Wrigley and the Cubs set to celebrate the 1990s
Mark Grace led the 1990s in both hits and doubles. (Getty Images)
The 1990s at Wrigley Field featured some of the most memorable moments in franchise history. Mark Grace was a hit machine, Sammy Sosa bashed his way into MLB history, and the young Kerry Wood made his heralded rookie debut during the decade. The Cubs will celebrate the 1990s at Wrigley Field when they host a six-game homestand against the Giants and Orioles from August 19-24. The team’s throwback uniform, promotional giveaways, specialty concessions and entertainment will all mirror the sights and sounds of the 1990s as part of the season-long celebration of the ballpark’s 100th birthday.
The Cubs’ promotional schedule includes four giveaway items: a Cubs Floppy Hat, a Kerry Wood 20-Strikeout Bobblehead, a Wrigley Field Tote Bag and a ’90s Throwback Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby. The team will host two special events, offering fans a chance to attend a game with others who share the same interests along with an exclusive promotional item and fan experience. This homestand, the Cubs will host the team’s first ever Star Wars Night on Wednesday, Aug. 20, and their annual Social Media Night on Thursday, Aug. 21.
To help Wrigley Field continue its season-long centennial celebration, rock band O.A.R. will perform an Extra Innings Show as part of a free music event presented by Budweiser. The event will take place Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. in the Red and Purple Lots on the west side of Wrigley Field. O.A.R. will take the stage for a 90-minute postgame set immediately following the conclusion of the Cubs’ afternoon game against the Orioles. Other live entertainment will be available throughout the day. Vienna Beef hot dogs, snacks and Anheuser-Busch products, as well as O.A.R. merchandise, will be available for purchase during the event.
Special Event tickets for Star Wars Night and Social Media Night can be purchased at cubs.com/specialevents.
On Sunday, Aug. 24, the Cubs will wear a popular throwback alternate uniform from 1994 with “Cubs” written in red script across the front of the jersey. The visiting Orioles will wear a throwback road uniform from 1994 as well.
Fans coming to the ballpark will have the chance to collect promotional items throughout the homestand, beginning with a Cubs Floppy Hat, for the first 10,000 fans Tuesday, Aug. 19. On Friday, Aug. 22, the first 10,000 adults 21-and-over will receive a Kerry Wood 20-strikeout Bobblehead. On Saturday, Aug. 23, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Wrigley Field Tote Bag. On Sunday, Aug. 24, the first 5,000 children 13-and-under will receive a ’90s Throwback Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby.
The Cubs will host their first-ever Star Wars Night on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Fans can enjoy a night of baseball and intergalactic fun in the Budweiser Bleachers, Terrace Reserved Outfield or Upper Deck Box Outfield. Every ticket holder for this special event will receive an exclusive Jedi Rizzo bobblehead, with a portion of proceeds going to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
On Thursday, Aug. 21, Social Media Night attendees will receive an exclusive #WrigleyField100 shirt and access to an interactive pregame filming of Comcast SportsNet’s Sports Talk Live at Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club. One attendee will be selected to throw a first pitch before the night’s game (must be present for the drawing). Other exciting prizes, such as game-used and autographed memorabilia, merchandise and gift cards, will be available throughout the evening.
Additionally, during the night’s game, the team will rely exclusively on fan-generated images from selected Social Media Night attendees to populate the club’s social media channels, including photos and videos of the evening’s ceremonial first pitches, the seventh-inning stretch from the broadcast booth and other in-game content. Beginning Aug. 21 and continuing throughout the season, fans can submit images to a dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org email account or by using the #CubsSocial hashtag for publishing consideration on Cubs social media accounts. Fans submitting images via email can include their social media profiles in the note to receive a photo credit in the post.
Specialty Food Offerings:
Levy Restaurants continues its decade-inspired menu at the Decade Diner, located inside Gate D near Section 142. The 1990s homestand features Kraft beef tacos with rice and beans. The tacos are made with seasoned ground beef topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded Kraft Cheese and sour cream. Fans can also try the Salmon Burger, which is a house made salmon burger on a toasted sesame bun served with avocado, candied red onion and herb aioli.
The Decade Dogs stand near Section 123 is serving the 1990s Bagel Dog—a Vienna Beef hot dog wrapped in a warm bagel with deli mustard.
Adults 21-and-over can enjoy a Home Run Hop. This Dominican-inspired cocktail is made with island flavors, including Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Meyers Silver Rum, pineapple juice and coconut water.
Wrigley Field witnessed several noteworthy events in the 1990s, including Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game, the unveiling of the Harry Caray statue and the addition of Jack Brickhouse’s “Hey, Hey” to the Wrigley Field foul poles.
On July 9, 1990, Ryne Sandberg won the Home Run Derby on a warm summer night at Wrigley Field. The next day, Wrigley Field hosted the All-Star Game for the third time as the American League defeated the National League, 2-0. That same year, 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 he “swims like a rock.”
On Opening Day in 1994, 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, 1994, Michael Jordan made his Chicago baseball debut, playing for the White Sox and going 2-for-4 with two RBI 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, 1998, in one of the most dominant pitching performances in big league history, 20-year-old Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters to tie a record and beat the Astros, 2-0, in his fifth start. Wood allowed just one hit—an infield single. That year, Wood earned the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
On June 5, 1998, the Cubs and White Sox played their first Interleague game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won on a Brant Brown home run in extra innings and completed a sweep of the Sox two days later.
On June 30, 1998, 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.
In 1998, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire staged a memorable home run chase, culminating with Sosa earning the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
On Sept. 28, 1998, the Cubs went head to head with the San Francisco Giants in a Wild Card Tiebreaker Game. Steve Trachsel pitched a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the Giants 5-3 to claim the National League Wild Card spot on a Gary Gaetti home run.
On April 12, 1999, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Harry Caray at the corner of Sheffield and Addison and added Jack Brickhouse’s iconic “Hey, Hey” to the Wrigley Field foul poles.
Finally, On Sept. 25, 1999, the Cubs honored their All-Century team before a matchup against the Pirates. Twenty players and one manager were elected by fan balloting. That same year, Mark Grace went 2-for-4 in the final home game of 1999, finishing the decade as the major league leader in hits (1,754) and doubles (364).