On New Year's Eve 1913, Chicago Federals owner Charles Weeghman agreed to a 99-year lease on a small parcel of land located at the corner of Clark and Addison Streets on Chicago's North Side.
At a construction cost of $250,000, a ballpark with a seating capacity of only 14,000 was constructed in just two months and named Weeghman Park, later to become Wrigley Field. It consisted of a single-story grandstand that stretched from the left-field foul pole around home plate to the right-field foul pole, with a small bleacher section in right field.
On April 23, 1914, the Chicago Federals played their first Major League game at the ballpark, defeating the Kansas City Packers, 9-1. Chi-Feds catcher Art Wilson hit two home runs in the victory.
Four days after Opening Day, the first renovations were made. With a flurry of home runs hit in the first three games at the ballpark, the Chi-Feds decided to push the outfield walls back as much as 50 feet in some places. This also necessitated moving the scoreboard from left field to its now-iconic location in center field.
The Chicago Federals finished the season in second place under manager and eventual Hall of Famer Joe Tinker, with an overall record of 87-67 and a 43-34 record at Weeghman Park.
The Chicago Federals were renamed the Chicago Whales in a fans pick-the-name contest. The rationale for the name is unclear, but the winning artist's entry included a note saying, "The best commercial whales (used for meals and oils) are found in the frozen north, which means that the North Side should have the best team."
The Chicago Whales clinched the Federal League pennant on the last day of the season, splitting a doubleheader with Pittsburgh to win by a single percentage point in one of the closest races in professional baseball history.
The right-field bleachers were removed and replaced with new brick and wooden bleachers, twice as large, built in left field. The project was completed at a cost of $17,000, which included the cost of removing a home at the north end of the park.
On select nights in June and July, Weeghman Park was home to first-class "hippodrome acts" at night after the Whales' games. A separate admission fee, 10 to 20 cents for grandstand and 30 cents for boxes, was charged to view circus-style performers like "The Five Juggling Normans," "The Clown King of the Sawdust Ring" and "the great baseball pantomime comedian George Slivers."
In 1916, the assets of the Cubs and Whales were combined under the Cubs organization as part of the peace agreement to settle some anti-trust lawsuits filed by the Federal League against organized baseball.
With the Federal League gone, the center-field scoreboard underwent renovations, including the addition of advertising, as the Doublemint Twins were placed atop the scoreboard.
The ballclub played its first game as the Cubs at Weeghman Park on April 20, beating the Reds, 7-6, in 11 innings before 20,000 fans on Opening Day.
The Cubs hired Pat Pieper as the field announcer at Weeghman Park, replacing Admiral Kingston, the announcer for the Whales. Pieper served as the field announcer until his death in October 1974. He claimed to have missed only 18 Cubs home games after he was hired, which includes 14 in 1918 to attend his father's funeral in Denver.
Joa, a live bear cub who would serve as the team's mascot, greeted patrons at the first National League game played at Clark and Addison. Lincoln Park zookeeper Cy Devry led Joa around the park, including to home plate for photographers.
On Aug. 29, the Cubs completed a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds to advance to their first World Series since 1910. Because of capacity concerns, the Cubs played their World Series home games on the South Side at the much-larger Comiskey Park. They would go on to lose the Series in six games to the Boston Red Sox, who wouldn't win another World Series for 86 years.
With Charles Weeghman having resigned as club president, Weeghman Park was renamed Cubs Park before the 1919 home opener.
On Sept. 21, the Cubs played the fastest nine-inning game in franchise history against the Boston Braves. Cubs great Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched a complete game, defeating the Braves, 3-0, in a 58-minute contest.
On Oct. 10, the Chicago Tigers and Racine Cardinals faced off in front of a crowd of 8,000 in the first professional football game ever played at Cubs Park. The Cardinals were led by Paddy Driscoll, a former Cub, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
On Dec. 12, Cubs Park hosted the American Professional Football League Championship Game, a game billed as "The Game to Decide the Pro Football Championship of the World." The Decatur Staleys (later known as the Chicago Bears) tied the Akron Steel, and Akron's star halfback, Fritz Pollard, became the first African-American to play in a pro sporting event at Cubs Park.
