Before they broke the Curse of the Goat in 2016, the Chicago Cubs were a team that could do no wrong. Even “night games.
The first night game in Major League Baseball (MLB) was played on June 24, 1935 (local time).
Powell Crosley Jr. (1886-1961), who had bought Cincinnati the year before, had installed a light tower at his home ballpark, Crosley Field, after seeing that minor league night games helped boost attendance.
A crowd of 2,000 at the previous night game against the Brooklyn (now Los Angeles) Dodgers more than doubled to 24,422 on the first night of night play.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) wirelessly lights the tower from the White House, and Cincinnati defeats Philadelphia 2-1 in one hour and 35 minutes.
Crosley Field on June 24, 1934, the first night game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. Photo credit: General Electric (GE) homepage
Six years later, in the fall of 1941, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley (1894-1977) ordered parts for a light tower at Wrigley Field.
At the time, nine of MLB’s home stadiums already had light towers.
The problem was that on December 7th of that year, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Wrigley’s owners were forced to donate the 165 tons of steel they had purchased for the towers to the U.S. military.
The Cubs later tried to build the tower using a combination of wood and used steel poles, but the War Production Board (WPB) didn’t approve.
Wrigley Field during the installation of the light tower. Photo credit Chicago Cubs Twitter
The Cubs asked the WPB again in 1944 if they could install the tower, but this time the answer was no.
Instead, WPB suggested, “If you want to play regular night games, use (Chicago White Sox home) Comiskey Park.
The following year 카지노사이트(1945), the Wrigley owners declared that “baseball is a day game,” and that “our goal is to play in the sun as long as possible.”
For more than 40 years, a court battle ensued over whether a light tower should be installed at Wrigley Field.
Eventually, on February 25, 1988, the Chicago City Council conditionally approved the tower, allowing Wrigley Field to host night games.
Harry Grossman (right) flips the power switch to the Wrigley Field light tower for the first time. Photo credit Chicago Cubs Twitter
The Cubs first played a night game at Wrigley Field on August 8, 1988.
Harry Grossman Ong (1897-1991), a Cubs fan since 1906, flipped the switch to light up the light tower.
The Cubs started the day 0-for-4, giving up a leadoff home run to Philadelphia’s top hitter, Phil Bradley (64).
However, future National Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (64) hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to make it a 2-1 game.
The Cubs then took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning, but…
Greg Maddux (left) during fan service after the “no game” on August 8, 1988. Photo credit Sports Illustrated (SI) homepage
That’s when it started to rain, and after a two-hour wait, the umpires eventually called a “no game.
As a result, the Cubs didn’t get their first night game until the next day against the New York Mets.
Fortunately, the Cubs were able to record a 6-4 win against the Mets.
Since that day, the Cubs are 468-415 on home nights for a .530 winning percentage.
So the Cubs may have suffered not only from the Curse of the Goat, but also from the Curse of the Lighting Tower.