Construction taking place at Federal League ballpark Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1914. From the Chicago Daily News collection.
Construction taking place at Federal League ballpark Weeghman Park in Chicago, 1914. From the Chicago Daily News collection.Chicago History Museum—Getty Images
Construction taking place at Federal League ballpark Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1914. From the Chicago Daily News collection.
Chicago Whales Baseball Team At Weeghman Park in 1914
Flag-Raising Ceremony At Weeghman Park in 1914
Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson throwing first pitch at a Chicago Whales baseball game at Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1915.
Baseball Fans At Weeghman Park On Opening Day
National League's Chicago Cubs baseball player Heinie Zimmerman standing in front of a floral arch at Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1916.
Chicago Cubs Player Bill Wortman At Weeghman Park in 1916
Chicago Cubs baseball players Merkle, Zeider, Charles Hollocher, and Deal standing in front of a dugout at Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1918.
Chicago Cubs Player Newkirk in 1920
Chicago Cubs baseball player Alexander, co-owner William Wrigley Jr, and manager Bill Killefer standing behind a batting practice backstop on the field at Weeghman Park, located at 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1922.
Crowds waiting in lines outside Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1923. Weeghman Park was renamed Wrigley FIeld in 1927. From the Chicago Daily News collection.
Construction taking place at Federal League ballpark Weeghman Park in Chicago, 1914. From the Chicago Daily News collect
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Chicago History Museum—Getty Images
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See Early Photos of Wrigley Field Before it Was Wrigley Field

Apr 20, 2016

Few sports teams are as closely associated with their home as the Chicago Cubs are with Wrigley Field, which means Wednesday is a big day for fans: it was precisely 100 years ago—on April 20, 1916—that the Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park, which later acquired the name it bears today.

Both the park and the team are older than 100, however. The Cubs can trace their lineage all the way back to the earliest days of professional baseball, and have gone by their current moniker since 1907. The ballpark, meanwhile, opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park, home of the Chicago Federals. These photos trace Weeghman Park's evolution into the famous Wrigley Field, from construction to the arrival of the Cubs to the team's purchase by William Wrigley Jr.

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As explained by Les Krantz's Wrigley Field: The Centennial, the Federals played in the fledgling Federal League, a competitor of the established National League, and were owned by businessman and restaurateur Charles Weeghman. After only two years, however, the Federal League fell apart, leaving Weeghman with an empty park (on which he'd spent a quarter of a million dollars) and a successful neighboring National League team that belonged to absentee owners who were willing to sell. Weeghman bought the Cubs franchise and moved them to his own park.

In 1918, he sold the team to William Wrigley Jr., who named the park after himself in 1926.

Read a 1929 cover story about the Chicago Cubs and William Wrigley Jr., here in the TIME Vault: World Series

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