The Chicago Staleys/Bears officially made Cubs Park their new home. They played most of their home games at Clark and Addison for the next 50 years, 39 of which were winning seasons.
On July 12, Cubs Park hosted the first of many concerts to come. Lights were brought in to illuminate the field, and a platform and sounding board were built over the infield for the orchestra.
In a $300,000 renovation project, the Park was reconfigured to increase capacity. Portions of the grandstands were placed on rollers and moved back into their current positions, and the first steel-framed bleachers were assembled in left field. Today, the Wrigley Field pitcher's mound stands over the original batter's box.
Elevated brick bleachers replaced the old, ground-level bleachers and a new scoreboard was built and placed above them.
On Aug. 11, William Wrigley Jr. purchased the lease to the Cubs Park property and the remaining 88-year commitment from Edmund Archambault and the Cantillons brothers for a reported $295,000.
On Oct. 1, WGN broadcast its first baseball game, the first Chicago professional game ever broadcast on radio with A.W. Kaney at the microphone. The Cubs hosted the White Sox, winning the contest, 10-7.
In autumn, construction began on adding a second deck to Cubs Park. Though the project was scheduled for completion by Opening Day 1927, only the left-field deck was finished in time. The right-field deck would not be completed until 1928.
On Dec. 3, the board of directors voted to officially rename the park Wrigley Field in honor of William Wrigley Jr. It would become the second ballpark to go by that name, as Mr. Wrigley's Los Angeles Minor League team also played at a Wrigley Field.
On April 12, the Cubs beat the Cardinals, 10-1, in front of a crowd of 42,000 in the very first game at the newly renamed Wrigley Field.
On May 31, Wrigley Field hosted the junior welterweight boxing championship as Mushy Callahan of Los Angeles defeated Spug Myers of Idaho for the title.
On Thanksgiving Day, three live turkeys were released during a game between the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cardinals, and whoever caught the turkeys got to take them home as a prize. It was also the last professional football game played by Olympian Jim Thorpe.
In a September doubleheader that set a single-day record with 81,000 in attendance, fans littered the field with straw hats every time the Cubs hit a home run. Rogers Hornsby hit his 31st and 32nd homers of the season, and Hack Wilson hit his 35th as the Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in both contests.
On Oct. 8, Wrigley Field hosted its first World Series contest as the Chicago Cubs squared off against the Philadelphia Athletics. Temporary bleachers were erected over Waveland and Sheffield to accommodate the nearly 51,000 fans in attendance.
On June 27, the Cubs drew a record 51,556 fans for their game against Brooklyn, including 30,476 guests of the house on Ladies Day. Reportedly, fans almost broke down the front gate to get into the park.
On Sept. 28, Hall of Famer Hack Wilson set a Major League record by driving in his 190th and 191st runs of the season, helping the Cubs rally from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Reds, 13-11. His RBI record still stands.
On June 21, Glasgow Celtic, one of Europe's most celebrated soccer teams, beat the Bricklayers, a Chicago-area squad, 6-3, at Wrigley Field in front of a crowd of 11,000.
In a surprise move, the Chicago Cardinals moved their football games from Comiskey Park to Wrigley Field in the fall of 1931. The Cardinals and Bears would share Wrigley Field through the 1939 season.
During the 1931 season, as many as seven Chicago radio stations, including WGN, carried Cubs games from Wrigley Field on a given day, as the team did not charge a broadcast fee.
The Cubs installed the first public address system in the park. Until then, PA announcer Pat Pieper would walk from bullpen to bullpen with a megaphone, announcing starting lineups and changes.
On Sept. 20, the Cubs clinched the NL pennant with a 5-2 win over the Pirates. Kiki Cuyler's three-run triple in the seventh inning propelled the Cubs to victory.
On Oct. 1, in Game 3 of the World Series, Babe Ruth hit his highly debated and much-celebrated called shot off Charlie Root. Moments before the home run, Ruth made a series of gestures -- but was he calling his shot or responding to the bench-jockeying from the Cubs dugout?
