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.
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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