Baseball, Second-Oldest Major League Ballpark

Wrigley Field, located on 1060 West Addison Street in Chicago, IL,  is the second-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Originally known as Weeghman Park, named after owner Charles Weeghman, the park was built very quickly over 7 weeks before it was finished on April 23, 1914, the same day as the first game played there.

The first professional baseball game ever to be played there was a Federal League contest between the Chicago Whales (also known as the Chicago Federals, or Chi-Feds, which wasn’t exactly an official name but was given to distinguish them from the Cubs and White Sox) and the Kansas City Packers on April 23, 1914. Chicago won 9-1. The second-ever professional baseball game to take place at Weeghman Park came on April 25, 1914, when Chicago beat Kansas City 7-2.

In 1916, after the Federal League disbanded, the Weeghman and a group of investors bought the Chicago Cubs and made Weegman Park the team’s new home field. In that year on April 20, the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 (over 11 innings) in the first National League game ever to be played there. The second-ever National League game to be played there took place on April 22, 1916, with the Cubs beating the Reds, 8-7.

Weegman Park was renamed Cubs Park in 1920 after the majority share in the Cubs were bought by William Wrigley, maker of Wrigley’s Chewing Gum. Then in 1926, the name of the park was changed to Wrigley Field.

A lone holdout among ballparks, Wrigley Field was the last Major League Baseball park to not have lights for nighttime play. That changed in 1988 when lights were finally installed.

The first full night game at Wrigley was scheduled to take place on August 8, 1988, with the Cubs facing the Philadelphia Phillies, but the game was rained out after 3 1/2 innings. Therefore the first official Wrigley Field night game took place on August 9, when the Cubs beat the New York Mets 6-4. The second official night game at Wrigley Field didn’t happen until August 22. In that game the Houston Astros beat the Cubs 9-7.

Other teams to have called Wrigley Field their home over the years include the American football team Chicago Tigers of the American Professional Football League (1920), the American football team Chicago Bears of the National Football League (1921-1970), and the soccer team Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer Leage (1977-1982, 1984).

The current oldest Major League Baseball park is Fenway Park in Boston, MA, which is home to the Boston Red Sox. The original construction of the park was finished in 1912.