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Wow! That Park Looks Beautiful Under the Lights

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 9, 2007 6:00PM


Today is a momentous occasion in Chicago Cubs history. It was on this day eighteen nineteen years ago that the Cubs recorded their first official night game at Wrigley Field, beating the New York Mets 6-4 on a national stage; the game was broadcast on NBC with Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola in the booth. Note the use of the word "official." Their first night game was actually scheduled the previous evening against the Philadelphia Phillies, but was called off due to rain after 3-1/2 innings in what some assumed at the time was a show of anger by the baseball gods for such a "blasphemous" act. Watching the games on television from our dorm room in Florida, all we and our roommates kept saying was, "Wow! That park looks beautiful under the lights."

Today, Wrigley Field still stands, although you might not want to look over your heads too long when you're there. Because of their limited number, night games at Wrigley Field are considered an event. Some equate the attendance at night games as a contributing factor to Wrigley Field's reputation as the "world's largest beer garden." That may be true, but it isn't the largest factor. That would be Harry Caray's "Cubs Fan, Bud Man" persona and his endless selling of Wrigley Field as a "paradise."

Here's a bit of information about night games at Wrigley: those night games in '88 weren't the first in the park's history. That honor goes to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which played their 1943 All-Star game using temporary lighting structures.

Photo courtesy of Scott Mutter, American Museum of Photography.