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  #1  
Old Aug 21st 2007, 7:34 am
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ryno4ever ryno4ever is offline
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Lightbulb Something fun to do.

Here's an idea that may benefit us all here at fogpog. I had a thread started in the bleachers where I talked about how important the history is to the Chicago Cubs. There is so much history...about the team, Wrigley Field, the scoreboard, the players, the games, the curses, the music, the broadcasters. that there could literally be a college course designed to teach about it all.

I think it would be awesome if everyone on here could pick some historical part of the team...a game, a player, anything that pertains to the team, do a little "research" and post your findings here. Pick a player, a broadcaster, a particular game, an aspect of Wrigley, Wrigley itself. I love learning about the Cubs history and can't get enough of it. How wonderful it would be if we all took part in trying to get as much of the history here on fogpog for all fans to read, enjoy and learn about! Warning: You may find this task to be highly addicting!
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  #2  
Old Aug 21st 2007, 8:23 am
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Let there be light!

Monday, August 8, 1988. The Cubs took on the Philadelpia Phillies in one of the most historical dates in Wrigley Field history. This was the date in which the only ballpark left in Major League Baseball that didn't play home night games due to the lack of lights came into the modern day by playing their very first night game, ever.

The Cubs almost had lights long before this historical night. In December of 1941 The Cubs had the steel to make the towers for lights at Wrigley and the lights were ordered. Then WWII happened. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Cubs cancelled the order for the lights and donated the steel to the war efforts. Thus, day baseball continued in Chicago on the North Side.

It wasn't until the Tribune Company took bought the Cubs from PK Wrigley's family in 1981 that the lighting issue came up for serious discussion. GM Dallas Green had it on his agenda to be sure lights shined down upon Wrigley Field during his tenure, but many ofthe citizens of Wrigleyville and Chicago took strong opposition to the idea. Movements started within the community to pass city and state laws trying to ban night games at Wrigley Field. In 1982 a state law passed in favor of the opposition called the "nois pollution" act. However, Rep. John F. Dunn (pro-lights) said "Noise pollution at Wrigley can't be much of a problem. There's nothing to cheer about!". In 1983 a city ordinance passed allowing the Cubs to install lights, however, they had to be shut off by 8pm.

In 1984, the Cubs made the playoffs. The lights and night games were no longer a concern for just the locals in Wrigleyville, but for networks and broadcasting, as they were against broadcasting postseason games during the day.

In 1985, MLB Commissioner Peter Uebberoth sent the Cubs a letter telling them that any future playoff games may have to be played somewhere other than Wrigley Field, and perhaps other than Chicago, if they didn't install lights.

The Cubs acted immediately and filed a suit against both the city and state laws because the laws were applied only to Wrigley Field. They lost the Cook County Circuit Court case. The judge, Richard L Curry, was trying to be funny when giving his examination of the "facts" and accused the Cubs of bad "scouting":
Quote:
"Everyone around the courthouse is familiar with 'Justice'- with her robes flowing, her blindfold and her scales. What the Cubs' 'book' on her failed to note is that she is a southpaw. Justice is a southpaw and the Cubs don't hit lefties!!!"
So, the Cubs, not really lauging at the judge's ruling, brought up the possibility then of building a new stadium in the suburbs. This triggered panic in the Mayor Harold Washington, who all of a sudden became a supporter in lights at Wrigley. Washington died suddenly in 1987, and his successor Eugene Sawyer, told the Cubs to go ahead with the lights, but they could only have 18 games and the alcohol cut off time was 9:20pm. They also prohibited fan parking in the neighborhood streets. All legal bans, city and state, were lifted for the Cubs and the lights were erected.

The big "night": August 8, 1988 (8/8/88) the lights were to be turned on in a big ceremony on the field. A lottery was held and 1.5 million fans took part to try to get one of the 13,000 tickets.

On the field. 92 year old fan, Harry Grossman, stood by homeplate with a big "switch" (which wasn't the actual switch, but was used for effect). Right before he pushed the button, he yelled into the microphone "LET...THERE...BE...LIGHTS!" And the night game era began at Wrigley Field.

