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