On Dec. 17, the Bears beat the New York Giants, 23-21, to win the NFL championship before 26,000 spectators. Jack Manders kicked three field goals for the Bears, and Bronko Nagurski passed for two touchdowns.
The first marquee was added to the park at the corner of Clark and Addison. Officially listed as fern green, the sign was more of a bluish color and welcomed fans to the "Home of the Cubs."
On Sept. 20, the world heavyweight wrestling title bout was decided at Wrigley Field in a ring built over home plate. Jim Landos pinned Ed "Strangler" Lewis to claim the title. The show also included a wrestling exhibition between "Gorgeous" George and Jim McMillen.
Following the 1934 season, the Cubs introduced the first major marketing campaign in Major League history, running ads in local newspapers mid-winter with Opening Day still several months away.
The Friendly Confines' famous ivy was planted with 350 Japanese Bittersweet plants and 200 Boston Ivy plants taking root at the base of the new brick outfield walls.
On Dec. 12, the Washington Redskins beat the Bears, 28-21, to win the NFL championship before 15,878 at Wrigley Field. Sammy Baugh tossed two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Pennants representing league standings were hung below the yardarm of the main scoreboard, marking the beginning of a cherished Wrigley Field tradition.
A scoreboard was added outside the park so that fans passing by could be kept advised of the game's progress. This is believed to be the first time a ballclub had done this.
On Sept. 28, moments after umpires declared the game would end at the completion of the ninth inning due to darkness, Gabby Hartnett hit his famous "Homer in the Gloamin'" to give the Cubs a two-out, walk-off win and vault them into first place. They would clinch the NL pennant three days later.
More than a ton of steel was used to build a 10-foot white clock atop the center-field scoreboard. It wouldn't be painted green until the 1944 season.
On April 26, the Cubs became the first team to have an organ playing inside their ballpark. Oddly enough, it was removed during their road trip a few days later.
On Dec. 8, a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, owner P.K. Wrigley donated 165 tons of steel, intended for Wrigley Field's lights, to the U.S. war effort.
For two consecutive weekends in January, Clark and Addison was home to the Norge Ski Club's 38th annual invitational ski jump tournament. A jump was assembled from scaffolding and covered in snow and ice. Skiers started their descent near today's broadcast booth and landed behind second base.
The iconic center-field scoreboard at Wrigley Field was painted its now-famous dark green color. The scoreboard was originally a reddish-brown and the clock was white.
For five summer afternoons and evenings in June, Wrigley Field became home to a rodeo and thrill circus that featured some of the best riders in the world. More than 900 cowboys, cowgirls, Hollywood daredevils and Sioux Indians rode bulls and broncos and performed rope tricks and stunts.
On July 13, WBKB broadcast the first televised baseball game from Wrigley Field, a mid-afternoon matchup between the Cubs and Dodgers. WGN began its television coverage of the Cubs two years later.
On May 18, the largest regular-season crowd in Wrigley Field history (46,572) gathered to watch Jackie Robinson make his Chicago debut for the visiting Dodgers.
On July 8, Wrigley Field hosted its first All-Star Game with Andy Pafko and Phil Cavarretta representing the Cubs.
This marked the first year WBKB broadcast every Cubs home game from Wrigley Field.
On April 17, professional golfer Sam Snead did what no Major Leaguer has ever done: He hit a ball over the center-field scoreboard. He didn't even tee it up; all he needed was his trusty 2-iron.
During the Korean War, Wrigley Field instituted a voluntary policy in which fans who caught a foul ball could return those balls so they could be shipped to servicemen overseas. Fans were asked to write their name and address on the ball so the servicemen would know who sent it.
On Aug. 21, Wrigley Field installed a basketball court and portable lights for games that featured the Harlem Globetrotters against George Mikan's U.S. Stars, and the House of David traveling team against the Boston Whirlwinds.
On May 12, Sam Jones threw a no-hitter against the Pirates. He walked the bases loaded in the ninth inning before striking out the next three Pirates, including Roberto Clemente, to complete the no-no and 4-0 victory.
