Which of the 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Wrigley Field Chicago Will Impress You the Most? Those 10 Facts on Wrigley Field are…
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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is one of the great destination venues every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Cubs ballpark is the second oldest MLB venue in America (1914) only behind Fenway Park in Boston (1912). Any Cubs fan that bleeds Cubbie Blue will know every information possible, from the team winning the 2016 World Series to Jake Arrieta winning the NL Cy Young in 2015. However, there are new Wrigley Field facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Wrigley Field below!
10: National Food Chains Take Over Wrigleyville
Over the past couple years, the neighborhoods of the Friendly Confines have been partially taken over by trending national fast food chains. In spring 2021, Raising Cane’s® opened their fried chicken store across the street from the ballpark’s leftfield entrances. From outside the restaurant, customers can actually see Wrigley Field’s iconic scoreboard.
Raising Cane’s® occupied the former site of Rockit Burger Bar, which closed in 2018. In addition to fried chicken, Wrigleyville will witness Culver’s® (Wisconsin-style burgers and cheese curds) opening across the street from the stadium’s home plate entrance. The burger joint will occupy the building currently used by Taco Bell® Cantina and Chase®.
9: Ozzy Osbourne Makes Rare Appearance at Wrigley Field
During the 7th inning stretch at Cubs games, celebrities and sports personalities would sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” Harry Caray style. In summer 2003, rock and roll legend Ozzy Osbourne made an ultra rare appearance when the Cubs took on the Los Angeles Dodgers. When the 7th inning came, Ozzy and his wife (Sharon) sang the baseball theme song.
What made the rock star’s appearance so infamous is that he actually mumbled and sang the lyrics to the song. The fans were seen laughing and Cubs and Dodgers players from the dugouts were staring right at Ozzy. It turns out that the rock star’s mumbling was bad luck for the Cubs as they lost to Hideo Nomo and the Dodgers 3-0.
8: Cubs Have One of the Most Toughest Umbrella Rules in the Big Leagues
Interestingly, the Cubs are one of the two teams in the big leagues to forbid umbrellas from the stadium. The other team comes as a surprise: the Los Angeles Dodgers since rainouts rarely happen in California. Rumor has it that the Cubs implemented the rule due to many fans using umbrellas as shade to get away from the sun. Instead of umbrellas, Wrigley Field would only rely on ponchos and small umbrellas.
7: Wrigley Field is the Only Place in Baseball Where You See Police Officers Riding Horses
The marquee red sign in front of Wrigley Field that says “Cubs Win” is perhaps the main attraction for fans looking outside the stadium. But the sign is not the only interesting thing you see outside the Friendly Confines. For every game, Wrigley Field is guarded by police officers riding horses. You don’t see that at any of the 29 baseball stadiums across the country. After a day’s work of security, the horses would likely be sent to either a nearby barn or a shed. Chicago is known for its police horses as the safety tradition dates back to the early 1900s.
6: Before Wrigley Field, the Land was the Site of a Church & School for Priests
For the record, the Friendly Confines was not the original location for the land it sits on today. Before Wrigley Field opened to the public, the land used to be the home of a Lutheran Seminary (School for Priests). The property started off with a church in the late 1800s before adding a seminary sometime after. The site also added residential buildings for teachers to live in.
Eventually, the seminary was forced to relocate somewhere else due to the growing population of the neighborhood that surrounded the property. In addition, baseball was becoming a trending sporting event for Chicago and the U.S. In the early 1910s, the owners of the Cubs chose the seminary site to build their new ballpark due to its land value surrounding the neighborhood.
5: Why Did the Cubs Put Ivy on their Ballpark’s Walls?
The Chicago ballpark is known for its ivy-covered walls in the outfield. In fact, Wrigley Field is the only stadium that incorporates ivy into the player experience. But did you know that the main ivy for the Friendly Confines was called the Boston Ivy. The Cubs picked Boston Ivy because it was one of the least heaviest types of ivy. Also, the Wrigley Family felt that the ivy-covered walls would make players and fans feel like they were at a nature park.
4: Wrigley Field Used to Host Rodeo Shows Every Year
This is a fact that not many Cubs fans have ever thought of! During the 1940s, the Friendly Confines used to host rodeo shows once a year. The main attraction was a cowboy-style rodeo with a side of circus performances. There would be two shows a day over the course of five days. Hundreds and hundreds of performers took part in the rodeo ranging from bull riding to calf roping. It was likely that the rodeo shows took place whenever the Cubs were on a road trip.
3: Cubs were the 1st Team to Allow Fans to Keep Foul Balls
This is an amazing fact that will make ballhawker Zack Hample proud! In the early parts of professional baseball, fans would have to return the foul ball to either a stadium employee or an usher. All of that changed when Wrigley Field became the first ballpark to allow fans to keep fall balls as well as home runs as souvenirs. The reasons behind the new policy were to further engage in fan experience and to increase attendance for games. Not long after Chicago’s groundbreaking decision, other stadiums soon followed suit in allowing fans to keep foul balls.
2: Wrigley Field’s Head Groundskeeper is Related to a Baseball Star
Believe it or not, the head groundskeeper for the Friendly Confines has a strong connection to baseball. Dan Kiermaier, who has been working for Wrigley Field since 2015, is the brother of Tampa Bay Rays OF and Multi-Gold Glove winner Kevin Kiermaier. The two siblings got to face each other in April 2022 in Chicago. The Rays took two out of three from the Cubs in the rare interleague series. Dan started as a groundskeeper before being promoted to Head Groundskeeper in 2020.
1: A Michael Jackson Concert at Wrigley Field Almost Happened
During the early 1990s, Michael Jackson embarked on a global set of live shows called Dangerous World Tour. The King of Pop was set to perform a couple shows at the Friendly Confines in Spring 1994. Unfortunately, Jackson had to cancel the Wrigley Field gigs along with the North America tour dates due to him going into rehab for prescription drug addiction. And sadly, the King of Pop never got to perform live at the Chicago ballpark as he passed away in 2009.