Huckman: Orchestra crowds cheered on 1908 Cubs in World Series

From Andrew Huckman at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on October 24, 2016:

In 1908, before Chicago had a Wrigley Field, baseball fans watched the Cubs win the World Series — at Orchestra Hall.

“Baseball was king,” the Chicago Daily Tribune reported, “And nowhere was its title more vociferously recognized than in the temple Chicago has dedicated to classical music.”

Years before baseball took to the airwaves in 1921, fans nationwide followed important out-of-town contests via play-by-play wire accounts posted in theaters and public squares, with local newspapers assisting. Forerunners of today’s television score bugs and smartphone gamecasts, chalkboards with scores and easels with lineups, and later mechanical diagrams with flashing lights, kept fans current on counts, outs and base runners.

On Sept. 23 of that 1908 season, Orchestra Hall opened its doors for away games — admission, 25 cents for men, ladies free — beginning with a contest between the Cubs and New York Giants, tied in the race for the National League pennant. Once inside the hall, fans watched a manually operated display called “The Tribune Electric Score Board,” on a relay from the Polo Grounds. The paper described the machine as “a large blackboard sprinkled with 18 names, many mysterious letters, a geometrical diagram, and red and white electric lights.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 26, 2016. Last Updated: October 26, 2016.