On August 8, 1988, The Chicago Cubs hosted the first night game under the newly installed lights at Wrigley Field.
The journey started in 1982 when general manager, Dallas Green, originally proposed putting lights on the only remaining Major League Baseball stadium that could not hold night games. There was a six year debate after the original proposal was made even though Wrigley was the only baseball stadium left with no lights.
The lucky 91-year-old Cubs fan Harry Grossman was selected to turn the lights on for the game. He said, “Three . . . two . . . one . . . Let there be lights!” The crowd went wild as the lights flickered for the first time.
The reason it took so long for the stadium to install lights was the people living in the neighborhood. There were issues with people wanting the lights off at night. The Illinois General Assembly and the Chicago City Council passed a law that prohibited night games everywhere except Comiskey, home of the White Sox, since it had lights added in 1939. Eventually the law was changed to allow the Cubs 18 night games a season on their home turf.
Rick Sutcliffe was the starting pitcher for the Cubs. He was blinded by the lights for the first few pitches of the first inning. Phil Bradley of the Philadelphia Phillies hit a home run for the first at bat of the night. The Cubs were winning 3-1 in the fourth inning when the rain started to pour down, resulting in a no decision.
Tomorrow come back to find out which Twins pitcher had a 12 game win streak broken by the New York Yankees…