The Cubs recently announced they would install plaques for 56 people in the left-field bleacher concourse as the first “class” in their new Hall of Fame.
Thursday evening, they invited season-ticket holders to preview this area and also view their documentary about the restoration of Wrigley Field titled “Saving Wrigley Field,” shown on the outfield video boards.
I want to say this in all sincerity. There has been criticism of the Ricketts family ownership of the Cubs recently, as they were perceived to have been “cheap” in not giving enough money to re-sign or retain all the players who were traded away this summer. We’ve been over this a lot at this site and in my view, the jury’s still out on spending, since the team can and I hope will spend to put a competitive team on the field in 2022, for reasons I laid out here last Friday.
What cannot be denied is that the Ricketts family spent millions of their own money to renovate and restore Wrigley Field, and it is now a jewel of baseball, with top-notch facilities for both fans and players. For this they deserve our undying thanks. The identity of the Cubs franchise is entwined with its now 107-year-old ballpark and now it is completely restored and ready, hopefully, to give Cubs fans another century, to exist and showcase winning Cubs baseball well past my own lifetime.
And for that I do say, “Thank you, Tom Ricketts.”
The documentary film that we were shown is a bit self-congratulatory, but the history shown and the video of the actual construction work are well worth your time. It runs just under an hour and you can watch it here:
Here are some photos I took of the Hall of Fame area and of the plaques. I didn’t photograph all of them, but this is a representative selection that gives you an idea of how they all look.
The crowd was a lot smaller than I expected; I’d estimate only about 3,000 attended this showing. Everyone who attended got one of these, a metal replica of the iconic Wrigley scoreboard:
Just so you know, yes, I tried to sleuth the date here and... this does not appear to be an actual game day. The clues are “FLORIDA” on the NL side and “LOS ANGELES” on the AL side. The Angels were Anaheim through 2004 and the Marlins became Miami in 2012. So 2005-11 would be the only years both those things could be true and... no game date I found matched all of those.
And that is just part of the lore of the Cubs and Wrigley Field that I’m glad to have been a part of all these years, and thrilled that it continues in the ballpark I love so much.
The Cubs will win again. Soon, I think, and I’m glad Wrigley has been preserved for that.