On April 23, 1914, Weegham Park at 1060 W. Addison opened its doors for the first time. The baseball park was constructed with the newest steel and cement technology, large for its time (capacity: 14,000), and situated on the grounds of a seminary. With a few full-page ads, the self-made food tycoon behind the park, Charles Weegham, attracted an overcapacity crowd to watch the first game between the Chicago Federals and the Kansas City Packers, both of the Federal League. Two years later, that league would be dissolved and the Cubs would be brought in from their West side stadium to their new and current home. As Charles Weegham’s fortunes declined and he was forced to sell his interest, William Wrigley stepped in and become the dominant force in the direction of the team and stadium for years to come. After a few short years as Cubs Park, it became Wrigley Field.
Today there is a little more capacity (41,000) and the character of the neighborhood has changed from a Seminary grounds to something different. But it’s great to know that Wrigley Field is a place with deep roots. It’s the second oldest baseball stadium after Fenway (1912). The next oldest is Dodger Stadium (1962).
Here’s an homage to the history of Wrigley in time for its 100th Anniversary: