Chicago Tribune December 30, 1913
BY J. E. SANBORN.
President Charles Weeghman of the Chicago Federal League Club uncovered yesterday the site chosen for the new baseball plant on the north side, confirming reports which have been current for some time that the future home of the Federals in this city would be located on the lot at Clark and Addison streets and Sheffield avenue; spent several hours closeted with Manager Joe Tinker, and announced that the lineup of the new team, containing the names of eight American and National League players, would be ready for public consumption next Sunday.
Negotiations for the location which at one time was to have housed an American Association team, have been on for quite a spell and the deal was not consummated until the Federal people brought considerable pressure to bear on the owners of the north side property. Control of this site originally was obtained by the late Charles Havenor of Milwaukee and the Cantillion brothers, owners of the Minneapolis club with a view to invading Chicago with an Association team. When that move was abandoned some years ago, the Havenor interest in the lot was taken over by a relative by marriage of the Cantillions.
Trick Play Brings Success.
Through this connection the forces of organized baseball are said to have been working to block the scheme to locate a Federal League club on the Addison street site with some prospect of success. As a counter move the Federal backers obtained an option on the old White Sox Park at Thirty-ninth street and Wentworth avenue, occupied by the American Giants since the erection of Comiskey Park.
When the American League was confronted with direct competition only four blocks away, the obstacles in the way of the Federal League obtaining a lease on the north side grounds disappeared and the dicker went through without further hitch.
Mr. Weeghman said last night that he would retain the option on the old White Sox Park for the present to safeguard himself in case of emergencies. That location already has a small stand ready for immediate use.
President Weeghman further announced that plans were being prepared by Zachariah Taylor, the architect who designed Comiskey Park, for the stand which is to be erected on the Clark-Addison street lot, and that they would be in shape to ask for bids within a week. It is planned to put up stands capable of accommodating 15,000 to start with, the structure to be of steel or concrete and the design to be such that additions can be made at any time to increase the capacity. It is estimated the plant will cost $100,000 to $125,000, but the figures are tentative and will be increased if necessary. Work is to be commenced as early as possible, as time is limited with the opening of the season only a little over three months away.
Tinker to Get $36,000.
It was learned from excellent authority that the three year contract signed by Manager Tinker calls for $36,000 for three years, and that the former Cub shortstop is to be guaranteed that sum by a surety company. This arrangement was accepted yesterday by Tinker in place of the original plan to have securities or coin for the total amount deposited as a guarantee in case the league should hit the rocks before the expiration of the three years. Tinker himself confirmed the statement that he had cast his lot with the new league and substantiated it by getting busy on the telegraph wires, presumably in lining up the players on the Chicago list. He would not disclose the names of any of the men he hopes to have under him, but said he expected to have the list ready in a short while, and, to surprise a few people with some of the names on it.
Manager Brown of the St. Louis team said he expected to leave tonight for the Mound City to confer with Owner Stifel and go over the ground with him. Brown said he had only a vague idea as yet of what material would be at his disposal for the formation of a team next year. One of the purposes of his visit will be to ascertain that and to learn what players will be necessary for him to sign for next year. Brown declared he did not know the location of the new grounds in St. Louis, but had been informed they were to be considerably nearer the business section than either the National of American League plant in that city. A site between Olive and Laciede streets, near Grand Avenue, has been under consideration for the Federal League, it is said.
Salary of Brownie Is Safe.
When asked if he had his salary for the three year term of his contract clinched beyond recall or loss Brownie smiled and said it ought to be safe, because a lawyer friend of his had worked for several days drawing up papers, the dole purpose of which was to insure against loss.
Reports from the east to the effect that Otto Knabe of the Phillies had been lined up to manage the Pittsburgh Federals and that Jimmy Sheckard last connected with the Cincinnati team, was to have the leadership of the new Baltimore team, were neither affirmed nor denied by local Federal officials. President Gilmore of the Federal league left for the east in the afternoon and his destination was given out as New York.This gave rite to the presumption that the new league was seeking location in Gotham, but that was denied by the statement that the circuit would stand as given out on Saturday, Toronto inking the place vacated by Cleveland’s failure to secure desirable grounds.
Regarding the activity of the Federal league and the signing of Tinker and Brown, President Johnson of the American League maintained his attitude of regret and sympathy for the players themselves and declined to be drawn into any discussion of probable retaliatory measures that might be adopted by organized baseball in case further desertions of players are announced.
