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Wrigley Field Renovations Early 1920s

By bullpenbrian - February 22, 2013 - 8:00 am Leave a comment.

Wrigley Field | Chicago, Illinois

“Children have sat at the knees of their grandfather and listened to him tell of the time the Cubs were in the World Series. And they have marked it off to just another fantasy by the old gaffer, like the depth of the snow fall in the year of the great blizzard.”
Jack Griffin, Chicago Sun-Times

In 1918 the Cubs stormed their way to the NL pennant.
But little ‘ol Wrigley couldn’t accommodate the growing fan base.
It became evident Wrigley Field needed to expand seating.
William Wrigley came up with an unspeakable plan…
He moved the Cubs’ home World Series games to a larger Comiskey Park!
By 1922 renovations on Wrigley Field were underway.
This included moving the entire field 60 feet southwest.
Later, in 1923, bleacher seats were added behind the outfield wall.
The additions increased Wrigley Field’s seating capacity to 20,000. 


William Veeck, Chicago Cubs President 1919-1933

By bullpenbrian - February 15, 2013 - 8:00 am Leave a comment.

“With Wrigley Field, you get a very elegant and high-quality simplicity, which never got dated.”
-Tim Samuelson, Chicago Historical Society

William Veeck Sr. was originally a sportswriter. He used the pseudonym “Bill Bailey” with the Chicago American to write a series of articles on how to fix the woeful Chicago Cubs. It grabbed the attention of Cubs owner William Wrigley, who then hired Veeck to help run the team in 1918. By season’s end the Cubs were in the World Series, losing to Boston, and Veeck was promoted to the team president.

Veeck always stayed ahead of his time in professional baseball; promoting his idea for a Mid-Summer Classic and pushing for inter-league play. He was masterful at bucking traditional baseball operations, such as hiring Joe McCarthy, a career minor leaguer, to manage the Cubs. McCarthy was instrumental in leading Chicago to the 1929 World Series, which, in typical Cubs fashion, they lost to Philadelphia.

Veeck remained team president until his death in 1933, with the Cubs having won three pennants under his watch: 1918, 1929, 1932. His son Bill Veeck carried on the family tradition becoming a colorful owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.



When William Wrigley Jr. Bought The Cubs

By bullpenbrian - February 8, 2013 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

 “I can sell pianos to armless men in Borneo.”-William Wrigley Jr.

William Wrigley Jr. was expelled from school in Philadelphia at age 12. 
He then left home, moved to New York City and sold newspapers.

Later he headed to Chicago and landed in the chewing gum business. 
In 1915 he partnered with Charlie Weeghman to buy the Cubs. 
William kept a real bear named ‘Joa’ at Wrigley Field for part of the 1915 season.

By 1920 Weeghman sold his stock in the Cubs to Wrigley Jr., who became the majority owner. He died at the age of 70 in 1932 leaving the Cubs to his son Philip K. Wrigley.


When Wrigley Field Was Weeghman Park

By bullpenbrian - February 1, 2013 - 9:00 am Leave a comment.

A series of posts dedicated to learning more about our favorite ballpark, Wrigley Field.

“The real Cubs fans are on the West Side. Moving the team’s base to the North Side is a bad idea.” -Charles Murphy, former Cubs president, criticizing the 1916 move to Clark & Addison from the West Side Grounds.

Cubs owner, Charles Weeghman, had the idea to build a ballpark at Clark, Addison, Waveland & Sheffield in 1914.
The park was built quickly–in seven weeks!
It took 490 workers and four acres of bluegrass.
The cost? $250,000.
Seating capacity – 14,000.
The field was deemed ready for baseball just four days before Opening Day.
At the time, the Cubs were in the Federal League, and known as the Chi-Feds.
After nine home runs were hit in the opening three-games series, the outfield wall was moved back 25 feet in left and nearly 50 feet in left center.
The park was originally called Weeghman Park.


