Thompson: Despite World War I and the Spanish flu, George Halas thrived — and the Chicago Cubs may have dodged a fate worse than losing the World Series

From Phil Thompson at the Chicago Tribune on May 15, 2020, with mention of SABR member Jim Leeke:

If living without sports and other forms of entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic seems alien, it pales compared with the upheaval of 1918.

World War I dominated daily life, the Cubs and Red Sox staged a brief World Series mutiny and in the backdrop was the growing threat of the Spanish flu that public health officials at the time underestimated.

“It’s a bad flu right from the beginning, but when it comes back to America in late August 1918, it’s a killer,” said Randy Roberts, a Purdue University history professor and author of “War Fever: Boston, Baseball and America in the Shadow of the Great War.”

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Originally published: May 18, 2020. Last Updated: May 18, 2020.