You know how they print up shirts for both teams in a championship and eventually have to get rid of those from the losing side? Now just imagine if you’d announced that Wrigley Field was going to host its first night game in 1945 only to find out the steel for the light standards was being requisitioned for the war effort. That’s what happened almost 80 years ago, after which the Cubs stubbornly clung to day baseball for several decades.
Baseball under the lights at Wrigley is no longer a big deal, but you can own a piece of forgotten history if you’ve got a few extra bucks burning a hole in your pocket. As official MLB historian John Thorne shared on Twitter, there’s an online auction for a 30″ x 40″ wooden stadium sign announcing what would have been the first night game at Wrigley (ladies admitted free!). There’s significant wear and a great deal of oxidation on the metal fixtures, but it’s still pretty darn cool.
— John Thorn (@thorn_john) January 30, 2024
As of publication, I am the highest bidder at $280 with a little over four days to go. My guess is that I won’t remain in that position for long and will quickly be priced out of additional bids.
Update: Cubs team historian Ed Hartig has called the authenticity of this sign into question. Ironic that the comment came from our Facebook page:
There are several red flags that this is NOT from 1945 … among them, the Cubs NEVER received permission from the War Production Board to play night games. Plus, they did NOT petition to play night games in 1945. The use of the copyright C logo is also questionable. A graphic designer who works for an auction house agrees that this likely is not authentic.
Still a very cool piece that would look great in a collection, just maybe a wee bit on the faux side and perhaps not worth exceeding the current $600 bid.