Chicago Tribune, March 29, 1914
Chicago Examiner, April 24, 1914
BY JAMES CLARKSON
Accompanied by unprecedented pomp and splendor, national pastiming, as portrayed by the rejuvenated Federal League, made its debut m Chicago yesterday. More than 24,000 wildly enthusiastic fans crowded the new $250,000 home of Joe Tinker’s North Siders and nearly 1,000 others viewed the inaugural battle with the Kansas City Packers from houses, telephone poles and trees m the vicinity of the Clark and Addison plant. The local athletes added to the hilarity of the occasion by trimmingGeorge Stovall’s band by the lopsided score of 9 to 1.
While the initial conflict to be staged in the new baseball palace of the third major league’was the magnet that drew an overflow crowd to the field, the contest almost became a mere detail of the afternoon’s program. From the moment the vanguard of the throng began to trickle through the gates of the park at noon until 3:10 p. m., when Corporation Counsel William H. Sexton pitched the first ball to Manager Tinker and the game began, a series of entertainments were run off, including patriotic aud ragtime concerts, parades and a fireworks display, and there was something doing all the time.
April 23, 1914
President Weeghman aud his associates presented every fau who entered the grand stand with a hat of gaudy hue and a Chifed pennant as souvenirs of the occasion. The great majority of the bugs adorned themselves with the headpiece of blue, red and green and flaunted the gayly colored Hags at the least provocation. When a good play or a long hit brought the 24,000 fanatics to their feet, yelling and jumping, the sight was one that entered the category of the never-to-be-forgotten. It was a riot of color and then some.
Band Works Overtime.
A fifty-piece hand was engaged by the management to lend eclat to the inaugural and it worked overtime. So did three or four other musical organizations secured by various booster clubs. Groups of cabaret singers with their own music makers wended their way through the crowd, continually impressing everyone with the fact that “this was the life” or that they were on their way to Mandalay. The leather-lunged Carusos brought huge megaphones into play to carry their ditties above the roar of the fans and the efforts of rival songsters, and as a result there was a continual din from 2 p. m. until game time and after that between every inning until the last man was out.
The Bravo FI Toro Club, several hundred strong, made the best showing of the booster organizations, coming out the field through a gate beside the center field bleachers and making a complete circuit of the arena. The boosters wore white sombreros decorated with red and yellow ribbons and were dolled in huge sashes of the same colur. They timed their appearance so as to come on jest as the Packers were taking their fielding practice ami thus tiny were enabled to show off before the crowded amphitheater. The procession was beaded by several members on horseback and included a military hand and an animal of the species that participates in the national game of Mexico.
At the left is Mrs. Charles H.Weeghman, wife of the club president and owner, photographed while smiling over the Chicago victory. In the center is a sensational play that occurred in the first inning, when Zeider tried to steal home with two out and Beck at bat. Kollie had the throw beaten, but Beck hit to Kenworth and was tossed out, preventing the score. Those in the group, from left to right, are Zeider, Beck, Easterly and Umpire Brennan. At the right are shown President Charles H. Weeghman, holding the silver loving cup presented to him, and Corporation Counsel William H. Sexton, who threw the first ball.
Women Present Silk Flag.
Shortly before game time a committee from the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the G. A. R. department of Illinois, appeared on the field. The women, a dozen number, were clad m white and carried an immense silk American flag. They marched to the plate where they formed in line behind the fifty-piece hand. President James A. Gilmore of the league. Vice President Weeghman and Vice President William M. Walker of the Chifeds. Vice President George S. Ward of Brooklyn and President C. C. Madison of Kansas City, Joined the flag bearers on tbe diamond and then the Chifeds aud the Parkers fell Into the parade.
The procession marched to the flag pole in center field while the band discoursed patriotic airs and the fanatics applauded wildly. The silken banner was presented to President Weeghman at the foot of the flag pole and then it was flung fo the breeze.
Innumerable bombs were exploded high In the air while the marchers were on their way to the flagstaff, and when each bomb broke it revealed a red. white and blue parachute with a large flag attached. After a sharp drop each parachute unfolded and carried the starry banners away until the throng lost sight of them.
Tinker Displays Real Ball Club.
