"1060 West Addison???....that's Wrigley Field!"

Okay, I just wanted to get some opinions and thoughts here…

My favorite movie ever is Blues Brothers, and my wife’s a big fan of it too…so we do have discussions once in a while about certain things in the movie, and recently it was about how when Elwood told Jake he falsified his driver’s license renewal by putting down 1060 W. Addison, and Jake immediately identified that as Wrigley Field.

Before I get on with it, I should mention that my wife is from New Jersey and didn’t live in Chicago until 2006…and we both got familiar with the grid system around that time, despite my being from the area.

Now, the question: was Wrigley Field’s address well-known BEFORE the movie? I was only a little tyke when it came out, so I can’t say for sure. But if you said “1060 W. Addison” to a Chicagoan or someone who’s at least visited Chicago a lot, would that person be able to identify the address as Wrigley Field back in the day?

My belief is, yes. First of all, most sports fans know the locations of their favorite teams’ homes. Second, anybody who’s familiar with Chicago’s street grid system should be able to use process of elimination identify it…first of all, 1000 West is Sheffield Avenue, along which runs right field at Wrigley Field. Also, the Red Line (known at the time, of course, as the Howard Line) follows Sheffield Avenue from roughly Armitage to Irving Park Road, and between there is the Addison station. At the Addison Red Line stop, the Addison signage clearly give the street coordinates of 960 west, 3600 north. (They did back in the day, too.) Annnd…Wrigley Field is RIGHT THERE at the stop…so if the stop is at 960 West Addison, you can easily conclude, knowing from frequenting the Howard Line, that if you walk a block west, boom: you’re at 1060 West Addison.

My wife, however, isn’t so sure that people would have been able to recognize the address as Wrigley, quite simply because who would know an address? And how many people who, say, travel from out of town and just go to Wrigley would know the exact address? Kinda hard to miss a major league ball park in the middle of a residential neighborhood (well…not really residential – it’s surrounded by drinking establishments )…

So…back in, say, 1979, would someone have been able to at least use process of elimination to identify 1060 West Addison as Wrigley Field???

Probably, someone local would have known the address especially if they’re a sports fan.

Just last week during a conversation here at work, someone asked the room if anyone knew the mailing address to the White Sox. Without skipping a beat I was able to say 333 W. 35th Street. I was a little offended when someone else felt the need to look it up.

I don’t know how many people could have told you the address if you asked, but most people could tell you it’s at Clark & Addison, I’ll bet. And if you have a decent familiarity with the grid & numbering system, you could then easily conclude that this must be the address for Wrigley Field.

Also, it has often appeared on many printed tickets. I know old Chicago Stadium as 1900 W. Madison and have to remember to add 1 for the United Center.

And now the Blues Brothers/Wrigley connection is part of political history:

Of course, the joke is funnier if the address is NOT common knowledge. It’s funnier that Jake and Elwood know the same arcane fact from their history, it’s funnier that he’s able to slip that secret by the clerk at the DMV, and it’s funnier to imagine (and see) the cops and Illinois Nazis actually making the wild goose chase to 1060 W. Addison.

Just funnier all around.

I don’t think the point of the joke in the movie was that it was well known. If it was, the cops wouldn’t have bothered going there. The point (in my mind) was that Jake and Elwood were Chicago-detail geeks and the cops were not…TRM

Yes, they would know. Anyone who’s spent a couple years in Chicago and understands the grid system, and has an idea of where Wrigley is, would understand the significance of that address. This may apply more to Northsiders/Cubs fans than others.

Remember, in 1979 the Cubs and Wrigley Field were not nearly the cultural phenomenon they are now. Even among local Cubs fans the ballpark was just a nice, old park in their neighborhood. The cult and popularity of the bleacher bums are a result of the era in the 70s where the Cubs sucked and couldn’t give away their tickets. The only people who’d sit in the bleachers were to poor, marginally employed and drunk folks who would pony up for a $1.50 ticket. The popular status of Wrigley Field now did not exist in 1979.

Now, anyone who lived in Chicago for an extended period of time could have figured out where the address was, but I don’t think given a random address people are apt to scrutinize it unless they are asked to. Conversely, truly die-hard Cubs fans and season ticket-holders would know the address reflexively. In 1979 die-hard Cubs fans and season ticket holders would have been blue collar, lower and middle class beer drinking males who the Blues Brothers were specifically intended to represent.

