Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 21, 1915 -- Weeghman Gets the Cubs

December 21, 1915 – A banner headline in the Chicago Daily Tribune screams, “Weeghman Admits He Has Secured The Cubs”.  Charles H. Weeghman began his career in Chicago as a waiter making ten bucks a week and parlayed a small stake into a collection of 15 Chicago diners that served cold sandwiches.  Besides sandwiches Weeghman really loved baseball, and he wanted desperately to own a professional team.  After his attempt to buy the St. Louis Cardinals proved unsuccessful, he teamed up with a renegade group of owners controlling teams in the Federal League.  Weeghman gave his Chicago Federals a new concrete and steel stadium near the elevated tracks on the north side of the city on the former site of the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  After the Federals, renamed the Whales, barely won the championship in 1915, American and National League executives, tired of the Federal League raiding teams for their players, asked for negotiations before Federal Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.  The upshot was that the Federal League disappeared, but two owners were given opportunities to buy teams in the older, more established leagues.  Weeghman was one of those owners, and it was on this date back in 1915 that the news of his purchase of the Chicago Cubs was announced.  His first action as an owner was to hire Joe Tinker as the manager of the team.  His second was to move the Cubs from their west side location to Weeghman Field at the corner of Addison and Clark Streets.  A century and a year later Weeghman’s Cubs would win the World Series.  The above photo shows Weeghman Field in 1915.

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