On April 23, 2014 Wrigley Field turns 100, and the Cubs are planning a season-long party. Chicago Cubs fans are invited to the “Party of the Century” throughout the 2014 season. Tickets for several of the birthday celebrations went on sale March 7 . http://cubs.com/specialevents. The big party will take place on April 23, the 100-year anniversary of the day Wrigley Field, originally named Weeghman Park, hosted its first game where the Chi-Feds defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1.
To celebrate Wrigley’s 100th, the Cubs are hosting the “Party of the Century” all year long, featuring throwback uniforms, specialty food, bobbleheads, special guests and more. On Monday, the team released details of its party plans. Beginning with the Cubs Convention in January, extending to Spring Training and continuing throughout each regular-season home game, the Cubs will pay tribute to the 100 great moments in Wrigley Field history. After Opening Week, different elements from each decade will be featured during 10 homestands at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs have partnered with Majestic Athletic to recreate throwback uniforms from significant events at Wrigley Field during each decade of the ballpark’s history. The first is a copy of the 1914 Chicago Federals uniform, which will be worn on the 100th birthday game on April 23 against the D-backs. The remaining uniforms will be worn on a “Throwback Sunday” game for the corresponding decade. Visiting teams also will wear retro uniforms in those games. In addition, the Cubs will feature an alternate road jersey for 2014 that pays homage to the road jersey worn in the 1920s. “Throwback Sunday” games will also include retro toy promotional giveaways to children 13 and under. The items representing each decade will be unveiled at the Cubs Convention.
During each decade-themed Friday home game, the first 10,000 fans at Wrigley will receive a bobblehead honoring key individuals or events from that decade. The Cubs once again will host other special events days, including a golfer’s night during the 1950s homestand to commemorate Sam Snead hitting the center field scoreboard with a golf ball. Snead stood at home plate and used an iron to connect off the scoreboard on April 17, 1951. The complete list of special events will be revealed later in the offseason. Tickets went on sale March 7 atcubs.com/specialevents.
Food and beverage offerings from that homestand’s specified decade will be featured at Wrigley for the respective homestands, and packaged in collectable cups and helmets. Former athletes, dignitaries and others who helped shape Wrigley Field will be featured and take part in pregame ceremonies, ceremonial first pitches and seventh-inning-stretch conductors.
You’ll know it’s Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday because of the commemorative logo, which will be featured throughout the exterior of the park, the concourse, field level and rooftop flags. The logo will be painted on the grass behind home plate and “100” will be brushed in the center-field grass throughout the season.
Each baseball used at Wrigley Field will be stamped with the logo as well. Bases will have a commemorative base jewel featuring the logo, opponent and date. Cubs players will wear the Wrigley Field 100th patch on their jersey sleeve and side of their caps. Game-used, authenticated items will be available for purchase at Wrigley Field’s Cubs Authentics kiosk in the main concourse orcubs.com/authentics.
It’s going to be quite the party. “Wrigley Field has played host to a century of remarkable events,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said. “We’re honored and humbled to commemorate such a treasured icon that millions of fans have enjoyed, whether to watch Cubs baseball, Chicago Bears games, summer concerts or other special events. “We look forward to looking back at the last 100 years while working toward our family’s goal of ensuring Wrigley Field is restored and improved for the next generation of Cubs fans,” Ricketts said.
The ballpark was built at Clark and Addison streets in 1914 for a cost of $250,000, and was originally named Weeghman Park after Chicago Federals owner Charles Weeghman. It was home to the Chi-Feds (later the Chicago Whales) of the Federal League, and the first game was April 23, 1914. In December 1915, the Federal League folded, and Weeghman assembled a group of investors, including William Wrigley Jr., to purchase the Chicago Cubs and move them to Weeghman Park for the 1916 season. In 1919, Weeghman sold his shares to Wrigley Jr. and the park was renamed Cubs Park. It eventually became Wrigley Field in 1926. Many of the iconic features, such as the bleachers, scoreboard and ivy, were installed in 1937. Cubs fans will be able to purchase keepsakes to celebrate Wrigley’s 100th birthday in addition to game-related items.
• “A Century of Wrigley Field: The Official History of the Friendly Confines” is a hard-bound book which pays homage to the ballpark. There are more than 200 lavishly illustrated pages and hundreds of compelling images. The book is the only official Wrigley Field retrospective produced and published by the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Ernie Banks wrote the foreword, and the book includes tributes from Jimmy Buffett, Chris Chelios, Mike Ditka, Pat Hughes and Len Kasper, and features tributes to Banks, Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, Ron Santo, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood and more. Only 10,000 books will be printed at a suggested retail price of $50. The Cubs Store on Clark Street will have 200 advance copies for sale the week of Dec. 9, and the remaining books will be available for online orders in December, with fulfillment taking place before the Cubs Convention in January.
• Fans can purchase an exclusive MLB Productions “100 Years of Wrigley Field” DVD, which will feature historic footage and interviews with former players, celebrity guests and team officials. Attendees at the Cubs Convention will get the first look through an exclusive movie premiere. Copies will go on sale to the public in February.
• Cubs Authentics will authenticate and sell game-used baseballs with the Wrigley Field 100 logo, game-used bases with commemorative base jewels featuring the logo, opponent and date, game-worn Sunday throwback jerseys, standard home uniforms with the Wrigley Field 100th patch and other game-used and autographed memorabilia from the 2014 season. These items will be available for purchase at the Cubs Authentics kiosk in Wrigley Field’s main concourse orcubs.com/authentics.
• Fans can find official Wrigley Field 100th merchandise in special sections of the ballpark’s gift shops and the Cubs Store. More than 30 different apparel styles feature the Wrigley Field 100th logo, including hats, T-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts, as well as novelty items such as key chains, glassware, pins and pennants.
The Cubs have partnered with the Chicago History Museum to highlight Wrigley Field photos from the Chicago Daily News collection in a variety of upcoming collector’s items. This relationship will allow the team to make some of the rarely seen historical images available to Cubs fans and media to highlight the museum’s contributions to preserving Chicago history and culture.
To learn more about Wrigley Field’s 100 years and the team’s planned celebrations, fans will be able to visit a custom website, WrigleyField100.com. The site will launch in January before the Cubs Convention, and highlight each of Wrigley Field’s 100 great moments as they’re unveiled at the ballpark and on social media.
The website will provide information about each decade-themed homestand and corresponding entertainment, plus Cubs players, alumni, celebrities and fans will contribute videos and testimonials. The Cubs will invite fans to participate in polls to determine their “All-Wrigley Team,” as well as other topics, such as their favorite broadcasters or concession items.
The team will continue the celebration at the Chicago Cubs’ Charities’ primary fundraiser, the Bricks & Ivy Ball, April 23, at Navy Pier, Chicago, the night of Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday.
In addition, the Cubs will feature an alternate road jersey for 2014 that pays homage to the road jersey worn in the 1920s. They will also have “Throwback Sunday” games that will include retro toy promotional giveaways to children 13 and under. And during each decade-themed Friday home game, the first 10,000 fans at Wrigley will receive a bobblehead honoring key individuals or events from that decade.)