It didn't end like the Cubs wanted it to, but Wednesday was still a heck of a celebration honoring Wrigley Field's 100th birthday.
Wrigley is one of the last remaining baseball cathedrals, and it seemed like just about everybody was on hand to help celebrate (except Kerry Wood and Sammy Sosa), including Cubs legends Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Ernie Banks as well as Bears icons (the "Monsters of the Midway" used to play all their games at Wrigley, remember) Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, who scored six touchdowns in a game at Wrigley in 1965. Even Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig stopped by.
[RELATED - Anthony Rizzo, Babe Ruth and Wrigley's 100th]
"This is one of those special days that I'm enjoying immensely," Selig said. "It brings back a lot of history for me. It's been 70 years [for me]. ... My first trip here was May of 1944. This is really a special day. I'm lucky in my commissionership for a lot of reasons, but I was able to celebrate Fenway Park's 100th birthday and now Wrigley Field's 100th birthday. And that's really special for me.
"This is a great place. It really is. Driving in here today ... in a lot of ways, it looked the same as it did many, many years ago. And that's what they've done here. They've preserved an incredible tradition."
Other Cubs greats made the trek to the corner of Clark and Addison, including Andre Dawson - who famously won the 1987 National League MVP Award for a last-place Cubs team - and Milt Pappas - who pitched a no-hitter at Wrigley Field in 1972. Randy Hundley, Bob Dernier, Ryan Dempster, Glenn Beckert and Gary Matthews were among the other former Cubs in attendance.
Ron Santo, maybe the most revered Cub of all time, was in the thoughts of those present at the place he called home for five decades. Williams said Santo would have loved Wednesday's 100-year celebration as much as he would have enjoyed his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Here is the Chicago Federals uniform the Cubs wore Wednesday:
Here's Jeff Samardzija showing it off during the game (USA Today Sports Images Photo):
Here's a look at the Kansas City Packers jerseys the Arizona Diamondbacks wore (USA Today Sports Images Photo):
Here's what the scene looked like outside Wrigley before the gates opened (AP Photo):
Wrigley was buzzing during the game, too with 32,323 fans on hand (USA Today Sports Images Photo):
Before the game, the Cubs honored the former greats who played at Wrigley Field (USA Today Sports Images Photo):
The pregame ceremony was special with Sue Quigg, the grandniece of former Chicago Cubs owner Charles Weeghman, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch with a 100-year-old ball her grandmother Dessa Weeghman threw at a Chicago Federals game a century ago (AP Photo):
The Cubs went throwback on the scoreboard, too (USA Today Sports Images Photo):
Wrigley and Emilio Bonifacio (who turned 29) weren't the only ones with a birthday Wednesday (AP Photo):
This might just be the best photo of the day (and maybe my favorite Cubs photo of all time) (AP Photo):
The Cubs handed out cupcakes to fans coming in:
Wrigley 100 cupcakes: pic.twitter.com/oT8jEQVWiJ— Cubs Talk (@CubsTalkCSN) April 23, 2014
But the 400-pound, 20-square-foot cake stole the show:
Wrigley staffers wore birthday party hats all game:
Birthday party hats for all Wrigley personnel pic.twitter.com/SYIN3IWNac— Cubs Talk (@CubsTalkCSN) April 23, 2014
Wrigley staffers sporting the party hats: pic.twitter.com/5corkOjffO— Cubs Talk (@CubsTalkCSN) April 23, 2014
And the Cubs released balloons from behind the bleachers during the game (Photo by CSN multimedia producer Scott Changnon):
This was the 7,883rd regular season baseball game played at Wrigley Field, between the Federal League Chi-Feds (1914-15) and the Chicago Cubs. There have now been 70,681 runs scored during those games and Justin Ruggiano's sixth-inning two-run shot was the 12,589th homer at Wrigley Field during regular season action.
Speaking of the game...
The #Cubs leadoff batter in 100th anniversary of Weeghman Park/Wrigley Field on April 23, 2014 is Emilio Bonifacio, born April 23, 1985— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 23, 2014
April 23rd, 2014: 100th anniversary of first game at Weeghman Park (Wrigley). Also the 60th anniversary of Hank Aaron's first MLB Home Run.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 23, 2014
The #Cubs starting pitcher on Emilio Bonifacio's 29th birthday is #29 Jeff Samardzija— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 23, 2014
If only this guy was working the game:
Happy 100th Birthday Wrigley Field. The 1975 photo of this vendor remains the greatest gift you've given me pic.twitter.com/LERqSbfrCF— Andy Gray (@si_vault) April 23, 2014