A couple of days ago I posted a blog stating that there was a pretty big mistake on one of the murals that have been mounted on the Waveland and Sheffield exterior walls of Wrigley Field. I invited readers to try to find that error.
I received dozens of replies, both in the Comments section (scroll down that post to read the comments) and via email. One reader, as of 4:00pm Wednesday, noted the same rather substantial mistake that I saw as I waited to get into the Centennial Game on April 23. Others found additional errors.
On that rather chilly Wednesday morning I stood in a long line on Waveland Avenue that snaked from Gate K to almost Sheffield Avenue, waiting for the gates to open at 11:30. There was a parallel line for the bleachers. The sidewalk was pretty congested. We all wanted our free Chicago Federals jerseys, promised to the first 30,000 that entered the ballpark. We needn't have worried. Based on the number of people in the park that day, the Cubs had plenty of jerseys left.
Because I had the time, I stood and actually studied the Waveland Avenue murals. Previously, I had sped by the ballpark and noted their existence without taking a closer look. When I came to this photograph in one of the murals close to Gate K, I stopped dead in my tracks ...
You see, I had just finished editing a collection of essays and oral histories titled Old Comiskey Park: Essays and Memories of the Historic Home of the Chicago White Sox, 1910-1991 (note: the second date refers to the park's year of demolition, not the last year the Sox played there). I contributed an essay about events other than baseball that occurred at Comiskey Park, including the August, 1927, visit of aviator Charles Lindbergh to Chicago.
Lindbergh's Chicago stopover was part of a triumphant, whirlwind tour of the country celebrating his trans-Atlantic flight from Long Island to Paris, the first of its kind in history. He landed his Spirit of St. Louis plane at what is now Midway Airport, at 55th and Cicero, and then drove to Comiskey Park, at 35th and Shields, on his way to a big reception and rally at Soldier field, at about 14th and Lake Shore Drive. A very logical route.
I didn't remember reading anywhere that he stopped at Wrigley Field. So I looked more closely at the photograph and took a hard look at the rather blurry background.
Arched windows. Not distinct, but definitely there.
I turned to others standing in line, or maybe to no one in particular, and said, "That's not Wrigley Field. That's Comiskey Park." Fans in my near vicinity stared at me with blank expressions, as if I had claimed that Lake Michigan was really the Atlantic Ocean.
After the game I returned home and examined a similar photograph I had considered including in the book. It's from the Chicago History Museum and clearly shows the arched windows in the background of a shot labelled as being photographed at Comiskey Park.
In addition, the facing of the upper deck, under the first row, is clearly that of Comiskey Park. In 1927 the Cubs were still building their new upper deck, and its facing did not resemble that of Comiskey Park.
And finally, there were no windows under the Wrigley Field upper deck. It was wide open to Seminary and Clark Streets, and the prevailing westerlies blowing in from the North Side.
Faithful readers listed more errors, but we'll have to go into them in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, Lewis26, write to me at email@example.com and I'll send you a copy of my book, Waiting for the Cubs. It's sure to be a collector's item, as you and several members of my family will be the only ones who own a copy. And, by the way, it's riddled with errors!
Thanks to everyone who responded to my little quiz. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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