ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
From the Ashes, 1872-1900
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
REMONSTRANCE AGAINST A BASEBALL PARK AT THE CORNER OF TWELFTH AND LINCOLN STREETS
April 27, 1887
Baseball became popular during the Civil War with troops on both sides playing the game behind their respective lines. The Chicago Base Ball Association, the city's first professional organization, was formed in 1869. In Chicago in 1885 there were over forty thousand paid admissions to four games between professional New York and Chicago teams.
Frank Flint who was also known as "Old Silver" was a contemporary of this document. This great catcher spent thirteen years in professional baseball, most of which were with the Chicago White Stockings. Throughout his career he caught in 935 games and earned a reputation for durability. He worked without a mask or face protector and on his retirement he remarked that every joint in each of his fingers had been broken at least once, his nose had been broken countless times, and all of his teeth had been smashed.
Points to Consider
Why were area residents objecting to the erection of a baseball park?
What kind of reputation did the game of baseball have in 1887?
What is the current-day name of Twelfth Street?
What would the petitioners have preferred their children to have been doing on Sunday afternoons?