A Day In Wrigley Field History: January 20, 1960

Courtesy Mike Bojanowski

The team on the field wasn't very good in 1960, but the ballpark was much improved.

One of the complaints about Wrigley Field in its current state is that the Cubs' clubhouse and other player facilities are antiquated. There's no doubt that's correct, and the team is planning on addressing this whenever they eventually get started with their renovation project.

Almost 54 years ago, the same complaints were being made about Wrigley Field facilities, and the Cubs spent a considerable amount of money to fix things up, according to the Tribune:

The Chicago Cubs may enjoy themselves more inside the Wrigley field clubhouse this year than on the diamond.

They will luxuriate in a new two-level, seven-room clubhouse, part of a remodeling and restoration program of the old structure, which already has cost in excess of $500,000.

The inflation calculator says that $500,000 in 1960 is about $3.9 million today, not an insignificant sum to spend on clubhouse facilities. The article continues:

Announcement was also made Wednesday that the cramped quarters for the visiting team will be enlarged, but remain in the same area inside the park on the third base side.

This must have been changed later in the 1960s, because by 1970 the visitors' clubhouse was on the upper level, behind the first-base dugout, where it remains today.

The Cubs' plush new quarters, which will include a lounge and a spacious office for Manager Charlie Grimm, will be constructed beneath the stands in left field, with entrance at street level. 

Grimm's office, the players' lounge, and a projection room for meetings and showing of baseball movies, will be on the upper level. The floor will have a locker room, trainers' room, shower room and rubdown room. 

Several years ago, the Cubs built quarters for the umpires, underneath the stands, back of the third base dugout.

The Players' association, at their meeting last month in Miami Beach, listed the Cubs' clubhouse for the visiting teams among those in the majors that were inadequate.

That last paragraph could have been written in the last few years, too. The umpires' room was moved to the first-base side later, and the left-field clubhouse is the one the players had to walk across the field to get to after games -- there was no way to get to it through the dugout. All of that was changed in 1984, when the current clubhouse was built after similar complaints about inadequate facilities.

It wasn't just player facilities that were fixed up in 1960, as reported in an April Tribune article:

Wrigley patrons will appreciate a large portion of the winter workmanship, too. A full 28 percent of the grandstand has been replaced, and there is a new backstop without poles, designed for better vision behind home plate. A new entrance at Clark and Addison streets has been constructed with new ticket booths, and a modern facade still is under construction.

As we enter 2014, that 1984 clubhouse is still Cubs players' home away from home, and obviously, it needs to be changed. Once the Cubs begin their restoration project -- interesting that they used the same word, "restoration", in 1960 -- it will be.

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