So you thought Wrigley Field was in Chicago? Yes, but there was also a minor league Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, and in fact, this one was named "Wrigley Field" before the "namesake" in the Windy City! Like Seals Stadium (San Francisco), Colt Stadium (Houston), and Sick's Stadium (Seattle), this was one of those forgotten temporary venues for expansion franchises, pending construction of a more permanent home. It was named after the owner, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley who owned both the Cubs and the (minor league) Angels franchises. Wrigley Field (L.A.) was probably the finest minor league stadium ever built, with a double-decked grandstand and classic Spanish colonial architecture. Palm trees and residential homes were visible beyond the left field wall. One of the defining features was a 12-story clock tower on the back of the grandstand, which held office space for the Pacific Coast League staff.
It is a little-known fact that the Dodgers considered moving into Wrigley Field when they relocated to Los Angeles in 1958, and plans were made to expand it by wrapping the double-decked grandstand around the corners, extending beyond the outfield. (See the "hypothetical alternative" diagram above.) In such a case, it would have taken the entire 1958 season to complete construction. The capacity of such an enlarged stadium would have been about 35,000 -- bigger than Ebbets Field, but perhaps not big enough to satisfy the Dodgers for more than a decade or so. This would have forced the closer of the street behind the left field fence, and the houses on that block would have had to have been razed. It was just too tight a squeeze, however, and the neighboring residents objected. So, Walter O'Malley looked elsewhere, and found a much bigger (if less suitable) venue about a mile to the west: Memorial Coliseum.
CINEMA: Being just a few miles from Hollywood, it was only natural that Wrigley Field was featured in several baseball-related movies such as Elmer, the Great (1933), Alibi Ike (1935), Test Pilot (1938), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), It Happens Every Spring (1949), The Stratton Story (1949), The Winning Team (1952), and Damn Yankees (1958). It also was the setting for a football-themed movie, Easy Living (1949), the TV show Home Run Derby in the late 1950s, and an episode of The Munsters.
Indeed, as the diagram shows, there was barely enough room for the playing field itself. Wrigley Field (L.A.) resembled the Chicago original in many ways (such as having ivy-covered outfield walls), but the power alleys were much shorter, only 345 feet. The roof profile was nearly identical, with "dormers," i.e., protrusions from the rear of the upper deck that accommodated the access ramps. It was symmetrical but had very little foul territory. That was fine for minor leagues, but when major league teams played here in 1961 there was a flood of home runs.
In the early 1950s there was talk of expanding L.A.'s Wrigley Field to accommodate a major league team, by extending the grandstand around the foul poles and toward center field. A street lay just beyond the left field wall, however, so that would have forced the street to be closed and several houses along it would have been demolished. Doing so would have raised capacity to over 40,000 (see the "long term hypothetical alternative" diagram above), but that would only have made economic sense if the expanded stadium were to have remained in use for at least 20 more years. A more realistic option (see the "mmedium term hypothetical alternative" diagram above)would have been to expand the grandstand around the right field corner only, raising the capacity to about 29,000. The Dodgers could have played there instead of the L.A. Coliseum, and all sorts of absurd travesties would never have happened. When Dodger Stadium was ready, the L.A. Angels could have made Wrigley Field their home for at least ten years, rather than share Dodger Stadium and then build their own new stadium.
The Angels moved out of Wrigley Field after the 1961 season, then played as tenants in brand new Dodger Stadium for four years, and finally moved into their own stadium in 1966. Wrigley Field (L.A.) was demolished in 1966, and a public park and community center now occupy the land where it once stood.
SOURCES: Lowry (2006), Ritter (1992), Gershman (1993)