How Golf Contributed to Wrigley Field's 100-Year History

By Cameron DaSilva
Wednesday April 23rd, 2014 11:32 am EDT

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Wrigley Field holds history and tradition unlike any other ballpark in baseball, and Wednesday it celebrates its 100th anniversary. On April 23, 1914, the then-named Weegham Park hosted its first game: the Chicago Chi-Feds against the Kansas City Packers. One hundred years later, Wrigley Field stands as the second-oldest ballpark in baseball, but has played host to so much more than just “America’s pastime.”

In fact, it’s hard to name a sport that hasn’t featured action at Wrigley:

Football? Check.

Hockey? Check.

Soccer? Check.

Lacrosse? Check.

Golf? Check…

That’s right. Golf has been played in Wrigley Field. In 2011, Dustin Johnson and “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks, took part in a fundraiser event where each of them took turns hitting golf balls to a target in left field. The goal was to sink a hole-in-one for a $100,000 donation to the Evans Scholars Foundation, but unfortunately neither Banks nor Johnson were able to do so.

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Furthermore, the scoreboard in center field, to this day, has never been hit by a baseball. However, it has been hit by a golf ball. In 1951, 14 years after the scoreboard was constructed, Sam Snead used a 4-iron to smack it with a golf ball from home plate. That golf ball will likely stand as the only ball to hit the scoreboard, seeing as it is an estimated 600 feet from home plate.

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One of the greatest traditions at Wrigley Field is the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Northwestern alum and golf pro Luke Donald joined a long list of celebrities and athletes to step to the mic for this ritual in 2010, when he sang during a Cubs game and later for an Illinois-Northwestern football game. Donald also took on the tall task of throwing out the first pitch for the baseball game.

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Joining Donald on the list of people to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley is comedic legend and golf nut, Bill Murray. He sang during the Cubs’ home opener in 2012, doing the song great justice. After all, would you expect anything less from him?

Here are some of the most famous (and infamous) renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Happy birthday, Wrigley Field.

Related Link: Bill Murray Witnessed History at Yankee Stadium

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