100 years! Fans share birthday wishes for the Friendly Confines

Cubs fan Gary Sinise sings 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' during an NLCS Game in 2003.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, celebrates its 100th birthday this week.

Since the ballpark at Addison and Clark Streets played host to the Chicago Federals and the Kansas City Packers 100 years ago, many memories have occurred at the Friendly Confines — unfortunately none was of a Cubs World Series title.

It was first called Weeghman Park, named after owner Charles Weeghman, who built his fortune in an early type of fast-food franchise and was one of the founders of the Federal League in 1914.

When the Federal League folded after 1915, Weeghman purchased the Cubs, who played at West Side Park II, which was where the Cubs played in four World Series, winning two in 1907 and 1908.

Weeghman moved the Cubs about six miles north to Clark and Addison. The park was renamed Cubs Park in 1919 and then Wrigley Field in 1926 after the club was bought by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.

The rest is history … a long, long history.

Happy 100th birthday, Wrigley.

Walking up the grandstand steps for the very first time with my father years ago … seeing the field for the very first time was indescribable. I felt like I discovered Shangri-La. And that view has been permanently envisioned inside my brain. While the Cubs have filled my life with happiness and heartbreak, Wrigley Field has offered me some wonderful experiences, from singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” to enjoying a personalized visit with (a group of friends) and having the whole stadium to ourselves … It was like Santa Clause and Christmas all rolled into one. The love for the ballpark all started that first time I walked up the steps with my father. Happy Birthday to Wrigley. Thanks for the memories.

Happy 100th Birthday to one of my favorite places on earth, the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, as Mr. Cub, the great Ernie Banks, so perfectly nicknamed it. No matter how long I’m away from Chicago, if baseball is in season I am tuning in to WGN and watching a game reliving those early days when I first visited this special place. I can still see Ron Santo clicking his heels and hear Jack Brickhouse ("Hey Hey") and Harry Caray ( A one..a two..a three) as if it was yesterday. Once a Cub fan always a Cub fan as they say, and the beautiful Wrigley Field is a major part of that. Here’s to many more years of baseball at this unique American ballpark that is unlike any other.

You’re driving through a neighborhood and you come to a stop sign and look to your right and lo and behold there’s a major-league ballpark. You park the car and go in and sit in a seat that your Great Great Grandfather sat in and your Great Grandfather sat in and your Grandfather sat in and your Dad sat in and now you’re sitting in. You’ll watch the game of baseball as they also did and for those moments time stands still. Only at Wrigley Field. Happy Birthday Wrigley.

Joe Mantegna at Wrigley before throwing out the first pitch on May 29, 2009.

It’s my pleasure to wish Wrigley Field the happiest of birthdays in this, its 100th year of existence. I’ve been around for over 60 of your birthdays, and the enjoyment you’ve provided me has spanned everything from boyhood adulation to inspiration which prompted me to conceive the play Bleacher Bums which of course is set in “the friendly confines.” Here’s to the next 100.

p.s. My mom turns 99 this year and has been a fan since you were a baby of one!

Seeing Pearl Jam at Wrigley isn’t exactly the memory you’d expect from a ballplayer. But when the lyrics from "Nothing Man’ flowed effortlessly out of Eddie Vedder’s mouth and I realized the proximity of where I stood intoxicated by the rhythm to home plate, where I had faced Kerry Wood, two of my world’s collided and I had to pinch myself. I turned and soaked up the packed house, who’s inhabitants had been drenched by a downpour an hour prior, I shook my head in awe and gratitude. How did I get here? What did I do to deserve this moment? Thank you, Wrigley. — Kapler’s column on Wrigley Field

Quinn was a guest on "Morning Joe," which broadcasts Wednesday morning’s show from the ballpark.

As mentioned above, Joe Scarborough (right), Mika Brzezinski (left) and Willie Geist were on hand to televise their weekday daily talk show. Contributor Thomas Roberts was on hand, too.

 

And an MLB.com video for your pleasure.