Chronicling the Cubs
I have been a reference librarian here at Mary Washington for more than thirty years. I am fortunate in that my vocation is also my avocation, and I am currently researching the history of the Chicago Cubs, using as many primary, original sources as I can. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Cubs’ iconic ballpark, Wrigley Field. The stadium has naturally received a face-lifting here and there over the years, and in 1937 new bleachers and a new scoreboard were constructed. And as the Chicago Daily Tribune pointed out in September that year: “Bittersweet now is climbing the new buff brick circular wall, and when planting time is right Boston ivy will thicken the foliage.” The ivy at Wrigley Field is an integral park of the park–hence the name of my website, http://WrigleyIvy.com.
I have written several articles on the Cubs for baseball journals, and I am presently working on a documentary history–from the Civil War era to the present. There are many lively stories and every so often I take my research and post it on my web site. The origin of their name begins with a 1902 Chicago Daily News article. Well, I got the microfilm for the newspaper, found the article, and that image is now on WrigleyIvy.com. Contrary to what people may think, Wrigley Field is not the Cubs’ original home. Along with the team, I am also researching the ballparks, and I am slowly posting their histories on my page.
I don’t want to neglect the players so I’ve been collecting interesting stories. Remember Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors? He was a Cub, so up goes a page about him, including a signed photograph and a comic book cover. Two team members made the news decades ago when they were both shot by obsessed fans. I spent quite a bit of time gathering contemporary newspaper articles, magazine articles, and photographs for that page, and I even interviewed the nephew of one of the shooters, who gave me never-before-known information about his aunt (he emailed me when he came across my site). After the other shooter died a few years ago, I noticed that a few sports blogs provided links to my web page.
In fact, that’s all part of what I’m trying to do–chronicle the Cubs’ history, provide original source material, assist others who are also interested in the team, and meet people who take an interest in what I do and who can perhaps even add to my knowledge base.
For more, go to The Write Stuff: Research and Its Rewarding Results.