In an exchange of TV programming, the U.S. beamed 20 minutes of live clips of various cultural icons to 18 European countries. The broadcast included a news conference with President John F. Kennedy, shots of the Statue of Liberty, bison roaming the Western Plains and part of the Cubs-Phillies game on July 23.
On July 30, Wrigley Field hosted its second All-Star Game. The American League won, 9-4, with three home runs. Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and George Altman represented the Cubs on the NL squad.
After being called up by the Cubs in 1961, second baseman Ken Hubbs became the first rookie to win a Gold Glove Award in 1962. He would go on to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award, but his career was tragically cut short after he died in a plane crash in 1964.
On June 6, with the game tied in the ninth inning, Lindy McDaniel came into the game with one out and the bases loaded. He struck out a batter and picked off the great Willie Mays to get the Cubs out of a jam. He then hit a walk-off home run to move the Cubs into a three-way tie for first place.
On a frigid, 7-degree day in December, the Bears beat the New York Giants, 14-10, at Wrigley Field to take the NFL title.
In his first game after being acquired by the Cubs, Fergie Jenkins threw five scoreless innings in relief and belted a home run in a 2-0 victory over the visiting Dodgers.
In February, the Cubs announced they would feature music and play the national anthem before every home game. Before this, the national anthem was only played on holidays and special occasions at Wrigley Field.
On July 2, the Cubs beat the Reds, 4-1, to move into first place. It was the first time since 1945 that the Cubs had been in first place this late in the season, and many fans refused to leave the park until the grounds crew updated the league standings and moved the Cubs flag to the top of the board.
After completing a doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals on June 29, Billy Williams officially broke the NL record for consecutive games played with 896. His streak would eventually extend to 1,117 games.
After tossing seven hitless innings against the Braves on Aug. 19, Ken Holtzman's no-hitter looked lost as Hank Aaron connected on a deep fly ball. Luckily, a gust of wind knocked it down at the last second and Billy Williams caught it on the warning track to preserve Holtzman's career performance.
In a May 12 matchup against the Braves, Ernie Banks connected for his 500th home run off Pat Jarvis to help beat the Braves, 4-3. He would go on to end his career with a franchise-record 512 home runs.
On Dec. 13, Jack Concannon passed for four touchdowns and ran for another in a 35-17 victory over the rival Green Bay Packers. It would be the Bears' last game at Wrigley Field.
On a frigid day in April, rookie Burt Hooton threw a no-hitter in his fourth career start to beat the Phillies, 4-0. He was the first National League rookie in 60 years to throw a no-hitter.
On Sept. 2, Milt Pappas nearly threw a perfect game as he retired the first 26 Padres batters. He ended up walking Larry Stahl with two outs in the ninth on a questionable ball-four call, but he retired the next batter to complete the impressive no-hitter and beat San Diego, 8-0.
On May 14, Dave Kingman of the New York Mets hit the longest home run in Wrigley Field history, driving the ball more than 500 feet. The ball traveled down Kenmore Avenue.
On July 28, the Cubs and Reds combined to tie the NL record for most home runs in a single game with 11. The Cubs ended up beating the Reds, 16-15, in a 13-inning classic.
On June 16, the Tribune Company announced the purchase of the team from William Wrigley and 800 stockholders for $20.5 million. Three months after the sale, the Tribune also purchased Wrigley Field for a reported $600,000, bringing the final purchase price to $21.1 million.
On June 28, the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League beat the Cosmos, 6-5, before 30,501 at Wrigley Field. With the Cubs having an "off" season and a mid-summer baseball strike, this was the second largest crowd at Wrigley that year, topped only by the home opener.
The longest game in Cubs history (by time) was played in a contest that started on Aug. 17 and resumed the next day, with the Dodgers beating the Cubs, 2-1, in 21 innings. The game lasted six hours and 10 minutes.
On Aug. 22, fans packed Wrigley Field as uniform No. 14 was retired in honor of "Mr. Cub," and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.
Three major renovation projects were kicked off, including the new Stadium Club, the expansion of park concession stands and the expansion of washrooms -- although the infamous "troughs" in the men's restrooms were retained and remain to this day.
