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
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
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