Ernie Banks and Billy Williams threw out the first pitches of the game, right before Rick Sutcliffe took the mound against the Phillies, who had this to say:

Quote:
"It's like sunshine and Wrigley are saying goodbye to each other."
The first batter to take a pitch under the lights was the Phillies Phil Bradley. As the first pitch was thrown, in front of a sellout crowd of 39,008, flashbulbs lit up the stands more than the lights did. Bradley took Sutcliffe's fourth pitch under the lights, and hit the first home run under the lights.

The bottom of the first inning was full of excitement as well as Mitch Webster singled and Ryne Sandberg was up to bat. Out of the rightfield stands popped a woman racing for the batter's box. She couldn't make it past the security guards to Sandberg, but she got to him anyway. Ryno's homer gave Chicago a 2-1 lead.

Just a couple innings later, Mother Nature gave her "light on the subject" of night baseball in Chicago as lightening struck all around and the floodgates opened as rain poured out of the Heaven's. Steve Stone said
Quote:
"I remember doing a 2-hour and 45-minute reain delay in a tuxedo when it was a thousand degrees."
The game was eventually called and since it was only the third inning, it was not an official game.

The first "official" night game came the next night, August 9, 1988, when the Cubs beat the Met's 6-4...and the rest is history.....
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  #3  
Old Aug 21st 2007, 9:10 pm
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Wrigley Field

I just bought a book with all the ballparks (upto 2003) It has a section on every ballpark and I thought it would be good to share the section out of it here.




Wrigley Field is what every baseball park wants to be. Simple, intimate, handsome, and distinct, cities and team owners around the country have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, hired architects, engineers, and historians, all hoping to recreate what has existed on Chicago’s North side for nearly a century.

Built on the grounds of a seminary in 1914, the park opened as Weeghman Park, home to the Chicago Federals (also known as the Whales) in the soon-to-be defunct Federal League. Two years later it was Cubs Park, when the National League team moved in, and then Wrigley Field when the chewing gum magnate took control of the team a decade later.

Change marked Wrigley’s early years. Second deck was added in 1927. The signature bleachers and 27-foot high scoreboard were built in 1937. That same year, Bill Veeck planted hundreds of Boston Ivy plants along the outfield brick wall. A Clock was added atop the scoreboard four years later. Since then, time has essentially stood still inside the “friendly confines” which Hack Wilson, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, and Sammy Sosa have all called home.

Take a look at a picture of Wrigley in the early 1940’s and another from today. The top hats and black jackets have been replaced by bright blue Cubbie caps and t-shirts and the high rises beyond center field have grown taller, but little else has changed. There were no billboards inside the park then, and there are none today. The scoreboard is still hand-operated (and not large enough to accommodate every out-of-town game since the major leagues expanded.) After each Cub victory, a white flag with a blue W is raised high above the scoreboard, a white L on a blue flag indicates a loss, A system originally created to let Wrigley’s neighbors keep track of their team long before the advent of sports tickers or ESPN.

Chicago baseball in the 21st century is much as it was prior to World War II, providing an incredible link to another era and one that ballparks from Baltimore to Seattle have tried to capture for themselves.

Wrigley Field, as the second oldest major league park after Fenway, is the birthplace of many baseball traditions. It was the first place that allowed fans to keep balls hit into the stands. The first concession stands were built in the park’s opening year, after patrons complained that roaming vendors were blocking their view. In, 1941, the Cubs became the first team to play organ music in its ballpark. It is here that Harry Caray, leaning outside his broadcast booth with microphone in hand and beer poorly oncealed behind the window, made famous the tradition of signing Take Me Out To The Ballgame during the seventh inning stretch which is now imitated wherever baseball is played at any level.

Until 1988, Wrigley’s most distinctive feature was its lack of lights. Team owners were ready to install them in time for the 1942 season when the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor. The day after the attack, team owner P.K. Wrigley donated the equipment to the War Department. Lights were finally erected in 1988 after league officials threatened to hold Cubs postseason games at the home of the rival Cardinals in St. Louis. Wrigley’s first night game, in what some saw as an omen, was suspended in the fourth inning after a torrential downpour. The first official game was played the following night when the Cubs beat the Mets 6 to 4.

