Dr. Elizabeth Wrigley-Field has never been to Wrigley Field.
“I’ve built it up in my head to be a big event,” she said. “I want to be on the scoreboard, reach out to the Cubs and sort of work it out with them.”
The name is pure coincidence. Born to a mother with the last name Wrigley and a father with the last name Field, they didn’t initially want to hyphenate, fearing that they would set her up to be excessively teased. But at the age of 7, Elizabeth decided that she’d like to go by both. When her family moved to New York, her parents registered her in the school system with the hyphenated last name, and the rest was history. She legally changed her name from Field to Wrigley-Field when she was 20.
“I love having the name,” she said. “We really weren’t a baseball family — my parents didn’t even notice [the connection] until a family friend pointed it out to them. They didn’t take into account how fun it would be to have this name.”
Having bounced around throughout the Midwest and East Coast throughout her life, Wrigley-Field, now a sociologist at the University of Minnesota, said that she gets the least reaction to it in Chicago itself.
“I think a lot of people from Chicago think that I changed my name,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, there’s so many crazy Cubs fans around, this one changed her name.’”
But it’s a great conversation starter almost anywhere else — though a lot of people assume she’s sick of being asked about it, Wrigley-Field feels the opposite. She says that it’s an easy way to have fun interactions with strangers and has sparked some fun encounters with random people, whether she’s checking in for a flight or paying with a credit card.
“People are mostly really into it,” she said.
Her newborn daughter has inherited her iconic last name, which Wrigley-Field thinks will make her first visit to Wrigley Field even more of a special occasion, with two generations of Wrigley-Fields at the park.
As for whether she’s a Cubs fan?
“To the extent that I have a team, it’s the Cubs,” she said. “But I’d say I’m more of a fan of the stadium.”
While there might be a Mr. Fenway-Park somewhere, Elizabeth may have one of the last ballpark names that doesn’t sound completely and totally ridiculous. I can’t imagine there’s a Mary American-Family-Field or a John Minute-Maid-Park out there in the world.