No matter which baseball team you support or whether you’re a fan of the American League or National League, you can’t deny that Wrigley Field is one of the most historic venues in all of sports.
It’s one of the oldest baseball parks in America, second only to Boston’s Fenway Park. It’s hosted some of the greatest moments in Cubs history. What we’re saying is the stadium is old, and it’s seen a lot, so there are a lot of Wrigley Field Secrets you might not know that they don’t tell you on the tour.
The Wrigley Field secrets they won’t tell you on the tour
Taking a Wrigley Field tour is a great way to get acquainted with the park. They’re not cheap ($25 plus tax or $35 plus tax with a chance to take a photo on the field), and the tours last anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes. On non-game days you get to see the visiting team’s clubhouse and the Cubs dugout, but there are some things you won’t learn on the tour.
The ivy is a great hiding place
Wrigley Field is the only stadium in Major League Baseball that doesn’t have any padded outfield walls. It has ivy-covered brick, and the ivy is a great hiding place, as it turns out. Some fans believe outfielders hide spare baseballs inside in case they can’t find a ball hit to the wall. Legend has it that outfielder Hank Sauer kept his chewing tobacco inside. The stadium opened in 1914, but the ivy didn’t arrive until 1937, according to MentalFloss.
The stands haven’t always been where they are now
This is one of the Wrigley Field secrets that seems like an afterthought at this point. The grandstand seats used to be near where the current-day pitcher’s mound is. According to the Daily Herald, the Cubs sliced up the stands into 11 pieces in the 1920s, rolled them back to where they are now, and put them back together.
The Cubs still haven’t won a title there
When the Cubs won it all in 1907 and 1908, they played at West Side Park on the, you guessed it, west side of Chicago. When the team ended its championship drought by winning the 2016 World Series, they clinched the title in Cleveland.
The New York Yankees have history there
We know what you’re thinking, but we’re not talking about Babe Ruth bold prediction and his called shot. New York Yankees’ legend Lou Gehrig, one of the greatest first basemen ever, hit a home run at Wrigley Field during a high school game.
A baseball has never hit the scoreboard
Yes, Babe Ruth (probably) called his shot there. And, yes, hundreds of baseballs have left the park and landed on Sheffield or Waveland Avenues. But one of the not-so-well-known Wrigley Field secrets is that a baseball has never hit the famed scoreboard behind the center field stands. Golfer Sam Snead teed up at home plate before the 1951 opener and the scoreboard, but it’s never happened with a baseball.
Kyle Schwarber has a claim to fame that close to this, though. He hit a home run during the 2015 National League playoffs that landed on top of a video board in right field.
Gameday tips for Wrigley Field
Those are just a few of the Wrigley Field secrets a lot of people don’t know, but there are more things you may not know. When it comes to the game day experience, the Chicago Tribune has a few more factoids.
- There’s something special about entering the stadium underneath the marquee (which didn’t arrive until 1934), but the north entrance is usually less congested.
- Wrigley Field first-timers can grab a free certificate to commemorate the occasion.
- If your ticket is a computer printout, you can have the Cubs send you a ticket stub for $5.
- Your bleacher ticket allows you to enter the main concourse, the but reverse isn’t true.