The original rooftop owners outside Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field tree climbers 1932

In 1932, Cubs fans didn’t watch games from the rooftops of apartment buildings outside Wrigley Field. Nope, instead people climbed trees to sneak a view of the ball park. Makes you wonder if someone stood at the foot of the tree and charged $250 to climb up and sit for the length of the game. Maybe each branch has an assigned aisle, row, and seat number. Squirrels running up and down the branches serve as vendors tossing peanuts at hungry fans.

The Chicago Cubs finished first in the National League that year, earning them the right to play in the World Series. The Cubs also finished first in attendance, nearly reaching one million visitors with 974,688. It’s no wonder that fans had to climb up in trees to watch the game.

The first National League club to top one million visitors was the 1927 Cubs with 1.1 million fans, thanks to the newly constructed upper deck along the third base line. That was also the first year the park was known as Wrigley Field.

The upper deck was finished for the 1928 season, just in time for their blockbuster year in 1929 where Wrigley Field drew nearly 1.5 million fans–a record that stood for 17 years (mostly due to the upcoming Depression and World War II).

Even though in 1932, attendance records were not broken, Wrigley Field was still the hottest park to catch a game–especially a World Series game. Ahhh, the days of 20s and 30s to be a Cubs fan.

Nowadays, does this particular tree still survive? 82 years later, the tree would certainly be thicker and much bigger. Today’s rooftop owners certainly would not allow such a majestic tree to exist. They would claim it’s obscuring their view.

Perhaps the Ricketts need to start planting some trees just outside Wrigley. Once again squirrels can be employed as peanut vendors!

Categories: Etc | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Snow on Wrigley Field opening day

wrigley field in snow 1970 1975 2007 2009

Snow has fallen on Wrigley Field’s opening day at least four times. The Chicago Tribune has a gallery of weather photos for the past 100 years of Wrigley Field.

Categories: Etc | Tags: | Leave a comment

1910 T206 Rebel Oakes tobacco card

T206 Sweet Caporal REBEL OAKES Cincinnati

Look at the fun outfielder Rebel Oakes is having on his T206 card. Now this is a ballplayer playing the game for fun. He’s so delighted to have caught the ball. Probably because that year with Cincinnati, he was second in the league for errors committed by an outfielder with 18. (Bob Bescher of Cincinnati had 20).

Despite his defense, Rebel Oakes was a good behind the plate, finishing second in singles for the 1913 National League season. In 1911 and 1912 he finished with the 9th and 8th best AB/SO ratio.

This 1910 T206 card is his rookie card. I purchased it from ebay for under $20 with shipping. A few aesthetic highlights:

  • The crease just so happens to be going across the ball at the top of the card. This was the primary reason why I bought the card. Perfectly placed creases in baseball cards are a delight to behold
  • Yellow, blue, and red primary colors dominate this card. The colors just pop right off the card. Impressive for 1910 printing.
  • The angle of his arm in a diagonal angle gives a nice dynamic composition to the card
  • He just looks so darn happy, like he discovered a box of donuts in the dugout and then ran out and caught this ball.
  • The corners are sufficiently worn well

A big thanks to Sports Collectors Daily’s Facebook Page for sharing this card. I’m honored to be the one who purchased it a few days after the post. With 139 likes, 22 shares, and 7 comments, it’s surprising nobody bought this card. Probably because the link in the post didn’t go directly to this card. Instead it went to an eBay search for T206 cards for under $20 resulting in 308 auctions.

Categories: Fun with baseball cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

1909 E95 when cards were printed on cardboard

1909 E95 Honus Wagner SGC 20

What a beautiful card this Honus Wagner 1090 E95 is. The photo/illustration depicts Wagner with a dirty uniform. The card is dirty. The view of his grip on the bat gives you a real feel for how he handled the bat. The bright colors painted onto the card.

1909 E95 Philadelphia Caramel Ty Cobb

Then you have Ty Cobb’s extremely beat up card, marks splotched all over his face, the result of many-a Cobb fight.

Categories: Fun with baseball cards | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Correcting the team on a baseball card

Scribble correction for team name on Harmon Killebrew 1961 Topps

In 1961 the Washington Senators moved Minnesota and became the Twins. Their star player Harmon Killebrew’s 1961 Topps card shows him with the Minnesota Twins. An astute fan corrected the card by scratching out the Senators name and hand-writing Twins onto the face of the card. There. Much better. NOW this card is correct. (even though the 1961 Topps card shows 1960 stats)

In 1960 Killebrew hit 31 home runs, but was out-homered by teammate Jim Lemon with 38. Hopefully some fan out there has corrected Jim Lemon’s 1961 Topps card.

Hand-corrected cards would be a fun series to collect. Forget collecting cards with the player scribbling his name on the card–his name is already on the card! Hand-corrected cards created by fans would be more fun to collect.

Categories: Fun with baseball cards | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Clark the Cub was not the first Chicago Cubs mascot

Everyone is talking about the Cubs first mascot, Clark the Cub. However, he’s not the first Cubs mascot. You may have seen this scary delight from the 1920s:

But the Cubs had another mascot. Back in the 80s and 90s. Who was it?

That’s right. Harry Caray. Cubs mascot. He was a beer-drinking mascot. What do you think Harry Caray would have thought about Clark the Cub?

Categories: Etc | Tags: | Leave a comment

What will Disney do about the Clark the Cub ripping off Kit Cloudkicker?

Perhaps Disney and the Chicago Cubs have formed a partnership. The Ricketts were looking for sponsors for Wrigley and Disney jumped at the opportunity to make another theme park.

In fact, maybe the area around Wrigleyville will be come known as Clarkville. You know Disney can never just release one character. They always do their licensing characters in groups, to sell more plush figures.

Addison the Cub is right around the corner. Hopefully they’ll develop an entire team of mascots, like the Olympics. They’ll have four Cub mascots. Addison, Clark, Waveland, and Sheffield. Then they’ll have a mascot race during the game. But instead of a race, it’ll be a parade, because that’s what Disney does. Parades.

Can you imagine fairy princess night at Wrigley Field?

Categories: Etc | Tags: | Leave a comment