A Cubs Hall of Fame was added, doubling as a gift shop, and included Hall of Fame plaques and memorabilia from HOF players.
On April 29, following a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers, Cubs manager Lee Elia delivered one of the most infamous postgame meltdowns in sports history with a profanity-laced tirade against Cubs fans. An apologetic Elia was able to save his job, but only temporarily; the Cubs skipper was dismissed later that August.
A new 6,000-square-foot Cubs clubhouse was built under the third-base stands, replacing the old clubhouse located at the base of the left-field foul line.
On June 23, Ryne Sandberg burst onto the national spotlight by blasting dramatic, game-tying home runs in both the ninth and 10th innings against Bruce Sutter, one of the premier closers in the NL, in a thrilling 12-11 win over the Cardinals in 11 innings. Sandberg crushed two homers, hit three singles and had seven RBIs on the day, prompting Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog to refer to him as "Baby Ruth."
In August, MLB announced that the Cubs would lose home-field advantage in the World Series if they got that far, due to Wrigley Field's lack of lights. Network TV commitments, citing higher TV ratings for night games, would have forced Game 1 from Wrigley Field to the AL park.
On Aug. 7, with the Cubs en route to a four-game sweep of the Mets amid an intense playoff race, Cub Keith Moreland rushed the mound and roll-blocked Mets pitcher Ed Lynch, setting off a memorable bench-clearing brawl.
In their first playoff game since 1945, the Cubs pounded the Padres, 13-0, to win the opening game of the NLCS. The Cubs hit five home runs, including one by pitcher Rick Sutcliffe, who also hurled seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits.
On July 7, in one of the scariest moments in Wrigley Field history, Padres pitcher Eric Show hit Cubs slugger Andre Dawson in the face with a pitch. Dawson remained motionless on the ground for a few seconds, then jumped to his feet to charge the mound as both benches emptied.
On Aug. 1, Andre Dawson hit three home runs to help the Cubs beat the Phillies. Dawson drove in all five runs in the 5-3 victory. During his MVP season, Dawson hit 15 home runs in August to win NL Player of the Month honors.
On Aug. 13, uniform No. 26 was retired in honor of Cubs great and Hall of Famer "Sweet Swinging" Billy Williams.
Lights were added at Wrigley Field at a cost of $5 million, ushering in an exciting new era but disappointing some Cubs fans, many of whom had organized and fought to keep lights out of the Friendly Confines.
On June 28, more than 1.5 million phone calls were recorded during a 3 1/2-hour ticket lottery to award the final 13,000 seats for the first scheduled night game on Aug. 8, 1988.
On Aug. 8, Wrigley Field became the last MLB ballpark to add lights as the Cubs hosted the Phillies. With media coverage resembling that of the World Series, the Cubs jumped to a 3-1 lead only to have the game rained out. The first complete night game was played the following evening on Aug.9.
The Cubs completed a $14 million renovation project that included building 67 private mezzanine-level skyboxes, new, enlarged media facilities, upper-deck concession stands and 400 additional upper-deck seats.
After Greg Maddux had gone 13 starts without a win, manager Don Zimmer promised to swim across Lake Michigan if Maddux won his next game at Wrigley Field. Maddux delivered with a 4-2 victory over the Padres. Though Zimmer showed up to the postgame news conference in a life jacket and sunglasses, he declined to make the 60-mile swim, claiming that he "swims like a rock."
On July 7, Cincinnati's Tom Browning was spotted by two cameras and his own team's bullpen as he watched part of the game from the roof of a Sheffield apartment building across the street.
On Opening Day, Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes hit home runs in three consecutive at-bats off the Mets' Doc Gooden to become just the second player in Major League history to hit three home runs on Opening Day.
On April 7, Michael Jordan made his Chicago baseball debut, playing for the White Sox and going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the Windy City Classic. The exhibition game ended in a 4-4 tie after 10 innings.
In 1997, Juniper bushes were added to the center-field batter's eye, replacing several rows of empty, deteriorating bleachers.
