Wrigley Field: The Long Life & Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines by Stuart Shea (2014)
Wrigley Field: The Long Life & Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines
by Stuart Shea
The University of Chicago Press, 2014
Numerous books have been released over the past year to commemorate and celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Wrigley Field, and each has its charms. Author Stuart Shea’s rather large 448-page book is a very good overview, focusing more on the park itself than the team that played there, though certain memorable events are recalled. Various playoff games are mentioned, including the one featuring Babe Ruth‘s “called shot,” but the descriptions are brief since Cubs fans really had nothing to celebrate after those playoffs were over.
One of the most interesting sections in the book deals with the installation of the lights in 1988 to allow night games at Wrigley Field. The city fought against lights for years, but Major League Baseball finally threatened to give the 1990 All-Star Game to another city if lights were not installed. Shea discusses some of the major players instrumental to bringing night games to Wrigley, from commissioner Peter Ueberroth to politician Eugene Sawyer to general manager Dallas Green. It’s an interesting look at how long some had been trying to get the lights installed.
For Cubs fans, Wrigley Field: The Long Life & Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines is a great reminder of what makes the ballpark so special, and why the Cubs remain so popular despite all the disappointments over the years.