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Chicago To Get its Own Baseball Museum?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 8, 2005 7:38PM

2005_02_sports_baseball_museum.jpgChicagoist loves baseball. And Chicagoist loves the romance and history of the game. So we were pretty excited to learn there are plans to build a Chicago Baseball Museum in town!

According to the Chicago Tribune, the museum is the brainchild of Dr. David Fletcher and would honor the "rich tradition in the nation's pastime."

Fletcher sounds pretty serious about making this museum a reality. In addition to spending $50,000 of his own money, he is beginning to raise money towards the $5-6 million needed to get the project off the ground. Having already studied potential locations, he has also rounded up an advisory board that includes members of the Cubs and White Sox organizations as well as local politicians. Because we all know nothing happens without a being blessed by the pols.

Now in a city as polarized by baseball as Chicago, the key question is Location? As the Trib points out, the middle of Madison isn't likely to work, in spite of its neutrality in the baseball wars. Fletcher's proposed locations are all on the North Side, including the old Chicago traffic building at LaSalle St. and the river. Others think that Navy Pier or a location closer to Michigan Ave. may help draw the 300,000 visitors Fletcher hopes for. What are the plans for the former Terra Museum space?

Not simply a tribue to the Cubs and Sox, the 60,000 to 70,000 sq. ft. museum would also commemorate Chicago connections to the Negro League, the women's baseball league made famous by the movie "A League of their Own" and "a section on the uniquely Chicago sport of 16-inch softball." Does that mean an exhibit on the history or finger splints?


Chicagoist wishes Dr. Fletcher the best of luck on this project, and hopes to get an invtite to the opening. Fletcher is shooting for mid-2006 to "commemorate the 100th anniversary of the last [and only all-Chicago] subway series." Or to celebrate the recently concluded 2005 Subway Series!

Drawing by Randy Sattler