Archive for the ‘ Experience Wrigley Field ’ Category

Cubs recognize Clemente prior to Hispanic Heritage Month

Clemente

(Photo by Louis Requena/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente was an icon for the game of baseball for what he did both on and off the field. Prior to Friday’s game, the Cubs will kick off upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month with a tribute to the life of former Major Leaguer with a special on-field pregame recognition. His son Luis Clemente, members from Clemente High School and the cast from the Off-Broadway musical ‘Clemente: The Legend of 21’ will all be on hand.

Clemente, a Puerto Rican-born professional baseball player spent 18 seasons with the Pirates, winning four batting titles and 12 Gold Gloves. He was the first black Latino player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame after passing away in a tragic aviation accident en route to aid earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972. He was known for his baseball skills in right field and his charity work in Puerto Rico and Latin America.

The musical ‘Clemente: The Legend of 21’, now playing at NightBlue Performing Arts Company at Stage 773 through Sept. 14, celebrates the life of Clemente in the form of a “bio-musical” with a mix of Latin sounds and dance.

Members from the show will sing Friday’s National Anthem and lead the crowd in the seventh inning stretch with Luis Clemente.

Now Playing: The Cubs honor U.S. champion Jackie Robinson West Little League at Wrigley Field

Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West All-Stars, who claimed the U.S. Little League title and played in the Little League World Series against South Korea, joined the Cubs for Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Little League team enjoyed a day at Wrigley Field with teammates, coaches and their families. Before the game, Cubs players celebrated JRW’s accomplishments by wearing the Little League team’s home jerseys and ball caps during pregame routines.

JRW had a meet-and-greet with Cubs players, toured the clubhouse, was recognized in the pregame ceremony—which included the team’s coach, Darold Butler, throwing out the game’s ceremonial first pitch—and led the crowd in “Take me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch.

The Cubs-worn JRW jerseys and ball caps, along with two jerseys signed by the entire JRW team, will be up for auction through Cubs Charities at www.Cubs.com/auction. Bids for jerseys will start at $100, and hats will start at $45. All proceeds will benefit Jackie Robinson West Little League.

2000s Homestand Promotions and Guests: 9/1/14-9/7/14

Prior

Mark Prior and the Cubs celebrating after they clinched the 2003 NL Central Division. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The 2000s saw three first place finishes at Wrigley Field and dazzling performances from players like Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Starting Monday, Sept. 1, the Cubs welcome the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates to town for a 2000s-themed celebration. Fans can relive the decade along with Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, Jon Lovitz and many more. And on Labor Day, the Cubs will celebrate the U.S. Little League Champion Jackie Robinson West All-Stars.

Here are the other guests and promotions you’ll find at the Friendly Confines during the six-game set.

2000s Homestand Recap, Sept. 1-7

Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day), Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 1:20 p.m.

  • Special Event: Salute to Armed Forces Day
  • Pregame recognition, first pitch, seventh-inning stretch: U.S. Little League Champion Jackie Robinson West All-Stars
  • Pregame ceremony: Salute to Armed Forces Day guests
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

Tuesday, Sept. 2, Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:05 p.m.

  • Promotion: Gatorade Protein Bars (postgame distribution to 5,000 fans)
  • Seventh-inning stretch: Jimy Sohns, lead singer of Chicago-native rock band The Shadows of Knight
  • Broadcast: CSN-TV+, WGN 720-AM Radio, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com

Wednesday, Sept. 3, Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:05 p.m.

  • Special Event: Oktoberfest Celebration
  • Pregame performance: Jesse White Tumblers
  • First pitches: Actor Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation; Vicki Santo and Logan Burke, guest of Ron and Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation
  • Seventh-inning stretch: TBD
  • Broadcast: CSN-TV+, WGN 720-AM Radio, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com

Friday, Sept. 5, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: Greg Maddux 3000th Strikeout Bobblehead presented by Bank of America (first 10,000 fans)
  • Seventh-inning stretch: Cast members from the NightBlue Theatre show Clemente: The Legend of 21
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

Saturday, Sept. 6, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 3:05 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: John Lovitz, actor and comedian
  • Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

Sunday, Sept. 7, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • Throwback uniforms: 2008 home uniform
  • Promotion: 2000s Clark Build-a-Bear presented by Bank of America (first 5,000 children)
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: TBD
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

For more information on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday celebration, please visit www.wrigleyfield100.com.

