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Mr. Cub could have instead been Mr. Sox

By Mark Liptak
Posted Monday, January 26th

Here’s something that’ll make a Cub fan choke... if not for circumstances, Ernie Banks, the famed “Mr. Cub,” might never have played a game for the North Side. Instead Banks might have spent his career on the South Side and consequently gotten into a World Series...or two.

As to why Banks didn’t become a member of the White Sox, details are unclear but some facts are known and it appears the main reason was because of a personality conflict of two of the leading Sox figures of the 1950's, Frank “Trader” Lane and Paul Richards.


Banks statue goes
full circle in a way

By George Castle

The statue of Ernie Banks, returned to downtown Chicago’s Daley Plaza for a public memorial Jan. 28 after a restoration project in Michigan, has in a way come full circle.

Placed in the plaza with the famed Picasso statue, the Banks sculpture that normally greets fans near Wrigley Field's main entrance recalls the dedication of the Picasso on Aug. 15, 1967. Not everyone was pleased at the time by the indecipherable artwork. No explanation of what it signified was provided by its designer.

Chicago Alderman John Hoellen of the 47th Ward, a frequent antagonist of Mayor Richard J. Daley, in fact suggested instead of the Picasso, the city should have erected a statue of…Banks!



The Passing of Minnie Minoso and
Remembrances by His Sox Teammates

CBM President Dr. David Fletcher with Minnie Minoso.  The CBM has worked tirelessly to get Minoso into the Hall of Fame.

CBM President Dr. David Fletcher with Minnie Minoso. The CBM has worked tirelessly to get Minoso into the Hall of Fame.

By Mark Liptak
Posted on Monday, March 2nd

From the time he arrived to make his White Sox debut on May 1, 1951 until his passing early Sunday morning March 1, 2015, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) “Minnie” Minoso loved Chicago, the White Sox and baseball.

Minoso, the first Latin player to appear for the White Sox, reportedly was 90 years old although many feel he was actually older when he passed away in his car. Minoso had gone out Saturday night for a friend's birthday party when he apparently fell ill and pulled over in the Lakeview neighborhood, according to police and family. He was found early Sunday morning unresponsive.

Minoso’s story is one of overcoming hardship and prejudice first in Cuba where he was born and raised and then in his day-to-day dealings with life in the 1950’s in America. He changed people’s attitudes by always being courteous and showing a smile regardless of the circumstances.

Minnie played 17 games with the Indians in 1949 and 1951 when he was acquired by the Sox in a three way deal also involving the Athletics. The deal was driven by Sox G.M. Frank “Trader” Lane upon the recommendation of manager Paul Richards. Richards had first seen Minoso play in San Diego in the Pacific Coast League and immediately pushed for his acquisition. When all was said and done, Philadelphia sent Lou Brissie to Cleveland; Cleveland sent Sam Zoldak and Ray Murray to Philadelphia; the Athletics sent Paul Lehner to the White Sox, the White Sox sent Gus Zernial and Dave Philley to Philadelphia and the Indians sent Minoso to the South Side of Chicago.

Minoso had a Sox debut for the ages. On May 1, 1951, he faced the Yankees Vic Raschi and on the second pitch hammered a drive into the center field bullpen for a two run home run. The drive went an estimated 415 feet. That same game a youngster named Mickey Mantle also hit his first major league home run.


Ernie Banks,
a joyous career

Cubs Hype machine
into high gear

Woody Warm-Up
to Water Tower

A multi-media celebration of Chicago’s own Double Duty Radcliffe

'Double Duty' Ted Radcliffe: Chicago's own Negro League superstar

Double Duty Ted Radcliffe was Chicago’s own Negro League superstar. Those who knew him and his work insist Duty would have been a star big-leaguer behind the plate and a very competent starting pitcher had the color line not been firmly entrenched in the prime of his career.

In connection with the DD Classic and as a permanent way to honor Duty, the Chicago Baseball Museum is presenting this special tribute to the great man and also assisted with the Double Duty exhibit at the DuSable Museum. On our 'Double Duty' microsite, we recount his long career with his own words, photos that show the ballplayer, the colorful personality and as a special treat, Duty’s own taped recollections from WGN-TV’s 1992 “Chicago American Giants” special.

Visit the 'Double Duty' microsite >>
Visit White Sox’ Double Duty Classic >>

Jack Brickhouse: Our man
for all sports seasons

Jack Brickhouse: Our man for all seasons

Jack Brickhouse enjoyed a life of firsts. He was the first voice heard on WGN-TV when it signed on 1948. He was the first Chicago voice heard on a trans-Atlantic satellite broadcast in 1962. He called eight no-hitters, six Gale Sayers touchdowns in one game and the better part of 45 runs scored in a 1979 Cubs-Phillies contest.

The Chicago Baseball Museum pays tribute to Brickhouse in this special Jack Brickhouse microsite at a time the Cubs are honoring him with a special bobblehead day, as part of their Wrigley Field 100th anniversary celebration. The website recalls different facets of Brickhouse’s life, including stories, photos from the collection of Pat Brickhouse, Jack’s wife, and a wide variety of video and audio highlights from his career.

Visit the Jack Brickhouse microsite >>
Chicago Tribune: Cubs will honor
Jack Brickhouse Friday >>

CBM assists Elmhurst Historical Museum with 'Chicago Civil Wars' Cubs/Sox exhibit

CBM assists Elmhurst Historical Museum with 'Chicago Civil Wars' Cubs/Sox exhibit

If you want to appropriately emphasize “civil wars,” then have drawings of opposing cannons in ballparks facing off at one end of your exhibit, then feature a giant photo of Michael Barrett landing a right hand on A.J. Pierzynski’s “grill” (thanks, Ed Farmer) at the opposite end.

Admission is free. For more information, call 630-833-1457.



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