history. Everything that happened in this article — you had some great ballplayers that passed through here, and the history they made here at Wrigley Field is still located here and this old sports event.’
From prime boxing matchups to Nhl championship teams, Paul McCartney plus the Wings to Cubs pennant chases, events to a six-touchdown game, Wrigley Field has witnessed it all. The Cubs served all the stops Wednesday for one of baseball’s most beloved as well as cherished ballparks. It truly is the Get together of the Century at the famous stadium, which celebrated your 100th anniversary of its first Major Group game between the Chicago Federals — that called Wrigley home for two decades before the Cubs moved with — and the Kansas City Packers.
Even inanimate objects deserve birthday desserts when they turn this aged. The Cubs designed a Wrigley Field replica birthday cake nearby the corner of Clark St. and also Addison St. that was roped off. By means of 10:30 a.l. CT, it was nearly impossible to traverse the crowd without walking on the street. The action started at 1:25 p.m.
Everyone was outfitted for the occasion, too, with the grounds crew to admission attendants to statues. Grounds crew members working on the sector donned dark blue outdoor jackets reading ‘Weeghman Park’ on the back, the naming of Wrigley Field from 1914-20 before the Wrigley family members renamed it prior to the ’27 period. It was called Cubs Park your car from ’20-26.
The immortalized versions of Ernie Finance institutions, Williams and Ron Santo also wore Chicago Federals replica jerseys. Also Harry Caray obliged, as if to state, ‘Holy cow, they wore these?I The D-backs followed suit by replicas of the uniforms put on by the Kansas City Packers.
‘There are invariably things in this job and my career where I think, ‘This is one of those special days,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. ‘I’m enjoying this immensely. It brings back a great deal of history for me.’
Cubs royalty required their turns talking to the particular media and being cheered in by adoring fans. There is Williams, then Bears legends Prick Butkus and Gale Sayers. Dawson swooped in for a conversation, and so did one of the more the latest former Cubs in attendance, Ryan Dempster. Fergie Jenkins was the last to talk to journalists, but not before graciously signing athletes for fans.
‘I didn’t know at the time that when I first came up on the big leagues that I was going to play in a historical car park like Wrigley Field,’ Williams stated. ‘When I first walked in, I was so excited about being in a significant League Baseball park, but now after I hear what’s going on, people talking around the country, the important celebration of a century … it merely gives me goosebumps.
‘I had a chance to enjoy here, and I often explained this is my playground over the summer for so many years, and so I’ve enjoyed and I’m however enjoying it.’
Butkus and Sayers have been the first to run out for the ‘Alumni Make Field’ segment, taking their spot near first base, that has been near the southeast corner with the end zone. The two stunned the crowd near the end on the Bears’ tenure at Wrigley Field, from 1921-70.
Sayers provided a legendary performance forever etched into the minds regarding Bears fans on November. 12, 1965, at Wrigley. The Hall of Fame running rear scored six touchdowns — four on a lawn, one through the air and the other via punt return.
‘I probably would have scored 10 touchdowns that day, but hey, the time ran out,In . Sayers said. ‘A day that is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter and I love that day.’
Butkus had not been shy about the reality of Wrigley Field as a football stadium, saying the locker room seemed to be ‘too small for a basketball staff,’ and he noted which the field was on a slant. But Wrigley Field still were built with a certain aura around the item.
‘You know what it meant to us, it was how I made it inside pros because pros will not be supposed to play where all things are perfect,’ Butkus said. ‘A expert plays anywhere. We could head out play in a prairie somewhere, simply because that’s what it’s about.
‘I think the mystique is here. It was this sort of great place, the people were close.’
Banks trotted to short and Glenn Beckert required his spot on the other side in the second-base bag. Dawson jogged to appropriate, Gary Matthews took left and Bobby Dernier went in between to centre. Jenkins, Milt Pappas, Dempster and Lee Smith attained on the mound, while Randy Hundley shored in the expanded battery behind the plate.
Dawson, who revitalized his job with the Cubs and received the 1987 National Nfl MVP Award, said he or she liked the ‘intimate coziness’ of Wrigley.
‘The fans are right on top of you actually here, and you can hear interactions if you’re close enough towards the wall,’ he said. ‘You chat back. A lot of things people don’t recognize is that you get in conversations with these. You’d be amazed at some of the items you can talk about.’
Dempster became a supporter favorite after spending the 2004-11 periods with Cubs before being traded midway through the 2012 season. His most memorable expertise at Wrigley was his very first, and as a visitor.
‘It’s an incredibly particular place for me,’ Dempster claimed. ‘I remember June 1, 1997, making my first start because a member of the Florida Marlins, going to player, running out towards middle field and having the right-field bleachers only absolutely rain down on me personally with insults and let me know just how bad I was going to make it happen day — they were right, we were holding definitely right.
‘I just remember what a special place it was then, then to come here as a Canines player to put that standard on, and I’m just delighted I was able to be here for this specific and celebrate what a special place this is for so many different good reasons.’
Sadly, the ex-Cub who likely could have most enjoyed the 100th birthday bash has since passed. Santo, the affable former Cubs third baseman and also radio broadcaster, died of bladder cancer complications in December 2010. Sam and Spencer Brown leafy, Santo’s grandchildren, took his place at third.
‘Ronnie has always been pumped up about everything, and I think this is add up to when he went in to the Lounge of Fame,’ Williams mentioned of the celebration.
Pregame ceremonies continuing with a tribute from Selig, Pups legends and others saying, ‘Happy special birthday, Wrigley Field’ on the right-field video board.
Grounds team jackets weren’t the only homage to former Cubs operator Charles Weeghman. His grandniece, Sue Quigg, threw the particular game’s ceremonial first pitch using a 100-year-old ball her grandmother, Dessa Weeghman, chucked at a Chi-Feds game a century in the past. Longtime Wrigley Field public target announcer Wayne Messmer sang the national anthem, prescribed a maximum by a flyover from biplanes.
Like so many times ahead of, the sun shone bright and a great and crisp breeze wafted throughout from Lake Michigan over the game.
In the fifth inning, a refrain of 32,323 sang ‘Happy birthday’ towards the park. In the middle of the location, Butkus, Jenkins, Williams and Dutchie Caray, widow of Harry, brought about the crowd in ‘Take me seem to the ballgame,’ a steeped tradition made popular by the popular broadcaster.
As Dempster said, there’s no way to describe the magic of the place. You must experience it for yourself.
‘This is for the particular fans, this is for the elderly, this is for the young age group,’ Dawson said. ‘It’s happy birthday celebration, happy birthday to a motorola milestone mobiel phone. You would rather be playing much better but you only have a 100-year birthday bash once, if you ever get privileged to do that. This is for the followers.’