 

The Cubs and Jackie Robinson West are in town to celebrate the 2000s

Maddux2006

Greg Maddux during the 2006 season. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs have excited baseball fans with their recent youth movement, but no youngsters wowed America quite like the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars. The Chicago South Side Little League team captivated the country last week, claiming the U.S. Little League title. The team will be on hand Monday to throw out the first pitch and sing the seventh-inning stretch on Labor Day as the Cubs kick off a six-game homestand against division rivals Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.

All of those players on the JRW squad were born in the 2000s, the decade being celebrated on this homestand, as the Cubs continue to honor 100 years of Wrigley Field with decade-themed promotional giveaways, specialty food and beverage offerings, and entertainment. On Friday, Sept. 5, Hall of Famer Greg Maddux will be recognized with a 3000th Strikeout bobblehead for the first 10,000 fans. On Sunday, Sept. 7, the first 5,000 kids 13-and-under will receive a Clark the Cub Build-a-Bear Doll, and the first 1,000 kids can run the bases postgame.

The team will host two special events, which offer fans a chance to attend a game with others who share the same interests along with an exclusive promotional item and fan experience. Salute to Armed Forces Day is on Monday, Sept. 1, while the Cubs Oktoberfest Celebration is Wednesday, Sept. 3. A Special Event ticket is required to participate in each event.

Fans coming to the ballpark Monday through Wednesday also can take home a Hall of Famer’s autograph for a charitable cause. Fergie Jenkins will sign autographs from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cubs Store across from Wrigley Field on Monday, Sept. 1, and inside Clark’s Clubhouse on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 2-3, from 6 p.m. until the sixth inning to raise money for the Ron and Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation. Vicki Santo and Logan Burke, the first recipient of an alert dog from the foundation, will throw ceremonial first pitches on Sept. 3.

Special Event tickets for Salute to Armed Forces Day and Oktoberfest can be purchased at cubs.com/specialevents. General tickets for the Brewers and Pirates series remain available at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the upcoming homestand include:

Throwback Uniforms:
On Sunday, Sept. 7, the Cubs will wear a modern uniform from 2008, when the team won the National League Central Division with an NL-best 97-64 record.

Promotional Giveaways:
The 2000s-themed homestand marks the final decade of this season’s Wrigley Field 100 Bobblehead Fridays and Retro Toy Sundays. On Friday, Sept. 5, Hall of Famer Greg Maddux will be recognized with a 3000th Strikeout bobblehead for the first 10,000 fans. On Sunday, Sept. 7, the first 5,000 kids 13-and-under will receive a Clark the Cubs Build-a-Bear Doll, and the first 1,000 kids can run the bases postgame as part of the team’s ongoing Kids Sundays. In addition to these promotions, Gatorade will offer free Gatorade Protein Bars to 5,000 fans following Tuesday’s game.

Special Events:
The Cubs are proud to salute the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As part of the Salute to Armed Forces Day ticket package for Monday, Sept. 1, fans will receive a commemorative Cubs military coin and can help honor veterans and members of the military in a special pregame ceremony.

Fans can grab their lederhosen and head to Wrigley Field to celebrate Oktoberfest in the Budweiser Bleachers on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Each Special Event Budweiser Bleacher ticket can be redeemed postgame for a special-edition Chicago Cubs Oktoberfest Boot Shaped Glass Mug.

To receive Special Event giveaway items, fans must purchase tickets through the dedicated cubs.com/specialevents page.

Specialty Food Offerings:
Levy Restaurants continues its decade-inspired menu at the Decade Diner, located inside Gate D near Section 142. The 2000s homestand features a Kraft Grilled Flatbread with Spanish chorizo, peppers and shredded Kraft Cheese, as well as an Asian Pork Burger topped with Asian slaw and served on a toasted Hawaiian bun.

The Decade Dogs stand near Section 123 is serving the most popular dog from the season’s previous homestands, which was the 1950s TV Dinner Dog with a Vienna Beef hot dog, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn on a hot dog bun.

Adults 21-and-over can enjoy a 2000s Playoff Punch cocktail on the main concourse at Section 109 and on the bleacher patio in left field. This Cosmopolitan-inspired punch is made with Smirnoff Orange Vodka, Monin Tiki Blend, cranberry and lime juice.

