Ivy on the outfield walls
Wrigley Field is the only major league baseball park with ivy on the outfield walls. The walls along side of the right and left field side of the park are brick.
The ivy was planted in 1937 by Cubs President William Veeck. The ivy affects the ball in play with a unique rule that if a ball gets caught in the ivy and the outfielder raises his hand signaling that he cannot find the ball, it is an automatic ground rule double. But if the defender tries to get the ball out of the ivy, no ground rule double will be ruled. The ground rule double is also not honored by the umpire if they see that it is not lodged in the ivy. Once in awhile, a ball will be hidden underneath the ivy on the ground.
Another very unique feature are the baskets installed on the outfield wall. It is not that unusual to see a player get a home run that never makes it into "The Bleachers" behind the wall and land in the basket. This is ruled a home run. The basket also makes it nearly impossible for any batted ball in play to bounce into the stands for a ground rule double (a common occurrence at other major league stadiums). But go figure, the one time it happens (a batted ball bounces off the warning track and into the bleachers), it costs the Cubs a chance to get a victory on May 8, 2011 when Jeff Baker's hit leaves a runner on third that would've scored had he not been sent back to third by rule.
There are 2 signs on one of the rooftops across the street from Wrigley Field with the following letters:
EAMUS CATULI is loosely translated in Latin as "Let's Go Cubs"
AC0866103 represents 4 things
AC is for Anno Catuli which in Latin is "The Year of the Cub"
08 represents the Cubs last division title in 2008
66 represents the amount of years since the last time the Cubs were in the World Series (1945)
103 represents the amount of years since the last Cubs World Series Championship (1908)
The Outfield Scoreboard
The Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are the only two teams in the major leagues that still have manually operated scoreboards. The scoreboard tracks the scores of every major league game for each run scored in each inning. The starting pitcher for any game that has not yet began and the current pitcher in each game has their number listed in front of the team name on the scoreboard.
There are flags for all NL Central teams flown on top of the stadium above the scoreboard list each team in order by division standings on that particular day. So, for example if the Cubs are in first in the NL Central and the St Louis Cardinals are second, the Cubs flag will be flown on top right above the Cardinals flag and the order of the rest of the teams respectively.
Many Cubs fans have a simple blue and white flag with a big "W" on it that they fly on top of their cars, homes, work cubes an anywhere else a Cubs fan may want to display that the Cubs were winners that particular day.
Wrigley Field has many residences within eye shot and walking distance to the games. the neighborhood has become known as Wrigleyville because of it's proximity to Wrigley Field. This is also one of the reasons the Cubs still do play many day rather than night games due to the additional noise and commotion late at night after a game.
The Chicago Cubs did not install lights at Wrigley Field until August 8, 1988 and were the last major league team to play exclusively day baseball at that time. Through the 2012 baseball season, the Cubs still play significantly more day games than other major league baseball teams. This fact has created another great baseball debate about whether the Cubs struggles might have something to do with playing more day games than other teams.
7th inning stretch
the Cubs late announcer, Harry Carey used to get the Wrigley Field crowd amped up singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in his own unique
way. After Harry died, the Cubs decided to pay their legendary, fan favorite a tribute by having celebrity singers for the "Stretch". Some games it may be a local sports team that just won a championship maybe a member of the Chicago Bulls or Chicago Bears or a famous actor like John Cusack, Bill Murray or Vince Vaughn.
Go Cubs Go
Steve Goodman wrote a very catchy tune called "Go Cubs Go". Even though the song was written years ago, it has only been a few years that the Cubs will play the song on the loud speaker right after a Cubs victory. Watching an exuberant crowd singing along to this song is a great way to end a great baseball day with a Cubs victory.
Anther very unique aspect of Wrigley Field is that there are tall residential buildings behind the stadium with a view to the inside of the park.
For many years, just a few residents with lawn chairs would stay out there and watch a game. In the last 10 or 15 years, this has become a business with many of the rooftops offering tickets with food and beverages available during the game. in the early 2000's, there was a legal case between the rooftop owner's and the Cubs before a settlement was reached to share the revenue the rooftops produced.
Both before and after Cubs games, you can find both kids and adults alike with baseball gloves lined up along Waveland and sheffield avenue outside of the stadium. These people are after home run balls that leave the stadium. Some people affectionally referred to as "ballhawks" are out there for nearly every game some times waiting for a home run that will never come (it isn't that unusual to see a game not have a home run at all or other home run balls hit that don't leave the stadium).
The Cubs have honored some of their most famous and popular players (and one announcer) allowing them to be permanently displayed outside of Wrigley Field. The 4 statues are for Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Harry Carey and Ron Santo
The Cubs have had many very well-known announcers for their games over the years partially because the Cubs were one of the early teams
to have their games both on radio and on tv shown nationally because of the early involvement of superstation WGN.
Television stations WGN and TBS were 2 superstations that aired nationally across the U.S.