Wrigley Field

wrigley-field Los-AngelesI spotted a postcard similar to the one above with the description: “Los Angeles Baseball Park/Wrigley Field? Mistake?” It was no mistake. L.A. did indeed have its own Wrigley Field. In fact, it was the first ballpark to use that name. Catalina-island, cubs spring trainingThe connection between Los Angeles’ Wrigley Field and Chicago was William Wrigley Jr, the chewing gum magnate. In 1921 he started bring his baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, from their home base at what was then called Cubs Park out west for spring training on Catalina Island, which he also owned. The same year, he bought another baseball team, the Pacific Coast League’s Los Angeles Angels.

Los-Angeles Wrigley-FieldFebruary 1925 saw the groundbreaking of the Angels’ new $1 million home, which, naturally, was called Wrigley Field. Bounded by Avalon Blvd., San Pedro, 41st St., and 42nd Pl. in the University Park neighborhood, the 21,000 seat stadium opened September 29, 1925. It was dedicated to the players who took part in World War I. The 50-piece Santa Catalina Island Marine Band played, Los Angeles Mayor George Cryer tossed out the first ball to Sheriff Traeger, and the Angels took on PCL champs the San Francisco Seals (The Angels won).

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Los Angeles Wrigley Field on opening Day. Photo: LAPL collection.

Los-Angeles-Wrigley-FieldIn 1926, another Pacific Coast League team moved to the coast and came to call Wrigley home, the Hollywood Stars, affectionately referred to at the time as the “Seraphs” and the “Shieks.” Their rivalry was off to a good start when the Stars beat the Angeles in their first game together at Wrigley on April 13. Eventually, in 1939, the Stars got their own ballpark, Gilmore Field, and finally got to play in Hollywood.

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Wrigley also occasionally hosted outdoor boxing matches, as well as professional football games.

In December 1926, Cubs Park in Chicago was named Wrigley Field, and for 30 years there were two Wrigley Fields. The Angels played their last season there as a minor league team in 1957. Los Angeles Wrigley Field was demolished in 1969.