Music - Turn, turn, turn by the Byrds
Photographed in 1994 using film and in 2008 using digital.
Wrigley Field - Opened in 1925, closed in 1965 and demolished in 1966.
Location - 425 E. 42nd Place, Los Angeles, California. At the corner of E. 42nd place and Avalon Blvd.
Wrigley Field - demolished Gilbert Lindsey community center now sits on the site.
Disclaimer - My photos are of Wrigley Field today. All stadium shots were found on the internet.
When you think of Wrigley Field, you have images of ivy covered walls, day games, old style beer and the Chicago Cubs. That is true, but Los Angeles had it's own version of Wrigley Field. The LA version of Wrigley was built 11 years after the one in Chicago. It was also very similar in appearance. Located at the corner of Avalon Blvd. and 42nd Place, Wrigley was about 2 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. For most of the parks life, Wrigley was a minor league ballpark. From 1925 thru 1957, the original Los Angeles Angels of the PCL called Wrigley home. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved west for the 1958 season, and the PCL Angels had to relocate to Spokane Washington. Thus ending a very successful run in Los Angeles. Wrigley also hosted the old Hollywood Stars of the PCL. The Stars played here from 1926 thru 1935 and then again in 1938. After the 1938 campaign, the Stars moved into their own home, Gilmore Field. Gilmore Field was located at the corner of Beverly and Genesse just east of where CBS television city stands today. The old ballpark is now part of the CBS TV studio parking lot. Gilmore was also neighbor to the old Pan Pacific Auditorium. Like Wrigley Field, Gilmore is no longer standing. The old PCL park was raised in 1958.
After the Brooklyn Dodgers relocated to LA, they abandoned plans to play at Wrigley. Instead, they decided to play in the cavernous Coliseum until Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. Wrigley did get a reprieve when the expansion Los Angeles Angels came into the American League in 1961. The new Angeles played their inaugural season of 1961 at Wrigley Field. On April 27, 1961 Wrigley Field became major league. The Minnesota Twins were the first opponent of the Angels. The Twins beat the Halos 4-2 as Camilio Pascual beat Eli Grba. The first home run was hit by Earl Averill of the Angels in the second inning. A crowd of 11,931 witnessed the first ever game for the new Angels. The Angels would win the following day as Tom Morgan picked up the first victory at Wrigley Field. The Angels limped home in 8th place with a 70 win 91 loss and 1 tie record. The curtain came down on Wrigley's brief brush with major league baseball. The finale was on October 1, 1961 when the Cleveland Indians put a damper on the last game with an 8-5 victory. Mudcat Grant went all the way for the Indians victory while Ryan Duren took the loss. Former PCL hero, Steve Bilko, hit the final home run at Wrigley field for the Angels. A sparse crowd of only 9,868 saw the curtain come down.
Wrigley Field's brief major league status ended after the 1961 season. It did set a major league record that would stand for 30 years. In the 1961 season, a total of 248 home runs would be hit here. The Angels would accept the Dodgers offer to share brand new Dodger Stadium. However, the Angels would refer to the new stadium as Chavez Ravine. They would stay there thru the 1965 season before moving 30 miles down interstate 5 to Anaheim.
Most people remember Wrigley Field as the backdrop for the old TV series home run derby. It was also the site for several baseball themed movies including pride of the Yankees, and the old Munsters TV show. After the Angels left, Wrigley Field was not used very much. Finally the old park was demolished in 1966. The Gilbert Lindsey community center now stands on the site.
Wrigley Field Los Angeles may have had a relatively short life as a park, but it did provide Angelinos with lots of baseball thrills.
Map of Wrigley Field area. The Coliseum and Sports arena are about 2 miles west of the Wrigley Field site. Photo from internet.
An aerial showing no trace of old Wrigley Field in LA. Photo from internet.
This would have been the home plate entrance to Wrigley Field.
Wrigley field today. It would have stood in the center of the photo.
This is an artists drawing in 1957 of an expanded Wrigley field. E. 41st Place is gone and so are the houses to make room for parking. The city was trying to get the Brooklyn Dodgers to play here while Dodger stadium was being built.
You can see how close Wrigley was to the LA Coliseum.
Santa Claus at Wrigley Field Los Angeles.
Junior Gilliam of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Wrigley.
Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Part of the cast of "Damn Yankees."
Big Luke Easter at bat in the PCL.