South Side Park #1, Chicago Base Ball Grounds, Union Baseball Grounds
Life Span: 1884-1885
Location: 39th Street, Wabash Avenue, 38th Street, Michigan Avenue
Chicago Tribune, June 17, 1883
The grounds of the Union Base-Ball Club of Chicago, Thirty-ninth street, between Michigan and Wabash avenues, will be opened to the public June 26. On that date the management expect to play the Athletics of Philadelphia, with either the St. Louis Club or Metropolitans. The facilities for getting to the new grounds are first-class. Two cable lines, two horse-car lines, that three steam lines (the Illinois Central, Chicago Rock island, and Lake store roads run on the corner of Thirty-ninth and Wabash avenue. The grand-stand will be 306 feet long. It will be furnished with chairs, and will have a seating capacity of 2.500 feet. Two open stands will seat 4,000. Eight members of the team have already been engaged. Three are left-band batters, and are said to be first-class men. James F. McKee, formerly manager of the Rockford nine, will have charge of the new team.
Chicago Tribune, July 21, 1884
According to policemen at the Union Ball Grounds the bombshell that killed Mrs. Annie Zimmerman Saturday night was part of a pyro-tehnic display made by the Base-Ball Company. It seems that a lot of fireworks bad been left over from the Fourth and the baseball people were setting them off as a sort of advertisement for their grounds. Mrs. Zimmerman was on top of her house with her husband, three children, and four friends. The house, a brick cottage, stands close behind the inclosure. Several bombs were sent up which
exploded, but one sent up a few minutes after 10 o’elock failed to explode and the people in the park didn’t know what became of it. It fell upon Mrs. Zimmerman’s head with such force as to crush her skull, killing her instantly. The bomb, which was not broken, weighs about six pounds, is about seven inches in diameter, and is coated with hard pasteboard.
An inquest is to be held this morning at half-past 10 o’clock, and the funeral tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock. Mr. Zimmerman says that the two men who fired the bomb have been arrested and that the police are now after the proprietor. Thomas W. Lessaran and James Prior, who fired the bomb that killed Mrs. Zimmerman, were arrested last night to await the result of the Coroner’s inquest. They were in the employ of J. Pain & Co., of London, England, who were giving the pyrotechnical display.
Excerpted from Chicago Tribune, February 25, 1885
The old Union grounds at the corner of Thirty-ninth street and Wabash avenue, were thought of, but their distance from the business centre and the fact of their being inaccessible by North and West Side street-car lines proved a very serious objection.