March 25th in baseball history: Judge says no lights at Wrigley

No lights at Wrigley - yet

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS | MARCH 25, 1985 - A Cook County, Illinois judge ruled on this date in 1985 that the Chicago Cubs had gone without lights their entire history, so there was no need to change now.

The Cubs had held out decades longer than any other MLB team in playing all their games during the day. Post-season games had been night-time events for years, but that wasn't a problem for the Cubs because they hadn't made it to the postseason since 1945.  

Surprise, surprise! The Cubs won their division in 1984, but had to give up a home game in the National League Championship Series because Wrigley Field didn't have lights.

The shoe was now on the other foot. The Cubs wanted lights. Former general manager Dallas Green first proposed them in 1982. The neighborhood and the city - Mayor, Richard M. Daley, being a lifelong White Sox fan - didn't, so the Cubs sued. A judge ruled on March 25, 1985 that the ban on lights at Wrigley was constitutional - no night games at Wrigley.

It took a few more years of political cajoling and maneuvering for an ordinance to finally be passed allowing night games at Wrigley, initially no more than 18 per season*. The first night game at Wrigley was played on August 8, 1988 - 8/8/88, but it was called due to rain before it became official (maybe mother nature didn't want lights either).

*The 2013 schedule shows at least 31 night games at Wrigley this coming season, and potentially more

Contributing sources:
MLB.com: 20 years of night baseball at Wrigley Field
August 8, 1988

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