Friday, August 08, 2008

20 years ago tonight

Now playing:
Steve Goodman - Take Me Out to the Ballgame
via FoxyTunes

Today might be noted for the opening of the Summer Olympics in China, but 8-8 has other significance in sports.

It was 20 years ago tonight that the Chicago Cubs played their first night game at Wrigley Field.

Yes, on 8-8-88, the Cubs hosted the Phillies. As it turned out, the game started but did not reach Official Game status because of a downpour.

The installation of lights was a delicate and controversial issue at the time. Many Wrigley neighbors opposed lights, arguing that it would detract from the neighborhood. The State of Illinois even weighed in to preserve day baseball. A look at the renaissance of the area indicates how accurate that prediction was.

Here is a link to a chronology of the run-up to night games at Wrigley.

I well remember watching the first game on TV. When the rains came, some members of the Cubs -- starting catcher Jody Davis among them -- entertained the waiting fans by executing slides on the rain-slick tarp covering the infield. Management was none to pleased.

In observance of this 20th anniversary, the Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals in -- no way, it's a day game today.

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