Wrigley Field should honor the Chicago Bears history it holds
In 1921, George S. Halas brought his newly acquired football team from Decatur, Illinois to the baseball park at the corner of Clark and Addison in Chicago. Over the next half-century, warm days of Chicago Cubs baseball were followed by cold days of Chicago Bears football at Wrigley Field.
From 1921-1970 the Bears won eight titles, making it to 12 championship games. They boasted a record of 224-92-22 at Wrigley in the regular season and 5-1 in championship/playoff games. The Bears clinched the 1933, 1941, 1943, and 1963 championships at Wrigley. There was also the controversial 1921 championship won when the Bears (Staleys) beat the Buffalo All-Americans at Wrigley (Cubs Park) in what was thought to be an exhibition but ended up counting as the tie-breaker.
Some of the greatest matchups between the Bears and Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers were played there. In addition to Halas, notable Bears to play on the North Side included Bronko Nagurski, Sid Luckman, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Red Grange, Mike Ditka, and Bill George. All of which are Hall of Famers.
Wrigley holds some incredible football history within its ivy-covered walls and steel grandstand. It's kind of hard for anyone who did not witness the Bears playing at Wrigley to picture a football field in a stadium built for baseball. Imagine running at full speed into the endzone and having to slow momentum quickly before meeting a solid brick wall. There is even a story of Nagurski making a dent in the outfield brick wall when he crashed into it.
The Cubs organization has made better efforts to honor the baseball history that has taken place at Wrigley Field in recent years. The statues of Cubs greats moved into Gallagher Way and the Hall of Fame area under the bleachers were two significant additions to the park. However, there is really no evidence left behind that there was once football there for many decades.
Back in 2007, when Roger "The Sodfather" Bossard was resurfacing the field, the old goalpost foundations were found under the grass when excavating the turf. They were simply thrown away. Old memorabilia and relics of the Bears from that era are held within the current Bears and NFL facilities.
With everything being said, it would be cool for there to be some form of permanent acknowledgment or tribute to the years of Bears football at Wrigley Field. There would have to be multiple parties involved, and possibly some complicated work to be done, but it would be worth it seeing as Wrigley is such a historic sports stadium and the Bears are the biggest team in town. Younger fans who didn't know that their baseball stadium once hosted their hometown football team could learn a lot and older fans can re-live days long gone.
Fans should be able to look back at both "The Sandberg Game" and the six-touchdown game by Sayers, two of the greatest performances in Chicago sports history. Or how Jack Brickhouse was not only the longtime voice of the Cubs but also called Bears games from the same old press box where the suites are now.
Could it be murals? A case of memorabilia? Plaques? Could go in a number of directions. It would just be neat if there was something. It is funny we mention this as the Bears plan to leave Soldier Field for Arlington Heights.