Swanson: Ballparks we miss (at least in theory): Los Angeles Wrigley Field

From Ryan Swanson at The National Pastime Museum on August 23, 2016:

Can we miss a ballpark that only hosted Major League Baseball for one season? What if that park shared its name with another, much more famous, baseball stadium? Suppose this ballpark never really fit with the architectural designs of its times; is that OK? And then there’s the fact that there are very few baseball fans alive today who remember visiting the facility. Can we still miss it?

Let’s say we can. Here’s why I say we should all miss the long-demolished, mostly forgotten Los Angeles Wrigley field.

1. The ballpark opened in 1925 and was designed by Zachery Taylor Davis. The architect here matters. Davis also penciled the designs for Chicago’s first White Sox Stadium and that other Wrigley Field (initially called Cubs Park). While the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field stands as one of America’s baseball treasures, LA’s Wrigley Field shared similar design principles. And to further propagate this mini-me ballpark phenomena, Wrigley also had a ballpark built on Catalina Island (to host Cubs spring training) that shared the same characteristics as the LA and Chicago venues. Thus, in the early decades of the twentieth century there was a burgeoning family of corresponding ballparks. They shared their design structure; they just varied in scale. Wrigley gave Davis the greenlight to build a first-rate ballpark in Los Angeles. At a time when most minor league facilities were being constructed primarily with wood, Davis proceeded with a cement and steel structure. Davis spent much more on LA’s Wrigley Field than he did on Chicago’s. About six times more to be exact.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/ballparks-we-miss-least-theory-los-angeles-wrigley-field-1925-1969

Originally published: August 23, 2016. Last Updated: August 23, 2016.