The Cops (aka the Man) and the effete Illinois Nazis are precisely the types of folks who wouldn’t have been expected to be Cubs fans and “real” Chicagoans, the types of Chicagoans who know the address to the crappy baseball team’s ballpark off the top of their head.

Well, now I have to go watch the movie again. But IIRC, Elwood got the DMV and the Nazis with that one, but not the cops, who did recognize the address when it came up in the registration search, right?

The question is… are you truly a Cubs fan? If you’re truly an American, you’d know what’s at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If you’re a Brit, you know who lives at #10 Downing Street. If you’re bankrupt, you know what’s on Wall Street… :stuck_out_tongue:

Speaking of Elwood fooling people whom you think shouldn’t be fooled by particular addresses…

One day out of boredom, one of my coworkers picked up the phone, dialed 311, adopted a really bad fake British accent, and told the operator that his Astin Martin was towed at the corner of State and Michigan. The operator didn’t skip a beat – she told him they haven’t yet received a report of any towed vehicles from that location.

Wow. You work on the 311 line in the city of Chicago but don’t recognize that such a corner is physically impossible?!

Anyway…as an addendum…in the book Blues Brothers Private, which tells a bit more of a story, there’s some kind of rap sheet or something (I don’t own the book, so I can’t say for sure – I checked it out from the library some time ago) that lists all of Elwood’s “prior” addresses. Some of the addresses included not only 1060 W. Addison, but also 324 W. 35th, 1900 W. Madison, and 111 N. State – all of which should be pretty recognizable to anyone who’s spent a lot of time in the city. (Another fake address was in Harvey, probably about half a mile away from Dixie Square Mall.)


Burton Mercer: You know, I kind of liked the Wrigley Field bit.
Trooper Mount: (sarcastically) Yeah. REAL cute.

From this exchange we can’t tell whether the cops recognized the address as Wrigley or actually went there. And, unlike the Nazis, they never showed us which.


I’ve lived in Chicago for 10 years. I live, actually, 3 miles from Wrigley Field. I wouldn’t have gotten it. I have to agree that it’s funnier if it’s obscure.

Then again, every time we pass Wrigley Field (which isn’t often - unless you’re looking for a loud bar or a game, there’s nothing around there worth going to), I have a “Oh…THAT’S where Wrigley is!” moment. So I may not be representative of Chicagoans as a whole.

And I loathe baseball. The greatest impact the Cubs have on me is traffic congestion on game days.

I took the remark as dramatic license. Growing up in Chicago, I would never have recognized the address. From Street View, it does not seem to appear on the building.

Come now. Although Wrigley is the anchor and the area is known for its loud sports bars, there are many non-sports-oriented restaurants and entertainment venues in the vicinity. Somebody was complaining in a different thread that because of a forthcoming hotel development overlooking Wrigley the ImprovOlympics will have to move. The distinguishing feature of Wrigleyville is how much there is to do in the neighborhood besides go to a ball game, in contrast to virtually every other baseball stadium in the U.S., including the Cell.

It’s clear in the script:

As filmed, Mercer had already been at the hotel looking for Elwood; when Elwood asks the desk clerk if there were any calls, it’s Mercer’s card that gets handed to him.

Surely, Cleveland isn’t the only city with a ballfield in the heart of Downtown, is it?

No, Busch Stadium in St. Louis is downtown as well. I haven’t been to the new version, but the old one was basically surrounded by parking decks. Likewise, while the downtown sports complex is Cleveland is handsome (we were there for a Cavs game, but Jacobs Field is nearby and struck me as a nice place to see a ball game), there isn’t that much to do in the immediate neighborhood. I still think Cleveland is a town with potential, though.

I guess it just depends on what you mean by “the immediate neighborhood”. I would personally count all of Tower City as the same immediate neighborhood (there’s an enclosed walkway connecting Tower City and the sports complex, and most of the parking for the games is in the Tower City lots), which gives you a shopping mall (admittedly a struggling one), a department store, Cleveland’s Hard Rock Cafe, a couple of hotels, some monumental architecture, and the city’s main public transportation hub.

Lived in Chicago since 1960 and attended a ton of Cubs games through the 70s when I switched allegiances to the S side. Considered myself a big Cubs fan until they broke my heart in 69. Grew up at Belmont-Central and went to HS at Lane Tech. We’d be riding the Addison bus to school, decide to go to a game, and just stay on the bus.

Prior to the movie I never heard anyone use any address for Wrigley other than Clark and Addison. The grid system breaks down as Clark is an angle street.