The celebration of Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday wouldn’t be complete without hearing from the senior senator from Illinois.
Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin Tweeted his congratulations Wednesday afternoon:
It is unfortunate that the anniversary fell during a Senate recess, however.
One of the great speeches in congressional history came when Durbin, then a House member, opined about baseball back in the summer of 1989. The subject of the speech was the push to replace wooden bats in Major League Baseball with their aluminum counterparts — a rules change that never saw the light of day.
But Durbin also voiced his disdain for the idea of night games at the historic ballpark on the north side of Chicago. Durbin put the installation of lights at Wrigley Field on a list of “countless indignities,” including “plastic grass” and the American League’s designated hitter rule.
Durbin called the Wrigley Field lights, which allowed night games starting in 1988, “the most heinous sacrilege” in the sport. Of course, that was long before the introduction of interleague play. Video of the full speech appears below:
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.