After thousands of games, no baseball has yet hit the center-field scoreboard, though a towering home run hit onto Sheffield Avenue by Bill Nicholson in 1948, and another and another one hit onto Waveland Avenue in 1959 by Roberto Clemente, barely missed. Sam Snead reached the scoreboard with a golf ball, prior to a game in 1951.

Cubs fans are familiar with many smaller changes over the years. Luxury boxes have been added to bring in revenue, and in 1970a basket was installed along the bleachers to keep fans from interfering with balls. Seats have been erected on the rooftops along Waveland and Sheffield Avenue, where more casual viewing was once tradition.

Yet Wrigley baseball looks much the same today as it did when Zip Zabel came in to pitch 18 innings in relief over Brooklyn in 1915, when Stan Musial collected his 3,000 hit, when Ernie Banks hit his 512th and final home run, when Fergie Jenkins pitched his 3,000 strikeout, and when Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb with hit No. 4191.

For all Wrigley has witnessed, it has never seen a Cubs World Series celebration. As one of the leagues most dominant teams in the first half of the 20th century, the Cubs brought the World Series to Wrigley six times between 1918 and 1945, losing each time.
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 10:47 pm
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Awesome! Thanks Sheff!
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 10:57 pm
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Makes me want to make another trip to Wrigley. I almost had an opportunity yesterday (Monday), but I didn't commit fast enough to take an offer for a ticket to that game.
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 11:20 pm
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A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request

Every Cub fan alive knows the words and tune to Go Cubs Go! But, the man who wrote the song, Steve Goodman, who was literally a Die Hard Cubs Fan, also had another popular tune in the 80's about his beloved Cubbies!

Quote:
By the shore's of old Lake Michigan
Where the "hawk wind" blows so cold
An old Cub fan lay dying
In his midnight hour that tolled
Round his bed, his friends had all gathered
They knew his time was short
And on his head they put this bright blue cap
From his all-time favorite sport
He told them, "Its late and its getting dark in here"
And I know its time to go
But before I leave the line-up
Boys, there's just one thing I'd like to know

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League

Told his friends "You know the law of averages says:
Anything will happen that can"
That's what it says
"But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan"
The Cubs made me a criminal
Sent me down a wayward path
They stole my youth from me
(that's the truth)
I'd forsake my teachers
To go sit in the bleachers
In flagrant truancy

and then one thing led to another
and soon I'd discovered alcohol, gambling, dope
football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis
But what do you expect,
When you raise up a young boy's hopes
And then just crush 'em like so many paper beer cups.

Year after year after year
after year, after year, after year, after year, after year
'Til those hopes are just so much popcorn
for the pigeons beneath the 'L' tracks to eat
He said, "You know I'll never see Wrigley Field, anymore before my eternal rest
So if you have your pencils and your score cards ready,
and I'll read you my last request
He said, "Give me a double header funeral in Wrigley Field
On some sunny weekend day (no lights)
Have the organ play the "National Anthem"
and then a little 'na, na, na, na, hey hey, hey, Goodbye'
Make six bullpen pitchers, carry my coffin
and six ground keepers clear my path
Have the umpires bark me out at every base
In all their holy wrath
Its a beautiful day for a funeral, Hey Ernie lets play two!
Somebody go get Jack Brickhouse to come back,
and conduct just one more interview
Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,
Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly
Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt
And I'll be ready to die

Build a big fire on home plate out of your Louisville Sluggers baseball bats,
And toss my coffin in
Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow
From the prevailing 30 mile an hour southwest wind
When my last remains go flying over the left-field wall
Will bid the bleacher bums ad?eu
And I will come to my final resting place, out on Waveland Avenue

The dying man's friends told him to cut it out
They said stop it that's an awful shame
He whispered, "Don't Cry, we'll meet by and by near the Heavenly Hall of Fame
He said, "I've got season's tickets to watch the Angels now,
So its just what I'm going to do
He said, "but you the living, you're stuck here with the Cubs,
So its me that feels sorry for you!"

