Cubs Home Opener: Wrigley Field begins 100th season

Play ball! Chicago's historic Wrigley Field is open for the season and celebrating its 100th year.
April 4, 2014 2:43:03 PM PDT
Play ball! Chicago's historic Wrigley Field is open for the season and celebrating its 100th year.

The Chicago Cubs took on the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2014 home opener Friday afternoon.

The overcast, chilly weather didn't dampen the spirits of Cubs fans like Bubba Huskey. It's the Tennessee native's first Cubs home opener.

"This is the last thing on my bucket list. I am a young man and I've done everything I plan to do in my life, watch a game at Wrigley Field is the last thing on my list," Bubba Huskey, Cubs fan, said.

Huskey and other Cubs faithful dressed warm, for it was anything but baseball weather. And there was plenty of elbow room in the bleachers.

"Yeah, well, they'll show up," Armando DeLuna said of fans. "They'll fill it in. When summer gets here."

As the soggy, blue trap uncovered the field at the Friendly Confines, Cubs fans have high hopes for this season.

"There's a certain magic in the air. A certain electricity. The feeling of hope that this is going to be our year," Eric Renteria said.

"Waiting for Theo to show us what he's got. He did wonderful things with the Red Sox. Looking forward to a lot of success with the Cubs, too," Matt Law, Cubs fan, said.

He may now be coaching the Phillies, but former Chicago Cubs player Ryne Sandberg got a warm welcome at Wrigley.

"Wrigley Field's a special place to me and my career, so going back there, and to go back in this capacity, I'm very anxious and excited about that," Sandberg said.

"I was kind of wishing he had on a manager's uniform the color of the Chicago Cubs, but as Cubs fans we can't get everything going for us," Matt Kwiatkowski said.

Sandberg started in the majors with Phillies in 1981, but was traded to Chicago, where he played 15 seasons for the Cubs.

Wrigley Field hits 100 years

As Wrigley Field celebrates 100 years of sports with throwback jerseys and Babe Ruth bobbleheads, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts spoke about moving ahead with renovations at the aging ballpark.

"Most teams are owned by dozens of investors," Ricketts said. "It's unusual for anyone to own 95 percent of a team. So we're going to look at whether or not that fits for us. But it is non-controlling, minority shares."

Wrigley Field has a lot of history, but very few modern amenities. Rickets is working on a privately-funded $500 million renovation that includes nearby hotels and upgrades at the park. At issue: a 650-square-foot Jumbotron and sign some Wrigleyville rooftops protest because they say it would block their views. Rooftop owners have a contract with the Cubs.

"The key is to just keep moving forward and keep talking," Ricketts said before the Cubs' home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, "and I expect that something will work for us. We'll figure it out."


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