Historic Moments:
The Chicago Cubs made three playoff appearances during the 2000s (2003, 2007-08) and recognized several of the team’s most important alumni, including Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddux and Ron Santo.

On Sept. 27, 2003, the Cubs swept the Pirates in a doubleheader to clinch the NL Central. The team retired the No. 10 jersey in honor of Ron Santo the next day. In his speech, Santo said, “This is my Hall of Fame.” He would later be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously.

On July 26, 2005, Greg Maddux struck out Omar Vizquel for his 3,000th career strikeout. The No. 31 jersey number he shared with Fergie Jenkins was retired May 3, 2009, in their honor.

During Labor Day weekend in 2005, Jimmy Buffett turned the Friendly Confines into Margaritaville, selling out two shows inside the ballpark.

On March 31, 2008, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame infielder Ernie Banks at the corner of Clark and Addison streets. The Cubs also returned to the postseason for the second-straight year, clinching the division title by defeating the rival Cardinals 5-4 on Sept. 20 in Chicago. Wrigley Field established an attendance record in 2008, as 3,300,200 fans attended 81 regular season home games.

On July 29, 2008, The “Road to Wrigley” Game featured the Cubs’ Class-A Peoria Chiefs, managed by Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, vs. the Kane County Cougars. The game drew 32,103 fans.

On New Year’s Day of 2009, 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 Oct. 28, 2009, the Ricketts family completed its purchase of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field from the Tribune Company.

To learn more about these historic moments and others, visit wrigleyfield100.com.

From the Pages of Vine Line: The Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field

Bears

The following can be found in the August issue of Vine Line.

Playing football at Wrigley Field always presented its fair share of challenges. First, there were the shorter-than-regulation end zones and the wooden boards covering the Cubs’ dugout entrances. Add in the tilted field, mercilessly beaten-up turf, tiny locker rooms and other quirks, and the gameday experience was far from perfect.

But that didn’t stop the Chicago Bears, one of the most storied franchises in football history, from calling the Friendly Confines home for a half century. Legendary players, from Dick Butkus to Mike Ditka to Gale Sayers, all graced the field, and the Bears brought the beloved stadium its most recent championship in 1963. If anything, the now-100-year-old ballpark’s quirks only added to the lore.

Of course, the substandard field conditions didn’t faze Butkus. The rough and rugged Hall of Fame linebacker said he enjoyed playing at Wrigley Field more than at Soldier Field, where the Bears moved on a permanent basis in 1971, during the latter stages of his career.
The Bears legend recalled an episode during his rookie season in which he was sitting in the crowded clubhouse awaiting instructions on the next day’s opponent, but couldn’t hear a word coach George Halas was saying.

“I don’t know what the deal was, but all the veterans would bring their dogs to practice and have them in the room there,” Butkus said. “The old man’s trying to talk, and the dogs are barking, and I’m thinking, ‘Jesus.’ One had a pit bull. [Ed O’Bradovich] had a Great Dane. But to me, that was the pros.”

Welcome to football at Wrigley Field. It might not have been the ideal situation, but it was never dull.

* * * *
Back when football was first played at Weeghman Park—as the stadium on Clark and Addison was known at the time—it wasn’t really done with the fans in mind. Getting spectators into the stadium was obviously a priority, but the new sport was primarily concerned with finding its footing in the muddy ground of expansionism. Football games were played at Weeghman simply because teams needed a venue, and the park’s owners felt it would be a good way to make a little extra cash. The stadium was sitting dormant for half the year anyway.

But the baseball-first facility presented a number of challenges when it came to laying out a 100-yard football pitch without risking player safety—especially after the renovation that added an outfield wall and reshaped the bleachers in 1937.

The field ran north and south from left field to behind home plate. The north end zone ended just 18 inches in front of the solid brick left-field wall, while the southeast corner of the south end zone extended into the first-base dugout. To even out the surface, the grounds crew filled the dugout steps with sand. This also meant that corner of the end zone was smaller than the regulation 10 yards.

These hazards might sound ridiculous given the way the modern game is played, but according to Cubs historian Ed Hartig, there were hardly gifted wide receivers, let alone fade routes leading players into the corners of the end zones, during that era.

