Architectural books encourage visiting Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), cultural magazines suggest touring the Chicago Art Institute and shopping guides rave about Michigan Avenue's highbrow stores. But taking in a Cubs game at legendary Wrigley Field is our #1 must do for Windy City travelers.
Originally built in 1914 with seating for 14,000, Wrigley is one of baseball's grandfathers--the second oldest park behind Boston's Fenway (1912). Throughout history, the Friendly Confines has staged some of baseball's most notable events: Babe Ruth hit his famous "called homerun" in 1932; Ernie Banks slugged his 500th homer in 1970; Pete Rose smacked his record tying 4,191st career hit in 1985; and Steve Bartman interfered with a foul ball foiling the beloved Cubbies advancement to the World Series in 2003--their last appearance was in 1945.
Still located on its Clark and Addison Street corner and now accommodating 40,000 fans, Wrigley is the centerpiece of a young and vibrant urban neighborhood. Locals love nothing more than settling in for an afternoon of beer drinking and hotdog eating--cherished pursuits in celebration of America's greatest pastime.
This ballpark's one-of-a-kind features and longstanding traditions, combined with its renowned die-hard fans, create an unrivaled sporting venue. The 1937 center field scoreboard is still changed by hand. Players chasing fly balls battle the ivy that flourishes along the red brick home run wall. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is led by celebrity cantors in tribute to Cubs (and White Sox) legendary broadcaster, Harry Caray. Wrigley's "bleacher bums" were the first to throw an opposing team's home run ball back onto the field. And, "Wait till next year" has become the habitual October battle cry ever since the underdog Cubbies last World Series Championship in 1908.
When you walk up to Wrigley it is like going on a first date; when you are inside it is like being at home; and when you leave it is like saying good-bye to an old friend. See you soon ol' buddy, see you soon.