When the fans had tbelr fill of this fancy preliminary stuff the Chifeds got busy and showed them that Joe Tinker has corralled a good ball club, even it the athletes did drop five of their first seven games abroad. The North Siders made fifteen hits off Indian Johnson, Dwight Stone and George Hogan. who were sent to the hill by Stovall, while Claude Hendrlx toyed with the visitors and held them to four hits. One wallop was a drive over the left field fence by Ted Easterly, former Sox catcher, and this blow alone averted a Packer shutout
Art Wilson, who jumped the Giants to perform on the North Side, was the king bee slugger of the afternoon. Art twice drove the ball over tbe left field enclosure, once with a man on base, and one time he connected so powerfully that the pill landed in the middle of Waveland
It would be hard to convince North Side fans who got their first glimpse of Tinker’s outfit that Joe hasn’t rounded np a big league team. Tbe Chifeds worked wonders in the field, and they certainly punished the aborigine, who was the Cincinnati Reds’ star pitcher last year, and Stone, who for the greater part of the 1913 campaign was a member of the SL Louis Browns.
Injunction Halts Indian.
Although Johnson was found for four hits and three runs in two innings, Stovall didn’t derrick him voluntarily. Just aa the Indian returned to the coop after the second round he was met by a deputy sheriff who served an injunction from the Superior Court. The injunction, sought by the Cincinnati Reds, was granted early yesterday afternoon, but was not served before tbe combat began and the officers of the law worked so quietly that the bugs believed the Chifed assault had driven the lndian from the hill.
Chicago counted thrice In the second frame on Zwilling’s double. Farrell’s single and Wilson’s first homer. This drive struck the bouse outside left field.
Tinker’s stroll. Beck’s single and Zwilling’s second two-bagger result made it 4-0 In the third when Stone started. Wilson’s second circuit smash. Flack’s double and Tinker’s single netted two more markers In the fourth. Wilson was passed when he came up in tlie sixth. Then Hendrlx singled and Flack was safe on Kenworthy’s error, thus filling the bases. Zeider drove in the battery men with a safety to left, but the following batters couldn’t more m another tally.
Another Run in Eighth.
Chicago’s run of the eighth resulted from singles by Farrell and Hendrlx with a wild pitch and an out coming between.
The Packers got two men on in the opener on Potts’ single and a pass, but Hendrlx made tbe next two batters look ridiculous. Another hit was not forthcoming from that frame until the sixth. when Potts doubled and foolishly tried to steal third. Easterly’s homer opened the elghth. In which Pinch Hitter Gilmore singled, but the latter safety was nulllfied by a double pay.
Chicago Examiner, April 24, 1914
While singers warbled “This Is the Life” and nearly ten brass bauds played all the popular airs, close to 25,000 bugs forgot about the Mexican war for three hours yesterday afternoon when they Ifilled Charles Weeghman’s magnificent North Side ball park at tbe auspicious opening of tbe Federal League here.
Fans of every description, from small urchins to society folk, were there dressed in gay colors and decorated with appropriate plumage. Seldom have there been so many persons assembled at one place on the North Side. They were present for different reasons.
The gates opened shortly after 1 o’clock and as the spectators started to file in President Weeghman and Vice President Walker were on hand with beaming smiles to greet them. The stands were quickly filled and fifteen minutes before the game started Secretary Charley Williams was compelled to allow the bleacherites to find scats in the temporary stands In the outfield.
Rooters’ clubs nf every description arrived at different intervals and marched around the field. A score of women representing the G. A. R. marched around the field to the flag pole in tbe center and presented the owner of the new ball club with a large American flag and as it was raised fifteen bombs were exploded and Weeghman’s new park was officially opened.
The donation of a loving cup to the popular president of the club and many floral offerings to Manager Joe Tinker then followed. And after Coronation Counsel William Sexton, representing Mayor Harrison, took his place on the slab and threw two balls to Tinker; the game started.
Here is how the Chicago Tribune described the opening day:
Chicago took the Federal League to its bosom yesterday and claimed it as a mother would claim a long lost child. With more more frills and enthusiasm than had prevailed at a baseball opening here Joe Tinker and his Chifeds made their debut before a throng of fans that filled the new north side park to capacity, and the Chicago Feds trounced George Stovall’s Kansas City team, 9 to 1. All Chicago cheered and the north side was maddened with delight.
