5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Wrigley Field

On August 8, 1988, the lights went on at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Previously limited to daytime games only, Cubs fans could now watch games at night under powerful, bright lights. Here are five things you didn't know about Wrigley Field...


It Took 47 Years for Lights to Be Added to Wrigley Field Lights were supposed to be added to Wrigley Field back in 1941. However, once Pearl Harbor was bombed and the U.S. entered World War II, the steel meant for the lighting setup was donated to the war effort, putting a stop to all lighting plans. In addition to that, Chicago ordered Wrigley Field to avoid all night games because of the potential for bothering neighbors. It wasn't until 1988 that the city and the organization that ran Wrigley Field agreed on terms that allowed night games to occur.

And Then the First Night Game Got Rained Out Of course, the universe has a sense of humor, and after waiting all those decades for a night game at Wrigley, the very first night game was rained out during the bottom of the fourth inning. Baseball games need to get through five innings to be considered an official game, so while the Cubs-Phillies matchup is technically considered the first night game at Wrigley Field, it's not considered the first official night game. That honor goes to the Cubs-Mets game played the next night, on August 9.


Catching a Home Run Ball Is Subject to Strict Etiquette Thinking of catching a Cubs game at Wrigley and hopefully catching a home run ball for a souvenir? You can do one or the other, but not both at Wrigley. There the tradition is to hand home run balls back to the Cubs players who hit them or to throw the ball back on the field if it was hit by an opponent. This etiquette extends outside the park, too. If someone finds a home run ball that's been hit out of the park, that person is supposed to try to throw the ball back in.

The Famous Ivy Backdrop Was Planted in 1937 Ivy has adorned the outfield walls at Wrigley Field for so long that it's basically impossible to imagine baseball without it. In 1937, Bill Veeck Jr., the son of the Cubs's president, planted ivy vines against the outfield wall. It was originally 350 Japanese bittersweet plants and 200 Boston ivy plants, but the Boston ivy eventually took over.

So Far, No One's Hit the Scoreboard With a Baseball The Wrigley Field scoreboard is a huge, manually operated board that sticks out and up -- ripe for more than a few hits with baseballs. Or so you'd think. Despite its prominent placement, it has never been struck with a batted ball. One man was able to hit it with a golf ball; that was golfer Sam Snead when he teed off from home late and hit it in 1951.