Monthly Archives: April 2012

Solution to the April Puzzler

Your April Puzzler dealt with the home of the Chicago White Stockings, predecessor of both the White Sox and the Cubs in the 1870’s and 80’s. That ball field was known as the Union Base-ball Grounds.

The Puzzler Question:

The Union Base-ball Grounds was located on the spot of  what is now a highly popular attraction in the city. What is that area called today?

Congratulations to you who answered: Millennium Park. We had one entry for Grant Park, which you could say was correct on the technicality that Millennium Park is itself a part of the larger Grant Park. We are broad-minded, so consider yourself a winner as well.

Aerial view of Chicago in 1874. 

Below  is an enlargement in which you can see the Union Base-ball Grounds.

Union Base-ball Grounds at Michigan Ave and Randolph St, Chicago.

Reference: Wikipedia. the free Encyclopedia:

Union Base-Ball Grounds was a baseball park located in Chicago, Illinois. It was very  visible downtown, bounded on the west by Michigan Avenue, on the north by Randolph Street, and on the east by railroad tracks and the lakeshore, which was then much closer than it is today.

The outfield fence was especially short in right field. It was less than 200 feet away, so anyone hitting the ball over that fence was awarded only a ground rule double. Batters would aim for the fence, and during their years at the park the Chicago club regularly led the league in doubles.

In what would be their final season on the lakefront, the White Stockings decided to make the entire outfield fence home run territory. Thus the team slumped in number of doubles while boosting their home runs from typically a dozen or two to 142, and easily outdistanced second place Buffalo, which had 39 for the season. The entire league’s home run totals were up, thanks to the change to the Chicago ground rules.

After 1884, the city reclaimed the land, and the White Stockings became a road team for the first couple of months of 1885 while awaiting construction of West Side Park.

Thanks for joining in!

Larry

Advertisements

The April Puzzler

 

It’s April, 2012, the opening of a new baseball season! And it’s time for a new Puzzler. So here goes.

In the 1870’s and 80’s, the Chicago White Stockings, forerunners of both the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs played in the Union Base-ball Grounds. Here’s is  your puzzler:

The Union Base-ball Grounds was located on the spot of what is today a highly popular attraction in the city. What is that area called today?

 Let’s all get in the baseball spirit. Submit your entries in the form of a Comment and learn the solution in a couple weeks!

Best of luck,

Larry

The Roster of the 1885 Chicago White Stockings...

Chicago White Stockings, 1888


Rhyme of the Fearsome Scuttlejack

Reminiscence of Lake Michigan sailing days aboard my little boat, the Mimsy . . .

T’was lurkish, and the wiffly flooves

Did stretch the ensigns toward the blay.

The Mimsy rode the rounding loofs,

And the good skiff wahfed onway.

Be sure to mind the smarms my boys,

The troughs that trap, the swells that flip!

Beware the carpful Scuttlejack, and fight

The awrful Floundership.

We held our ruddle fast in hand,

The tithey deep our fullsome foe.

Then raggled we upon the sea,

And sloggened splays did blow.

As crew we verved, and as we plied,

The Scuttlejack, aboil, appeared.

And orgled forth, it us soon spied,

Overpowering, as we’d feared.

With sudden sputt the Mimsy cut

Toward haven, dock and rest.

The Scuttlejack lay on its back

For we had passed the test.

Oh, how we scowed into our slip!

We cried Hip Hip Hooray!

We live to wahf another ship,

Though shan’t forget this day!

T’was lurkish and the wiffly flooves

Did stretch the ensigns toward the blay.

The Mimsy rode the rounding loofs,

And the good skiff wahfed onway.

By Larry Ambrose

Inspired by “The Jabberwock”, from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll.