8-8-88: The Night the Lights Went on in Wrigley

Thirty years. Hard to believe it’s already been thirty years since the first night game at Wrigley Field. It was memorialized in the 1989 Score set with this beauty of a card.

Just a couple months after my sixth birthday, I was a young Cubs “fan.” While I rooted for the Cubs, my sporting interests at this young age primarily centered football and the Chicago Bears.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any memories of 8-8-88, or the events leading up to it. The initial night game did not even count as it was rained out. The rainout wiped out the official first home run by Phil Bradley. While it was unofficial, I actually had to Google who hit the first official home run under the lights at Wrigley Field (Lenny Dykstra of the Mets off Mike Bielecki in the 5th inning on 8/9/88).

Back to Bradley. I lived in his hometown of Macomb, Illinois for 11 years. The Macomb High School baseball field is named after him. After a standout athletic career at MHS, he went to the University of Missouri and played baseball and was quarterback on the football team. He went on to have a great MLB career. Bradley went back to Missouri, and was an assistant softball coach for his alma mater. I had a chance to spend several minutes with him before a Western Illinois University/Missouri softball game that I broadcasted for Mediacom TV.

One other note about 8-8-88. About two years ago at one of my local card shops (LCS), Jim’s Card Korner, he had a framed piece that included several 8-8-88 items. There was a t-shirt from the night, ticket stubs, program, and some other items from the game. It was on consignment and the owner wanted $200 for it. If it were a nice frame job, I would have jumped. However, it was in a cheap and ugly 30-year frame that I would have immediately tossed in the garbage. So, at that price I wasn’t even willing to negotiate. At some point maybe I’ll seek out some stuff online commemorating the game.

Leave a Reply