Ah, Chicago Cubs day games at Wrigley Field. One of many great Chicago Cubs traditions. The Cubs are the only team in major league baseball that
plays the majority of their home games during the day. In 2011, the Cubs played 53 day games at Wrigley Field (just 28 night games). To put it in
perspective, the Oakland Athletics played 37 day games (44 night games) to be 2nd in MLB day games at home.
For fans of other teams, you really don't know what you are missing having so many night games. For me, I typically take a half day at work and leave
early to get out to Wrigley. On a sunny day, Wrigley is the place to be!! Another good reason the Cubs have so many day games is the weather. Wrigley Field being so close to the lake makes typical cold days into very cold days. Unless you are going to a late June to August day game, layers of clothing, a jacket and some days even gloves are needed. If it is cloudy or the seats you have are in the shade, look at the day's temperature and dress likes it's 10 degree's cooler. If you enjoy the sun a lot and don't mind getting a little rowdy during Cubs games, the bleachers are your best bet. Get there early, general admission seating on wooden benches. Another Cubs tradition.
A Losing Excuse??
For years, the debate about so many day baseball games has been a possible excuse for poor Cubs teams over the years. One theory, is that playing mainly night games on the road makes coming home (which should be an advantage) an adjustment to playing a few more games during the day. Certainly, players are human and routines are important so a break in that routine can have an impact.
Another more controversial theory is that games getting done so early in the day offers players the opportunity to be seen in the local bars and keep late nights that affect performance. There have been stories
in the past that seem to support this theory from time to time, but not neccessarily for all Cubs teams.
Another bit of history of course is that the Cubs held out longer than any other major league baseball team to have any night games at all. The Cubs have been playing games at Wrigley Field since the early 1900's, but only played their first night game at Wrigley in 1988.
Cubs Day Baseball-Dates in Cubs History
December 8, 1941
Cubs donate materials that were supposed to be for night games at Wrigley Field.
February 12, 1942
Cub drop plans to play night games at Comiskey park (stadium on the "South" side of Chicago where the White Sox played their games).
March 17, 1966
William Shlensky, a Cubs shareholder, filed suit to make the Cubs play night games at Wrigley field. The suit failed.
August 8, 1988
First scheduled night game at Wrigley Field (rained out)
August 9, 1988
First night game at Wrigley Field. Cubs defeat the New York Mets 6-4.