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Comiskey Park

By Patrick Mondout

The first night game was to August 8, 1988 against Philadelphia, but, as if the baseball Gods were not happy with the change, that game was rained-out. The August 9th night game, also against Philadelphia, was officially the first night game at Wrigley.

Let there be lights!

Lights were scheduled to be added to Wrigley Field in 1942, but after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, then-owner Philip K. Wrigley (son of the late William) donated the materials, intended for lighting Wrigley Field, to the war effort. Baseball boomed after the war, allowing P.K. Wrigley to procrastinate on the issue. He eventually decided never to install lights, for a variety of publicly stated reasons, so Wrigley Field remained a bastion of totally day baseball until the Chicago Tribune Company acquired the Cubs in 1981.

The Cubs had been run almost like a hobby by the Wrigleys, but the Tribune Company was interested in the Cubs strictly as a business. The new owners started talking about lights and began stirring debate on the matter. One of P.K.'s stated reasons for not installing lights was that it would upset the neighborhood, and initial reaction to the Trib intentions supported P.K.'s contention.

This debate continued for several years, especially as the Cubs returned to competitiveness during the 1980s. Lights were finally added to Wrigley Field in 1988 after Cubs management threatened to move the team and Major League Baseball announced that any playoff games would have to be held at Busch Stadium. The first major league night game at Wrigley was attempted on August 8, 1988 against the Philadelphia Phillies and was rained out. The first official night game was achieved the following night, August 9, against the New York Mets ending a streak of 5,687 consecutive home day games. In the 1940s, some AAGPBL night games were played in Wrigley Field using temporary lighting structures.

 

 

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COMISKEY PARK

Image courtesy of the USPS

Opened: July 1, 1910

Surface: Grass

Baseball Dimensions: 349, 382, 409, 382, 349

Capacity: 37,272

Tenants: White Sox (MLB '10-'90)
Cardinals (NFL '22-25; 29-59)

Replaced by: New Comiskey Park


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