Neutral site nothing new for Cubs
Milwaukee has hosted displaced North Siders before
MILWAUKEE -- Sunday's game between the Cubs and Astros at Miller Park in Milwaukee is not the first time the Cubs have played a neutral site makeup game in Milwaukee.
According to baseball historian Ed Hartig, in 1885, the Cubs played two neutral games in Milwaukee. The games were makeups for rain outs in Buffalo and Providence.
Games in Buffalo were postponed because of rain May 6, 7 and 9. One game was made up in Buffalo as Game 2 of a doubleheader on July 16, which also was the last scheduled Cubs' game in Buffalo (Olympic Park) for 1885. The Cubs squeezed in another makeup on Aug. 11 between road games in New York and Detroit, which left one game to be played.
Games in Providence were postponed because of rain on July 21 and July 25. The Cubs' last scheduled game in Providence at the Messer Street Grounds was played on July 27. The Cubs made up one of the games on July 29 as both teams were off, leaving one game to be played.
With the Cubs having completed their East Coast portion of their schedule, Chicago president Albert Spalding offered to move the remaining makeup games to Chicago when the two teams made their last trips to the Windy City; Buffalo (Sept. 1-5), Providence (Sept. 22-26). Off-days were scheduled for Sept. 4 and Sept. 25. Neither Buffalo or Providence wanted to give Chicago another home game, so the games were made up in Milwaukee.
On Sept. 4, the Cubs beat Buffalo, 12-4, and on Sept. 25, they beat Providence, 21-3. Both games were played at the Wright Street Grounds in Milwaukee, which was the home of the Union Association Milwaukee Grays in 1884.
Some other "displaced" games played by the Cubs include:
In 1892, the final game of the season against the Cardinals was moved from St. Louis to Kansas City after rains made the field in St. Louis unplayable (that and a group from Kansas City agreed to pay both team's expenses).
In 1911, the Cubs played the Giants for four games at the Yankees' Hilltop Park after fire destroyed the Giants' home park.
In 1914-15, the Cubs played the Boston Braves at Fenway Park (12 games) to take advantage of the larger stadium capacity.
In 1918, the Cubs played their home World Series games at Comiskey Park, again to take advantage of larger stadium capacity.
In 1956 and 1957, the Cubs played the Dodgers in Jersey City, N.J.
In 2000, the Cubs and Mets opened the season in Japan (two games).
In 2003, the Cubs played the Expos in Puerto Rico (three games).
In September 1991, the Expos looked to move a series with the Cubs to a neutral site after a 55-ton beam fell from the upper deck at Olympic Stadium. Eventually, Major League Baseball moved the games to Wrigley.
Honorable mention: The Cubs were the "home" team on the scoreboard on Aug. 26, 1966, at Houston's Astrodome and July 28, 1978, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Both games were completions of suspended games started at Wrigley Field.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.