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1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60613
From the center of Chicago, take I-90 West for 2 ½ miles to exit 48A, the Armitage Avenue exit. Turn sharp right onto West Armitage Avenue and then take your second left onto North Ashland Avenue. Follow Ashland for 2 miles before turning right onto West Addison Street. Wrigley Field will be on your left after a little more than a half a mile.
A little more than a month before being elected President of the United States, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt sat in the stands at Wrigley Field. It was game 3 of the 1932 World Series. It was the top of the fifth inning. After having fallen behind 3-0 in the first inning, the home team, the Chicago Cubs had fought back to tie the game at 4. Charlie Root was on the mound as Yankees slugger Babe Ruth stepped up to the plate.
Ruth opted not to swing at the first pitch that caught the strike zone and smacked the catcher’s mitt. The stadium erupted into applause and taunts were extended from the Cubs’ bench. The next two pitches missed the zone then the fourth pitch again caught the zone and the stadium erupted into cheers. The count was 2-2. Then something unheard of happened. Only in baseball where the rules never change, where a game played in 1932 could be the same game played today and where a story can be passed down from generation to generation without becoming antiquated, can something like this happen and the legend live on like it has. As Root prepared to pitch, Ruth extended the index finger on his right hand and pointed towards center field. Root delivered. Ruth swung and connected. Few who were there that day or who would hear about that hit would dispute that, as the ball sailed over the center field wall, this was the stuff of legend and despite how audacious or pretentious calling his home run might have been, Babe Ruth is and will always be remembered for that home run.
The Cubs would get swept in that series. It wouldn’t be the last World Series that they would lose. As any Cubs fan knows, they hold the record for the longest drought between world championship wins in professional sports. They have not won a World Series since 1908. They have never won a World Series since they moved to Wrigley Field in 1916 two years after it was built. In Chicago though, this doesn’t matter. Once a Cubs fan, always a Cubs fan. Even though they haven’t won the championship for more than 100 years, they will always have their fans. The fans are there through the good times and the bad, through the legendary moments and the quiet seasons that fade into history. They stand by their Cubs in the oldest stadium in the National League and the second oldest stadium in professional baseball, Wrigley Field. Some of the greatest fans such as announcer Harry Caray, songwriter Steve Goodman, and player/manager Charlie Grimm have perhaps stayed behind after their deaths.
There are three famous ghosts that are said to haunt Wrigley Field. The first is that of legendary announcer Harry Caray. The ghost of Harry Caray most famously haunts the press box and the adjacent bleachers at the stadium. Most people who experience Caray’s ghost report an unexplainable feeling that they have while in these areas that there is a presence there that they cannot see. Others will report strange mists in these areas that they attribute to Caray’s ghost.
The next ghost is that of songwriter Steve Goodman who not only wrote many songs about his beloved Cubs but also had his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field when he died from leukemia in 1984 at the age of 36. People will sometimes report seeing the ghost of Steve Goodman sitting in the seats behind home plate, watching the Cubs play even after death.
The third ghost is Charlie Grimm, the manager who led the Cubs to the 1932 World Series. Security in the ballpark after dark have reported the phone in the bullpen ringing on its own accord. Guards have also reported hearing their names called out by some unseen entity and have actually seen a figure resembling Grimm walking through the park or the hallways of the park. They attribute the bullpen phone and the name calling to Grimm since his ashes are also housed within the park. His ashes are supposedly housed in a private box in left center field.
While the best time to visit a ballpark is always during a game day, Wrigley Field also offers guided tours during baseball season where you can visit places that the public is not often able to go. Regardless of when you go, it is well worth a trip to this legendary ballpark. Wherever you sit, you may experience the ghosts of any of the Cubs fans who have passed through this park throughout the last 100 years.