The initial stadium was the club's home beginning in 1885, succeeding Lakefront Park. Although the park's useful life turned out to be as short as the ball club's stay at the Lakefront (seven years), it was also memorable, as the team won back-to-back National League pennants in its first two seasons there.
The park was located on a small block bounded by Congress, Loomis, Harrison and Throop Streets, with the diamond toward its western end. The elongated shape of the block lent a bathtub-like shape to the park, with foul lines reportedly as short as 216 feet (66 m). The stadium held roughly 10,000 fans. In addition to the diamond, the park held a bicycle track which encircled the playing field, at the height of the contemporary bicycle craze.
The Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) had had to secure a new property after 1884, and it took longer than anticipated. The season began on April 30, a month later than it does today, for a 112-game schedule, 50 fewer games than today's major-league schedule. The club spent the first five-plus weeks of the 1885 season on the road and the park was finally opened on June 6 with a victory over the St. Louis Maroons, late of the Union Association. Despite being "wanderers" early in the season, the powerful Chicago club, under player-manager Cap Anson, came home with an 18-6 record. They would sweep a four-game set in their first homestand and romp through the league schedule, finishing at 87-25. The only team that gave them any problem was the New York Giants, who won 10 of the clubs' 16 meetings and finished just two games behind Chicago in the standings. If projected to a modern 162-game schedule, that translates to 125 and 123 wins, respectively, in a very lopsided league (the third-place club finished 30 games back).