99 things every true Cubs fans should know

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99 things every real Cubs fan should know

Are you a newbie or a die-hard? Did you just jump on the bandwagon or have you been suffering for decades? We've got 99 questions to test your Cubs cred, one for each year since they last won the World Series

Questions and answers by Paul Sullivan Dan McGrath, Mark Jacob and Joe Knowles

October 1, 2007

What's the Curse of the Billy Goat?

It started during the 1945 World Series, which pitted the Cubs against the Detroit Tigers. The Cubs refused to let Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis bring his lucky goat inside Wrigley Field for Game 4. An angry Sianis declared that the Cubs would never win a World Series again. They lost that Series and haven't been back since.

Who planted the ivy on the outfield wall at Wrigley?

Former Cubs front-office assistant Bill Veeck (who later owned the White Sox) planted the ivy in 1937, the same year the bleachers and scoreboard were built.

What happens if a ball lands in the ivy and gets stuck there?

The batter is awarded a ground-rule double.

Why aren't there seats in the lower portion of the center-field bleachers at Wrigley?

The section is kept empty to provide a better visual background for hitters.

Why is there a wire basket in front of the bleachers?

It was installed in 1970 to keep fans from falling or jumping onto the field. It also prevented them from draping coats and jackets over the wall -- a practice that used to inspire Cubs public address announcer Pat Pieper to playfully declare: "Will the bleacher fans please remove their clothes?"

What should you do if you catch an opponent's home run ball in the bleachers?

Throw it back onto the field, or ask security for an escort out of the park.

What was the original name of the ballpark at Clark and Addison Streets?

It was called Weeghman Park when it was built in 1914. The park was named after Charlie Weeghman, who built it for his team, the Chicago Federals of the short-lived Federal League. When the Federal League folded in 1916, the National League's Cubs moved in.

How many Chicago parks have the Cubs called home?

Six: The 23rd Street Grounds on 23rd and State Streets (1876-77), Lakefront Park south of Randolph Street between Michigan Avenue and the Illinois Central Railroad tracks (1878-1884), West Side Park at Congress and Throop Streets (1885-1891), South Side Park at 35th and Wentworth Streets (1891-1893), West Side Grounds at Polk and Wolcott Streets (1893-1915) and Wrigley Field -- also known as Weeghman Park and Cubs Park -- from 1916 to today.

What took so long for the Cubs to install lights at Wrigley?

Former owner P.K. Wrigley planned to install lights for the 1942 season but instead donated the fixtures to a shipyard for the war effort on the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

So when was the first night game?

That would be Aug. 8, 1988. But that game wound up getting rained out, so the first official game was the following night, when the Cubs beat the Mets 6-4.

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Copyright © 2007, The Chicago Tribune

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