“Back then, it was supposed to be a running game,” Hartig said. “You didn’t run to the back of the end zone to make a catch. This is a time when the goalposts were still on the goal line.”

* * * *
In the ballpark’s early football days, it mainly drew high school, military and semipro squads. Sometimes as many as four games per day were scheduled on the field. Starting in 1919, independent teams like the Hammond All-Star Football Club, which signed a six-game lease, wanted to test the sport’s popularity in the city.

With a roster that included players like Olympic great Jim Thorpe and Northwestern standout Paddy Driscoll, the Hammond squad managed to draw upward of 10,000 fans at some games that season. The potential of the new sport sparked the interest of a few more Chicago-based teams and quickly led the Decatur Staleys to the city’s North Side.

In 1920, former University of Illinois standout George Halas was put in charge of a company football team funded by food starch conglomerate owner A.E. Staley. In his inaugural season at the helm, Halas came up from Decatur to play a few neutral-site games and then led his Staleys to a de facto championship game at Cubs Park, where the team battled the Akron Steel to a 0-0 tie in front of 12,000 fans.
Halas believed the game might have an audience in Chicago, and, coincidentally, Staley was looking for an out.

“After a couple years, Mr. Staley said, ‘We’re a starch company. We’re not a sports team,’” Hartig said. “‘I can’t keep supporting [the team]. I will for one more year, if you can get an opportunity to find your own supporters.’”

With the temporary backing of Staley, Halas took the team from central Illinois to the big city in 1921 and quickly found a home—albeit one with a field that fell a few yards shy of regulation. Halas reached out to Cubs President and Treasurer Bill Veeck Sr. about using Cubs Park.
The two sides reached a handshake one-year agreement in just minutes. The Cubs received 15 percent of the gate (20 percent when the receipts exceeded $10,000) and the concessions, while the Staleys retained all rights to the game programs. According to the coach’s autobiography, Halas by Halas, the deal would remain unchanged for the remainder of the partnership.

“The deal they got at Wrigley in terms of concessions and that type of stuff was very, very favorable to the team,” Hartig said. “The Wrigleys weren’t looking to make a big amount of money off the Bears.”

In conjunction with the move, the team was renamed the Chicago Staleys. One year later, with the contractual obligation completed between Staley and Halas, the new owner changed the moniker to the Chicago Bears, noting that his football players were larger than the Cubs baseball players with whom they shared the stadium.

The Bears would call Wrigley Field home for the next 50 years, enjoying seven NFL titles, franchise-defining superstars and incredible individual performances. The field conditions were rarely pristine due to the team’s heavy practice load—the grass was usually gone so the team would paint the playing surface green—but some former players wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Even though it was a baseball field, I just felt it was great playing there because that was the essence of being a pro,” said Butkus, who called Wrigley home from 1965-70. “A pro should be able to play at a prairie on the South Side if need be.”

Off the field, the locker rooms were also far from ideal. The Cubs clubhouse back then was a smaller version of the cramped quarters the North Siders call home today. But imagine that room with more people, bigger pads and larger human beings. Butkus joked the rooms were probably too small for a basketball team. Still, he believed it was a better situation than what the visiting teams had to deal with.

“I don’t think they were too happy with the field when they played here,” Butkus said. “I really don’t think the opposing team liked walking down from their locker room, with those screens there [and] with everybody yelling and throwing [stuff] at them.”
That’s home-field advantage at its Chicago best.

* * * *
Despite the stadium’s shortcomings, there was no shortage of great play on the field. One of the best individual performances in NFL history occurred at the Friendly Confines on Dec. 12, 1965, when Bears Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers tied an NFL record with six touchdowns in a single game. All day long, he wove in and out of a hapless 49ers defense that had a difficult time keeping its footing in the heavy mud.

“It was my game, it’s as simple as that,” Sayers said. “I’ve always said, and I’ll continue to say, ‘God gave me a gift to go out there and run with the football,’ and that’s what I did. I probably could have scored 10 touchdowns that day, but, hey, the time ran out. It’s just a day that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Another notable performance on the Wrigley Field turf occurred in December 1963, when the Bears—led by quarterback Billy Wade and standout tight end Mike Ditka—wrapped up the NFL championship with a 14-10 win over the Giants. It marked the last time a Chicago team claimed a title at Wrigley Field.

