INDIANAPOLIS, Ind--It’s the hallmark of Wrigley Field: an outfield wall covered in ivy.
As it turns out, the idea for the famous backdrop was actually taken from the Indianapolis Indians.
It’s not completely clear as to the reason why but in 1931 when Perry Stadium (named after the Indianapolis Indians owner Norm Perry) opened, ivy was planted on the walls.
A few years later, the owner of the Chicago Cubs, Phillip K. Wrigley, wanted his team’s ballpark to appear more “park-like,” so the then-General Manager Bill Veeck came up with an idea.
“Since I had always admired the ivy-covered bleacher walls at Perry Stadium in Indianapolis, I suggested that we appropriate them for ourselves,” Veeck wrote in his autobiography.
The rest was history.
Eight decades have passed since them and Wrigley Field is now a Chicago landmark. And while old Perry Stadium, which later became Bush Stadium, is no longer used as a ballpark, ivy still remains on some of its walls.
Vice President of Corporate affairs for the Indianapolis Indians, Bruce Schumacher, says at one point the club considered adding ivy to the outfield walls of Victory Field. However, due to MLB rules, it was not permitted.
Rules now state that outfield walls must be covered in padding, though because it’s been around for so long, the ivy in Wrigley Field is exempt to the rule.