It may not have been the largest crowd that ever saw an opening game in Chicago, but conservative estimators placed the attendance at about 21,000. The new park is said to have a seating capacity of 18,000. . . . every seat in the place was taken, a great many were standing up in the back of the grandstand, and more than 2,000 were on the field in the circus seats placed there for the occasion.
The windows and roofs of flat buildings across the way from the park were crowded with spectators. The surface and elevated trains leading to the north side were overhanging with people in the early afternoon and three or four separate and distinct automobile parades unloaded several thousand gaily decked rooters at the gates. Owners Weeghman and Walker of the north side club and President Gilmore of the new league were so overjoyed with the spectacle that they almost wept, and there is little doubt that it was an epochal day in the history of the national game.
The weather was far from suited to the occasion, too. A chilling wind was coming off the lake and one needed winter furs to be comfortable. . . . Although it was the first game for the new Chicago club, the progress was executed with admirable precision and dispatch, largely due to the efforts of the experienced business manager, Charles G. Williams, who served more than twenty-five years with the local National League club.
The North Side Boosters’ club, numbering more than a thousand, held a parade. The Bravo el Toro club, numbering about 100, came leading a fatted steer from the stockyards, and the members intended to put on a burlesque bullfight on the field. The fatted steer refused to get mad and the bullfight was a fizzle. There were the Charley Williams Boosters, who came out in hordes. Before the game a squad of women from the Ladies of the G.A.R [that is, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, from the Civil War] marched upon the field bearing large American flag. Led by a band and followed by the members of both ball clubs, the women carried the national color to the flag pole in far center field. Rockets and bombs a 21-gun salute, that is were fired as they approached it.
With the flag pole ceremonies over, the band led the paraders to the home plate, where there were several cart loads of flowers in the form of horseshoes and bundles of American beauties. Most of them were for Manager Tinker.
The game itself was too one sided to be intense, but the fact that the home team was on the long end of the score made everybody happy. However, before the game had gone into the third inning organized ball stepped in with the hand of the law and yanked one of the “outlaws” from the ranks. Chief Johnson, who started as pitcher for Kansas City, was served with legal papers at the close of the second inning, enjoining him temporarily from playing ball with the Federal league. Manager Stovall of the visitors rushed another hurler to the slab and the game went on just as if nothing had happened.”
Chicago Tribune, April 20, 1916
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A WEST SIDE BALL YARD.
The whistles sound the knell of parting day,
The toilers travel slowly home to tea,
I’ve got to write a parody on Gray,
Though it be painful both to you and me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight.
Save for the chatter of the laboring folk
Returning to their hovels for the night,
All’s still at Taylor, Lincoln, Wood, and Polk.
Beneath this aged roof, this grandstand’s shade,
Where peanut shucks lie in a mold’ring heap,
Where show the stains of pop and lemonade,
The Cub bugs used to cheer and groan and weep.
The adverse guess of Mr. William Klein,
The miscalled strikes of Eason and of Orth,
No more shall rouse the fire of hate in them—
They yield to their successors over north
Where Anson used to hit ’em on the pick,
Where Lange was went to grab ’em off the grass,
Where Dahlen used to kick and kick and kick,
Where Danny Friend was worked for many a pass.
Where games won by Callahan and Griff,
Where long home runs were knocked by Danny Green;
Where, later, Bill Maloney used to whiff,
Where Reulbach used to wound ’em in the bean.
Where Artie Hofman pulled his circus stunts,
Where Sheckard drove and caught ’em on his brow,
Where “Schlitz” was banished from the fold (just once),
Where Heine started many a healthy row.
Where Joe got coverage to go on the stage,
Where Brownie did his own and others toll,
Where Evers used to brew his boiling rage,
Where Chance cussed John McGraw and Larry Doyle.
Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble bleats,
The moles, untroubled, now dig up the turf,
And gnats and roaches occupy the seats
That other bugs once filled, to help out Murf.
“To help Murf? And who was he?” you say,
I answer with a melancholy sigh:
“Approach and read (if you can read) the lay
Graved on the door we used to enter by”;
He was the one real Fox of modern time;
He had competitors all licked a mile.
He gave to baseball all he had—a dime.
He gained from it (’twas all he wished)—his pile.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode.
Let him enjoy his well deserved repose
At 6157 Sheridan Road.