Eventually, as the game grew, football became too big for the cozy confines of a baseball stadium. Attendance continued to soar, and the small ballpark was unable to expand to meet demand. In 1970, it was announced that the next fall’s season would be the last at the facility. While Wrigley Field generally held slightly less than 37,000 fans for baseball, the Bears drew at least 40,000 to each of their final 56 games there, a stretch that began on Dec. 16, 1962.

“There are a couple of reasons why they left,” Hartig explained. “The NFL wanted bigger stadiums, and the park just couldn’t do it. In addition, the NFL … got more into television coverage. They wanted cameras in the end zone, and there wasn’t really room for it [at Wrigley Field]. And the end zone was dangerous.”

On May 13, 1971, the Bears announced Soldier Field would become the organization’s new home. The bigger stadium held 52,000 fans—8,000 more than Wrigley held at capacity—and was much more prepared for the NFL’s massive growth. Despite the new venue, it wasn’t a hit with all the players.

“I really enjoyed playing [at Wrigley Field]. I thought it was better than going to Soldier Field the first couple years,” said Butkus, who spent three seasons at the Bears’ current home. “They put in the damn Astroturf, and in the locker room over there, you can see the beams holding up the stadium. It was ready to cave in at any moment, it looked like.”

The Bears have long had a reputation as a gritty, smashmouth football team. And while Soldier Field is packed with its own history, much of the dirt and grit that defined the organization’s early years first manifested at the corner of Clark and Addison.

“I enjoyed playing here at Wrigley Field,” Sayers said. “I’ve always said it was 50 yards wide and 100 yards long, and that’s all I needed.”

Cubs, Giants set to resume Tuesday’s suspended game Thursday afternoon

RainDelay
As announced today by Major League Baseball, the Tuesday, August 19, game against the San Francisco Giants is scheduled to resume tomorrow at Wrigley Field.  The game will resume at 4:05 p.m. CT with the Cubs batting in the bottom of the 5th inning.  Following the conclusion of the game, the Cubs and Giants will play their regularly-scheduled game at 7:05 p.m.

Ticket holders from the Tuesday, August 19, game may redeem their tickets for tomorrow’s 4:05 p.m. game and remain for the regularly-scheduled 7:05 p.m. contest against the Giants.  Ticket holders for tomorrow’s 7:05 p.m. game may also attend the 4:05 p.m. game from their ticketed seats.

To redeem tickets, fans must present the Tuesday, August 19, game ticket at the Wrigley Field Ticket Office. Tickets may be redeemed for the best comparable seats and are subject to availability. They cannot be refunded or exchanged for cash value.

Tuesday, August 19, ticket holders who cannot make tomorrow’s  game may opt for a complimentary weeknight game at Wrigley Field during the remainder of the 2014 season as announced today by the team.

1990s Homestand Promotions and Guests: 8/19/14-8/24/14

Wrigley Field Tote Bag
This Wrigley Field 100 tote will be given to the first 10,000 fans on Saturday, Aug. 23.

The 1990s marked the arrival of Sammy Sosa, a stretch of continued excellence by Mark Grace, a dazzling performance by Kerry Wood and a Wild Card Tiebreaker win for the ages. Starting Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Cubs welcome the San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles to town for a 1990s-themed celebration. Fans can relive the decade along with Chris Chelios, Gary Sinise and many more.

Here are the other guests and promotions you’ll find at the Friendly Confines during the six-game set.

1990s Homestand Recap, August 19-24

Tuesday, August 19, Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:05 p.m.

  • Promotion: Cubs Floppy Hat presented by Pepsi and Jewel-Osco (first 10,000 fans)
  • First pitch: Members of the WNBA Chicago Sky basketball team
  • Seventh-inning stretch: Wayne Messmer, longtime Cubs national anthem singer
  • Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com

Wednesday, August 20, Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:05 p.m.

  • Special Event: Star Wars Night
  • First pitch: Mark Duplass, actor from The League and The Mindy Project
  • Seventh-inning stretch: Chris Chelios, former Blackhawks player
  • Broadcast: WCIU-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com

Thursday, August 21, Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:05 p.m.

