because God loves the Cubs (in His own special way), he rained out the first time the Cubs tried to play the game under the lights that summer of ’88.
and because Bill Murray loves the Cubs he sat in the booth wearing sunglasses and drinking cans of beers with Harry Carey.
looking at this footage it appeared everyone at WGN was drunk.
me, i was an ice cream man driving around Mundelion, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream and other suburbs and i didnt want to see the blasphemy of the first night game.
it was like celebrating the first stab in the back.
as Ernie Banks had said for years, “We do play under the lights at Wrigley… God’s light, that beautiful sun.”
like most things in Chicago, the lights appeared via dirty politics and a death of 1,000 cuts.
the first Satan was the evil Bowie Kuhn, who while the Cubs were making a remarkable drive in 1984 said if the Cubs made the World Series he wouldn’t allow the Cubs to play their home games in the day time because he had the bizarre belief that people wouldnt watch the World Series in the middle of the day EVEN THOUGH THE CUBS WERE PLAYING IN THEIR FIRST WORLD SERIES IN NEARLY 100 YEARS. The Cubs were upset by the Steve Garvey-led Padres and Kuhn didn’t have to pull that trigger.
The very next year, new commish Peter Uberoth, fresh from a successful run overseeing the 1984 LA Olympics told the Cubs that if they made the playoffs again all of the games would be played in the South Side at Comiskey (shudder), Soldier Field (what??) or in St. Louis (blasphemy!). All while pretending that people didnt just watch some amazing Olympics in the daytime during the week. Of Course they would watch the Cubs during the day.
That Judas, Dallas Green had somehow made his way from Philly to become the Cubs Team President and GM in 1987 and threatened to move the Cubs to the South Side if a plan for lights wasn’t created. He even proposed moving them a mile away from my hometown in the Northwest Suburbs. “If there are no lights at Wrigley Field, there will be no Wrigley Field,” he blasted.
In 1987 Mayor Harold Washington, the first black mayor in Chicago proposed a compromise plan that would allow for a limited number of night games at Wrigley. After he died while in office, the interim mayor, Eugene Sawyer, who had zero political future bent over to MLB and all other anti-sun, anti-traditionalists and accepted whatever payoff shekels he received including the promise by MLB that the All-Star game would be played under the lights at Wrigley and boom, in 1988 commercial television got their lights where there didn’t need to be any.
And instead of watching so-called history, i drove my truck around in the humid hot Illinois summer… and wept while Bill Murray yelled “Turn em off! Turn em off!” after the first hitter in the game knocked a homer off the Cubs pitcher.