And he said, "Ahh Play, play that lonesome losers tune,
That's the one I like the best"
And he closed his eyes, and slipped away
What we got is the Dying Cub Fan's Last Request
And here it is

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League

The song debuted on Roy Leonard's WGN radio show the day. Here is Leonard's recollection of that day,
Quote:
"The most memorable of all the visits, however, occurred on March 16, 1983, when Steve (Goodman) and Jethro Burns walked into our WGN studios around 11:00 a.m. They had just finished a weekend at Park West and Steve said he had a introduced a song the night before that he would like to sing on the radio for the first time. With Jethro on mandolin and Steve's guitar for accompaniment, A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request was heard on the radio the first time. Little did we know."
Steve Goodman was born on July 25th, 1948. He was born and raised on the North Side of the Windy City until he was a teenager. Even as a teen, he began to write and perform his songs. He graduated from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois in 1965. In 1968 Goodman began performing at the Earl of Old Town in Chicago and began to make a name for himself. By 1969, after a brief sojourn in New York City's Washington Square, Goodman was a regular performer in Chicago, while attending Lake Forest College. During this time Goodman supported himself by singing advertising jingles.

It was also in early 1969 that Goodman was diagnosed with leukemia, the disease that would be present during the entirety of his recording career, until his death in 1984. In September of 1969 he met Nancy Pruter, who was attending college while supporting herself as a waitress. They were married in February, 1970. Though he experienced periods of remission, Goodman never felt that he was living on anything other than borrowed time, and some critics, listeners and friends have said that his music reflects this sentiment.

Although he is more nationally known for his folk music, such as the song "City of New Orleans", Goodman wrote and performed many humorous songs about Chicago, including two about the Chicago Cubs: "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" and "Go, Cubs, Go" (which has frequently been played on Cubs' broadcasts and at Wrigley Field after Cubs wins.) The Cubs songs grew out of his fanatical devotion to the team, which included many clubhouse and on-field visits with Cub players. Other songs about Chicago included "The Lincoln Park Pirates", about the notorious Lincoln Towing Company, and "Daley's Gone", about Mayor Richard J. Daley. Another comic highlight is "Vegematic", about a man who falls asleep while watching late-night TV and dreams he ordered many products that he saw on infomercials. He could also write serious songs, most notably "My Old Man", a tribute to Goodman's father, Bud Goodman, a used car salesman and World War II veteran.

Goodman won his second Grammy, for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1988 for his album, Unfinished Business.

On September 20th, 1984, Steve finally gave into the disease in which he lived with for so many years, leukemia. He was only 36. Eleven days later, the Chicago Cubs played their first post-season game since 1945; Goodman had been asked to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before it; Jimmy Buffett filled in, and dedicated the song to Goodman. Some of Goodman's ashes were scattered at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. He left behind a wife, three daughters, and millions of fans who still sing his words after every Cubs win at Wrigley Field!
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 11:27 pm
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I love this thread. This ones for you Heather.


I want to bring up a famous Cub of the late 70s, early 80s era. In 1977, the Cubs made a trade with the Dodgers- we sent Rick Monday and a minor leaguer to them for Bill Buckner and Ivan Dejusus. We all know about poor Billy Buckner, who was an outstanding hitter, but its the other guy in the trade that makes this story- Ivan Dejusus. Who is he, some may ask? Dejusus was a very good SS at this time. Back then shortstops were really just glove men, but not this one. Dejusus could not only field but also hit and steal bases. Some of the younger people may not know this but back then if you hit .265 or better you were considered pretty darn good. Dejusus played fromm 77- 81 with the Cubbies. He hit for averages - .266, .278, and .283 over that period. He also stoled 40 or more bases twice for the Cubs. In 1981, he was injured and limited to only 106 games. He hit .194 for the season.