Getting To Know Wrigley Field

By bullpenbrian - January 25, 2013 - 8:00 am Leave a comment.

A series of posts dedicated to learning more about our favorite ballpark, Wrigley Field.

“To me there’s always been something special about Wrigley Field. I refer to the ballpark as the dowager queen of the National League. I refer to the lights as a lady in black in evening, wearing pearls. Every time I come to this ballpark, I seem to feel and see another image, and, above all, the enthusiasm of the crowd. It’s just a very special place.” -Vin Scully

-Wrigley Field was the first ballpark to allow fans to keep foul balls.
-The first to build a permanent concession stand.
-Was the lone ballpark to refuse night games for 40 years.
-There’s still no Jumbo Tron, of course.
-There’s still no Cubs mascot.
-Thankfully, there’s still organ music for batter introduction.


My Interview With ‘The Predictor’

By bullpenbrian - April 3, 2012 - 11:15 am Leave a comment.

Tom Ricketts found David James “fascinating.”

How does James, a professional and very successful sports prognosticator, work his magic? And how did James size up the Cubs’ chances before the 2011 season?

As usual, James was spot-on during his happen-stance meeting with Ricketts at the 2011 owner’s meeting at Camelback Ranch.

He assured the Cubs newly minted owner that his team, hampered by albatross contracts and underperforming stars, was heading in the wrong direction, destined for a spot near the basement of the NL standings.

A disappointing 91-loss season confirmed James’ prediction.

Of course, any Cubs fan could predict last year’s team wasn’t in line for greatness, but James doesn’t make his name stating the obvious.

I recently interviewed James about his success predicting both the potential success and failures of professional athletes. What is his method, and what’s in store for the Cubs in 2012?

James’ answer to his method wasn’t what I expected–that being some secret formula of statistical calculations. Rather, James focuses his attention on a player’s “it factor.”

So what exactly does that mean?


Figuring Out Randy Wells

By bullpenbrian - March 28, 2012 - 2:47 pm Leave a comment.

*This post was updated on March 29

Randy Wells is starting the season at Triple-A Iowa. It’s certainly not where Randy expected to be, or where the Cubs wanted him to be.

But it’s not surprising the topsy-turvy career of the 29-year-old right-hander has come down to a minor league demotion.

Wells’ inconsistency has always made it troubling to size-up his development and potential on the mound.


Soriano Not Far From Leading Off

By bullpenbrian - March 27, 2012 - 12:53 pm Leave a comment.

Don’t be surprised if Alfonso Soriano ends up in the leadoff spot this season.

It won’t happen anytime soon, or necessarily come as a permanent change, but dire circumstances could place Soriano atop the Cubs order once again.


Cubs Home Opener In 10 Days!

By bullpenbrian - March 26, 2012 - 1:41 am Leave a comment.

Countdown 10

Cubs Opening Day is just 10 days away!

In honor of this countdown let’s take a look at the men in blue who wore No.10 for the Cubs–in addition to the great Ron Santo!

-Al Todd (1940)

-Bob Scheffing (1946-50)
-El Tappe (1958-59)
*Ron Santo (1960-73)
-Dave Kingman (1978-80)
-Leon Durham (1981-88)
-Lloyd McClendon (1989-90)

-Bruce Kimm (2002)

-The Cubs fittingly retired Ron’s No.10 in 2003.


Dempster Right Choice For Opening Day

By bullpenbrian - March 22, 2012 - 4:00 pm Leave a comment.

Even if Dale Sveum isn’t saying it, the Cubs Opening Day start was Ryan Dempster’s to lose.

That’s the only way to explain Sveum’s ‘open’ competition for the rotation’s No.1 spot between Dempster and Matt Garza.

Otherwise, Sveum has a no-brainer decision selecting Garza, a 28-year-old stud who was the Cubs best starter in 2011, vs. the soon to be 35-year-old Dempster coming off a career-worse 14-loss season.


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