Special to ChicagoSportsJournalism.com
February 6, 2013: The Chicago Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, but that fact will not be a prominent part of the celebration being planned for 2014 when the franchise has a season-long party to honor the fact that their home stadium, Wrigley Field, turing 100.
The ballpark is the second oldest in Major League Baseball behind the Boston Red Sox venue, Fenway Park, which celebrated its 100th birthday this past season.
To help launch the festivities, the Cubs are asking all-comers to design a logo that would be used throughout the historic event. At a mini-site linked to the team's home Web page, visitors can access details and tools to help them be creative.
Billed as the "Wrigley Field Turns 100 Logo Contest," the online destination offers, "Now is your chance to be part of Chicago Cubs history. Wrigley Field is turning 100 years old during the 2014 season. To celebrate a century of baseball, football, concerts, ski jumps and more, we are inviting you — our fans — to help create a commemorative logo worthy of this historic venue."
Among the tools are a series of photos that designer wannabes can use, including a shot of the 400-foot marker on the vine-covered center field wall, the Wrigley Field scoreboard and a vintage photo of Wrigley Field from its earliest days.
The team is owned by a family trust of Joe Ricketts, who founded TD Ameritrade. The stadium is owned and operated by the Cubs.
In addition to featuring the winning design, the winner will get a chance to travel to Chicago to attend a pre-game ceremony to unveil the logo at Wrigley Field this coming season. The package also includes two airplane tickets, lodging, two tickets to the game and a personalized Cubs jersey.
The logo design contest is being held between now and Feb. 28. (Full details here.)
"We realize this is a big milestone for the Cubs and Wrigley Field," Alison Miller, the Cubs senior marketing director, told MLB.com. "We want Cubs fans to have the opportunity to participate. We're still in the planning stages of the celebration for the '14 season, and the logo is a big part of that. So we want Cubs fans to be involved, and we're excited to see what they come up with."
A preliminary round of all logo submissions will be judged by an internal committee composed of the Cubs' front-office staff. Up to five finalists will then be selected "based upon the judging criteria, which is based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, style and quality of the design," according to the team.
The finalists are expected to be unveiled in late March. Fans will then be able vote for their favorite at the team's Web site through April 23 (10 AM. CT).
The winner is scheduled to be announced later this season.
"We're still in the planning stages of the celebration for the '14 season, and the logo is a big part of that. So we want Cubs fans to be involved."
The first major league baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park (after then owner Charles Weeghman), was played on April 23, 1914. Lights were not added until the 1988 season. The iconic ivy vines were planted by then team owner Bill Veeck in 1937.
The stadium was renamed Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchased the team from Weeghman. It was named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club's owner., who also was CEO of the Wrigley Gum Co., making it what is believed to be the first naming rights deal in U.S. sports history.
The stadium has become part of pop culture beyond Chicago. The Blues Brothers 1980 film with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi featured the address of Wrigley Field — 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago — which Elwood Blues (Aykroyd) used as his home address on his Illinois driver's license. It also was the site of a TV commercial from State Farm last year in which former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood finds former Cubs outfielder and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson within the outfield ivy.
The team won World Series in 1907 and 1908. The NHL held its Bridgestone Winter Classic there on Jan. 1, 2009, which saw the hometown Blackhawks lose to the Detroit Red Wings, 6-4.d
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