  • Special Event: Social Media Night
  • First pitch: Social Media Night winner
  • Seventh-inning stretch: TBD
  • Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

Friday, August 22, Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: Kerry Wood 20-Strikeout Bobblehead presented by Budweiser (first 10,000 adults 21+)
  • Seventh-inning stretch: Gary Sinise, actor, producer and director
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

Saturday, August 23, Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: Wrigley Field Tote Bag presented by Starwood Preferred Guest (first 10,000 fans)
  • First pitch and Seventh-inning stretch: John Groce, Fighting Illini basketball coach; Members of the band O.A.R.
  • Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

Sunday, August 24, Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:20 p.m.

  • Throwback uniforms: Retro 1994 alternate uniform
  • Promotion: ’90s Throwback Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby (first 5,000 children)
  • First pitch: TBD
  • Seventh-inning stretch: TBD
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com

For more information on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday celebration, please visit wrigleyfield100.com.

 

Wrigley and the Cubs set to celebrate the 1990s

Gracie

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.

Throwback Uniforms:
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.

Promotional Giveaways:
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.

Special Events:
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 social@cubs.com 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.

Historic Moments:
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).

To learn more about these historic moments and others, visit wrigleyfield100.com. General tickets for the Giants and Orioles series remain available at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).

O.A.R. to perform a free show at Wrigley Field

OAR

O.A.R. performing during the 2006 MLB All-Star Game. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

To help Wrigley Field continue its season-long centennial celebration, the Cubs will host rock band O.A.R. for a postgame Extra Innings Show on Saturday, Aug. 23.

The free show will take place from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. in the Red and Purple Lots due west of Wrigley Field, with O.A.R. taking the stage immediately following the end of the Cubs’ afternoon matchup with the Orioles.

This summer, O.A.R released their eighth studio album, The Rockville LP, and recently played at the 2014 All-Star game in Minneapolis. They are known for hits including “Love and Memories,” “Lay Down” and a Friendly Confines favorite, “This Town,” a track played as the Cubs are introduced before every home game this season.

Fans will also have the chance to enjoy live entertainment starting at 11 a.m. until the beginning of the game, and after O.A.R.’s postgame set.

Available for purchase during the performance will be ballpark food and beverage options, including Vienna Beef hot dogs, snacks and Anheuser-Busch products, as well as O.A.R. merchandise.

The event is free to the general public and limited to a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit cubs.com.

Home Series No. 18 Preview: Cubs vs. Rays

Archer

(Photo by Marilyn Indahl/Getty)

After making the postseason with a young and talented nucleus in 2013, the Rays got off to a terrible start this year before rebounding around the trade deadline. But even with their improved play of late, they still sit four games under .500 and 10 games back in the AL East entering the series with the Cubs. A combination of injuries, underperformance, and plain old bad luck has left Tampa Bay looking more like the team that was consistently among the worst in the game for a decade than the last few seasons’ perennial playoff contenders. However, unlike previous struggling Tampa teams, the 2014 Rays had actual assets to sell off at the deadline. The Rays rotation took a big hit last month when the team moved longtime ace and former Cy Young winner David Price to Detroit.

PITCHING
(3.9 RA/G, 5TH IN AL)

The Rays’ real strength this season lies on the mound. Things haven’t gone as expected, but with a core of former Cub, and Friday starter, Chris Archer, Alex Cobb (Saturday) and Jake Odorizzi (Sunday), the future of the pitching staff appears sound. Add to that a healthy Jeremy Hellickson, and Matt Moore, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and there is plenty of hope for the Rays to bounce back strong in 2015. Grant Balfour’s struggles in the closer role have just added to the list of things that haven’t gone right for Tampa Bay in 2014. Jake McGee has recently taken over that role.

HITTING
(3.9 RS/G, 12TH IN AL)

Tampa Bay’s offense has never been a world beater, but this year it has been particularly poor. Wil Myers has been hurt, but even when healthy, he hasn’t lived up to the hype that accompanies being a reigning Rookie of the Year. And Desmond Jennings is in the same boat. For some reason, the Rays consistently struggle to develop their own hitters. Perennial MVP candidate Evan Longoria has proven to be the exception to that rule, but even he has been unspectacular this year. Ben Zobrist has provided his valuable versatility in the field along with a solid hit tool, and Matt Joyce has been one of the Rays’ best offensive weapons. James Loney continues to hit better with Tampa than he did with the Dodgers, but the Rays’ offense is still something less than formidable.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,183 other followers