On May 6, in what was arguably the most dominant pitching performance in Major League history, 20-year-old Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters to tie a record and beat the Astros, 2-0. Wood allowed just one hit -- an infield single. It was his fifth start.
On June 5, the Cubs and White Sox played their first Interleague game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs ended up winning on a Brant Brown home run in extra innings and completed a sweep of the Sox two days later.
On June 30, Sammy Sosa hit his 20th home run of June against the Arizona Diamondbacks, earning Player of the Month honors and setting a Major League record for home runs in a month.
After arriving late at the park from the golf course, Mike Ditka rushed through "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in what was possibly the worst rendition of the song in Wrigley Field history.
On Sept. 28, Steve Trachsel took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the Giants, 5-3, to claim the NL Wild Card spot on a Gary Gaetti home run.
On April 12, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Harry Caray at the corner of Clark and Addison and added Jack Brickhouse's iconic "Hey, Hey" to the Wrigley Field foul poles.
On Sept 25, the Cubs honored their All-Century team before a matchup against the Pirates. Twenty players and one manager were elected by fan balloting.
On Sept. 27, in their first game since the attacks of 9/11, police officers, Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and victims of the attacks were honored at Wrigley Field. Sammy Sosa homered in his first at-bat and carried an American flag around the bases.
On Sept. 27, the Cubs swept the Pirates in a doubleheader to clinch the NL Central. They retired the No. 10 jersey in honor of Ron Santo the next day.
On Sept. 4, Wrigley Field hosted the first of two Jimmy Buffett concerts, each of which drew nearly 40,000 fans.
Sept. 12 marked the first time a sitting United States Supreme Court justice threw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. Long-time Cubs fan Justice John Paul Stevens threw the first pitch before the Cubs took on the Cincinnati Reds.
On March 31, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame infielder Ernie Banks outside the park at Clark and Addison.
For the first time since 1906-08, the Cubs reached the postseason in back-to-back seasons, clinching a playoff spot by defeating the rival Cardinals, 5-4. Wrigley Field established a park record in 2008, as 3,300,200 fans attended 81 home games.
On New Year's Day, for the first time in park history, professional hockey came to Wrigley Field as the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Winter Classic.
On May 3, the Cubs retired No. 31 in honor of Greg Maddux and Fergie Jenkins.
On Oct 28, the Ricketts family completed its purchase of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field from the Tribune Company.
The back side of the famous scoreboard was refurbished for the first time since 1937, and an all-inclusive executive club (the PNC Club) was added. A fan viewing area was placed under the right-field bleachers so spectators could watch players take batting practice in the cage.
The Harry Caray statue was moved from near the entrance to the center field, where it could greet bleacher-loving fans at every game.
On Sept. 7, a statue honoring Cubs legend and Hall of Famer "Sweet Swinging" Billy Williams was unveiled near the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue.
On Nov. 15, the ballpark's famous red marquee was painted Valspar's Wildcat Purple in preparation for the Northwestern-Illinois football game. Football would return to Wrigley Field for the first time since 1970 five days later, as U of I topped the Wildcats, 48-27, in the Big Ten contest.
On Aug. 10, the team honored beloved Cub and Hall of Famer Ron Santo by unveiling a statue near the statue of his close teammate, Billy Williams, at the corner of Addison and Sheffield.
On Oct. 1, the Cubs celebrated the 25th anniversary of the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" by hosting a movie night at the park. Three 30-foot screens lined the lip of the outfield grass to show the movie that included a scene filmed at the park.
The right-field bleachers underwent a makeover to include a patio area and a 75-foot LED board. The board would provide in-game player stats, pictures and pitch counts.
On May 18, a day after announcing that he would retire after his next appearance, Kerry Wood fanned White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo on three pitches and headed to the dugout to an emotional standing ovation. He was met outside the dugout by his young son, Justin, who jumped into his dad's arms.
Rolling Stone magazine named Wrigley Field the second-best rock concert venue in the United States. During the Wrigley Field Pearl Jam concert, Eddie Vedder, the band's lead vocalist and noted Cubs fan, brought Hall of Famer Ernie Banks onto the stage to join him in singing a chorus of the song "All the Way".