Baseball field walls have been adorned with catchy slogans and
advertising posters, practically since they started building them.
With the bigger stadiums, local news and television stations, major
automobile and other products have been featured and promoting,
along with paying money for the advertising. It is nice to be reminded
of Indianapolis’ being one of the first stadiums to display naturally
growing ivy at Perry Field. It sure would ‘cushion’ someone jumping
into the wall, to catch a long distance ball!
The Perry Field ivy is what inspired William Wrigley to decide to
decorate his new Wrigley Field, reaching its 100th anniversary this
year. A great book, written by George F. Will, better known for his
essays on politics was published in March, 2014. Its title is:
“A Nice Little Place on the North Side.” (Crown Archetype, a division
of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.)
The background story about Wrigley Field was they invested an extra
$200,000 to help make the bleachers reflect nature, along with the
idea of having the ivy walls. At the onset of building, they inserted
big cement tree boxes at the ends of the rows, where plans were made
to plant trees in each of these. Once they completed the stadium,
thy tried this, which sounded like a gorgeous natural setting,
with possible shade for some spectators, too. Unfortunately, the
trees were not able to survive. Gusts of wind off Lake Michigan,
repeatedly stripped the bark and leaves off the trees.
In the book, this simple description also shows Cubs’ owner,
William Wrigley’s frustration at the devastation:
“A week after we were finished, the bleachers looked like the
Russian Steppes during a hard, cold winter. Nothing but cement
George F. Will’s explanation:
“The forestation of the Wrigley Field bleachers was abandoned.”
The Boston Ivy was supposed to be planted and growing, when a call
was made to the ones in charge of this duty. They were only given
one day, so once agriculturalists were consulted, they chose to
plant a fast growing plant named, “Bittersweet.” It grew quickly
with lights strung along the wall. The ‘effect’ of green was able
to satisfy visiting guests to view the sight. Later, they inserted
into the bittersweet the Boston Ivy, since the original ‘quick fix’
for the presentation, still needed a more solid and denser growing
plant for the long haul. It took longer but is a magnificent wall
of flourishing ivy.
I have fond memories of going to the old cement stadium in Cleveland
to see both the Indians and Browns play. When they tore it down, to
build what was first named, “Jacob’s Field” I thought I would miss
the old one. It is a beautiful structure and ‘there isn’t a bad seat
in the house.’ I have never personally been to the Indianapolis Perry
Field or Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field, but enjoyed seeing the
photos and reading about the history of the latter’s field.
Happy 100th Anniversary, Wrigley Field!
Congratulations for making it to one hundred years!
Since I know that Columbus Clippers is having a whole weekend of
playing against Toledo Mud Hens, I will say I am ‘rooting’ for my
home team of the Clippers!
I can hear the old song, “Take me out to the ball game,” and imagine
the old Cracker Jacks and peanut shells falling onto the ground…
Have a wonderful weekend and I am now off to Mom’s…
(We only worked a half day today, due to a lot of overtime this
week… Also, my eyes are doing much better, less pressure than
in the Fall and Winter months! Hip hip hurray!)