Owens: Whiting, Indiana, drops plans for Chicago Baseball Museum

From John Owens at the Chicago Tribune on September 3, 2014, with mention of SABR members David Fletcher and George Castle:

A sports museum complex set for groundbreaking by fall 2015 in Whiting will still include a hall of fame for sports mascots, but another wing dedicated to Chicago’s baseball history is no longer part of the project.

Whiting officials confirmed this week they had decided to end their relationship with the Chicago Baseball Museum, which was supposed to occupy about 35,000 square feet in the complex, to be built on an abandoned industrial site at 119th and Front streets in the northwest Indiana city.

Still in Whiting’s plans is the National Mascot Hall of Fame, a Newark, Del.-based institution founded by David Raymond, the man who created the “Phillie Phanatic” mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Additionally, the complex would house a separate museum chronicling Whiting’s history, which has been dominated by Standard Oil, the company that created the oil refineries now run by British Petroleum on the city’s lakefront.

The city’s original plans involved housing the Chicago Baseball Museum, National Mascot Hall of Fame and Whiting history museum all under one roof.

“We made a decision to downscale,” said Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura. “It’s a little bit of a relief, because now we can primarily concentrate on building out the mascot hall of fame.”

It wasn’t an easy decision to drop the Chicago Baseball Museum from the mix, Stahura said. But a rather acrimonious dispute between the city and the baseball museum’s founder, Dr. David Fletcher, created an impasse.

Read the full article here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-whiting-baseball-museum-mascot-hall-of-fame-met-20140903-story.html

Originally published: September 3, 2014. Last Updated: September 3, 2014.