Chicago fans want everyone to remember the Home of the Cubs' glory days





Mike Reischl, Chicago 10th District cop and chief of the Way Out in Left Field Society, understands if you're a die-hard Cubs fan but can't recall the Spuds, Orphans, Rainmakers, Trojans or Panamas—all former nicknames for Chicago's National League team.

But that you've never heard of West Side Grounds—where the Cubs and their variants played before Wrigley Field—gets him in a lather of near Lou Piniella proportions.

"If you go to the University of Pittsburgh, they have the original [Forbes Field] home plate on display," Reischl says. (It's in Posvar Hall, under Lucite.) Then his laugh morphs into a pro-West Side Grounds rant: "Well, we had four World Series occur here. Cap Anson had his 3,000th hit here to become the first player to get that many hits. Kid Nichols got his 300th win here. And we had the very first interurban World Series game here in 1906; New York didn't do it first, we did it first!

"And we've got this great location that no one knows about." Bordered by Wolcott Avenue (then Lincoln Street) and Polk, Wood and Taylor Streets, West Side Grounds stood as the Friendliest Confines of All—an old steel-and-wood park snugly seating 16,000 where the Cubs played their best baseball. Tinker to Evers to Chance ... 116 wins in a season ... back-to-back major-league titles. That kind of baseball.


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