The Cubs return home for a 10-game homestand beginning Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. The team’s throwback uniform, promotional giveaways, specialty food and beverage offerings and entertainment will mirror the sights and sounds of the 1950s at Wrigley Field as part of the season-long celebration of the ballpark’s 100th birthday.
On Sunday, June 22, the Cubs will wear a throwback uniform from 1953 to honor Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks. Ernie made his major-league debut Sept. 17, 1953 (and check out the score of that game!) against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field. The 1953 uniform is the last of the zipper-front retro uniforms the team will wear this season. The visiting Pirates will also wear a retro uniform from 1953. The Cubs' 1953 uniform is basically identical to the 1948 version the Cubs wore in a throwback game June 12, 2008, a game they won in a walkoff when Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 12th inning. Here's what the Cubs looked like that day, with a throwback uni that had buttons instead of the zipper:
Mark DeRosa bats in a 1948 throwback uniform on June 12, 2008 (MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Here are images of the 1953 throwback uniform, very similar to the 1948 version shown above (you can click on any of the images in this post for a larger version in a new browser window or tab):
As has been the case throughout this season, the first Friday of the homestand will feature a bobblehead giveaway, the Ernie Banks bobblehead shown at the top of this post. Here's a clickable version of the same image:
Ernie will also lead the seventh-inning stretch during Friday's game. Other giveaways during the homestand include a Cubs T-shirt (first 10,000 fans Saturday, June 21), a Wrigley 100 tote bag (first 20,000 Friday, June 27) and a '50s Throwback Cubs Mr. Potato Head® Keychain for the first 5,000 kids, Sunday, June 22:
Other noteworthy stretch singers during this homestand: Sting, who played a concert at Wrigley Field with The Police in 2007 (Monday, June 23) and former Cubs outfielder George Altman (Saturday, June 28, first game).
Of course you're wondering what Decade Dog BCB's Danny Rockett will be reviewing for you this homestand! It's called the "1950s TV Dinner Dog," which is a Vienna Beef hot dog topped with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.
Adults 21-and-over can enjoy a Mr. Cub No. 14 Cocktail, served in limited-edition souvenir glasses on the main concourse at section 109 and the bleacher patio in left field. This Cubbie Blue (not "Bleed Cubbie Blue," I should point out) cocktail features Smirnoff Vodka, Blue Curacao and lemonade, served with a slice of lemon and a cherry:
Finally, Wrigley Field in Chicago wasn’t the only Wrigley Field in operation during the 1950s. The team played some spring-training games at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles through 1951, when the franchise moved its spring home from Santa Catalina Island in California to Rendezvous Park in Mesa, Arizona. The team’s programs at both ballparks featured cover designs by artist Otis Shepard, as Wrigley Field in Los Angeles was home to the Cubs' top farm team in that era, the minor-league Angels. Season-ticket holders have a nod to the Cubs’ final years at Wrigley Field Los Angeles on their ticket designs for the June 21 and 22 games. Here's what those tickets look like (again, click on the images to open larger versions in new browser windows or tabs):