In the offseason of that year the Phillies were looking to make another world title run, but they felt they needed to be younger at SS and have a better bat there. On January 27, 1982- the Cubs traded the Great Dejusus for an old supposedly washed up SS in Larry Bowa and some gangly looking third basemen named Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg of course was eventually moved to second base and he is now in Cooperstown.
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 11:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKIPPER 11 View Post
I love this thread. This ones for you Heather.


I want to bring up a famous Cub of the late 70s, early 80s era. In 1977, the Cubs made a trade with the Dodgers- we sent Rick Monday and a minor leaguer to them for Bill Buckner and Ivan Dejusus. We all know about poor Billy Buckner, who was an outstanding hitter, but its the other guy in the trade that makes this story- Ivan Dejusus. Who is he, some may ask? Dejusus was a very good SS at this time. Back then shortstops were really just glove men, but not this one. Dejusus could not only field but also hit and steal bases. Some of the younger people may not know this but back then if you hit .265 or better you were considered pretty darn good. Dejusus played fromm 77- 81 with the Cubbies. He hit for averages - .266, .278, and .283 over that period. He also stoled 40 or more bases twice for the Cubs. In 1981, he was injured and limited to only 106 games. He hit .194 for the season.

In the offseason of that year the Phillies were looking to make another world title run, but they felt they needed to be younger at SS and have a better bat there. On January 27, 1982- the Cubs traded the Great Dejusus for an old supposedly washed up SS in Larry Bowa and some gangly looking third basemen named Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg of course was eventually moved to second base and he is now in Cooperstown.
And a side note for this one... Ivan DeJesus is now back with the Cubs as the Special Assistant to the manager! I was very young back then, but these Cubs bring some of the earliest memories I have of the team (as my mom LOVED Bill Buckner!) Thanks Skip!
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 11:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryno4ever View Post
And a side note for this one... Ivan DeJesus is now back with the Cubs as the Special Assistant to the manager! I was very young back then, but these Cubs bring some of the earliest memories I have of the team (as my mom LOVED Bill Buckner!) Thanks Skip!
I did not know that about Dejusus. Yes, I barely remember Buckner with the Cubs. I was 12 then. Thank you Cable television
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Old Aug 21st 2007, 11:47 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKIPPER 11 View Post
I did not know that about Dejusus. Yes, I barely remember Buckner with the Cubs. I was 12 then. Thank you Cable television

from Cubs.com:


Quote:
Bio:
Ivan DeJesus returns to the Cubs as special assistant to Lou Piniella after playing for the team from 1977-1981 as their starting shortstop. He comes to the team after spending last season as manager for Greenville (Rookie) in the Houston Astros organization. He managed in the Astros farm system for the last six seasons. DeJesus has 32 years of experience in professional baseball, including the last 17 seasons as a minor league manager or coach. He played in two World Series, reaching the event with the 1983 Philadelphia Phillies and 1985 St. Louis Cardinals.

Coaching Career:
DeJesus has been a minor league manager or coach with the Dodgers (1990-1991), Seattle (1992-1993) and Houston (1994-2006). He was named the 2005 Carolina League Manager of the Year after leading Single-A Salem within one game of the playoffs.

Before coaching Lexington (A) in 2004, he spent the previous two seasons managing Single-A Tri-City, in which he guided the 2003 VallyCats to a 42-32 overall record and finished in second place of the New York-Penn League's Stedler Division. He was neamed the Astros 2003 Player Development Man of the Year for his efforts.

In his first year as a manager in the Houston system, DeJesus led the 2001 Pittsfield Astros to a 45-30 mark and within 2 1/2 games of a wild-card playoff spot in the New York-Penn League. He has been both a coach with Single-A Kissimmee (1994-1997, 2000) and the Astros minor league infield and baserunning coordinator (1998-1999).

DeJesus also managed in the Los Angeles Dodgers (1990-1991) and Seattle (1992) minor league systems. He led the 1990 Dodgers (Rookie) to the Gulf Coast League title and also served as a coach for the Mariners Double-A Jacksonville affiliate in 1993.

Playing Career:
DeJesus broke into the Majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1974-1976. He played for the Cubs from 1977-1981. After the 1981 season, Chicago traded the right-handed batter to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa.
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