Happy 100th Wrigley Field: Cubs remain good neighbors to nearby LGBT community
Apr. 23, 2014
- , Wrigley Field, the longtime home to the Chicago Cubs, is now a century old. The first game ever played in the historic venue took place on April 23, 1914.
Located on Chicago's North Side, Wrigley Field and the Wrigleyville neighborhood border Boystown, the city's gay neighborhood. LGBT sports historian Bill Gubrud told ChicagoPride.com that the Chicago Cubs and their fans have always been good neighbors.
"Wrigley Field is the most welcoming place to the LGBT community anywhere in the country," said Gubrud, who is executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame (NGLSHF).
The Chicago Cubs' rich history with the LGBT community earned them a place in the Chicago-based NGLSHF. The organization was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year during a ceremony at Center on Halsted.
This year, the Cubs will again welcome gay and lesbian fans to the Friendly Confines as part of Out at Wrigley, the largest LGBT-attended major league sports event in the country. It's the 14th year for the annual event, that includes a performance of the national anthem and ceremonial first pitch by members of the LGBT community. Last year the Cubs raised two gay Pride flags above the upper deck in honor of their special guests. Out at Wrigley, created and organized by Gubrud, returns July 12, 2014. (Tickets and information at www.outatwrigley.com)
In 2009, the Chicago Cubs became the first Major League Baseball team to have an openly gay owner when the Ricketts family took over ownership of the Cubs from the Tribune Company. Laura Ricketts, a prominent lesbian, is part of the active family management.
Under the Ricketts family, the Cubs made the bold decision to enlist "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks to represent the team at the annual Chicago Pride Parade in 2010. The team has participated in the parade each year since.
"Many of our brothers and sisters in our community work at Wrigley Field and I've had the privilege of meeting some of them on the Cubs float every year," Gubrud added.
In 2011, the Cubs became one of the first MLB teams to release a pro-gay "It Gets Better" video.
"Happy Birthday Wrigley Field," said Gubrud. "You've been a good friend and neighbor."
Editor's Note: ChicagoPride.com, part of the GoPride Network, is a proud sponsor of Out at Wrigley (July 12, 2014 - www.outatwrigely.com) and the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame (July 11, 2014 - gayandlesbiansports.com)