Trusty: Cubs’ visit to Joliet in 1920 marred by stabbing

From SABR member Kevin Trusty at The (Joliet) Herald-News on March 21, 2018:

The Joliet Rivals Club, founded in 1907, was no stranger to baseball, having fielded local teams dating back to the club’s early years. Even the Chicago Cubs paid a visit in the fall of 1920 to play against the Joliet Rivals, a semi-pro team named after the very park where they played. Sources also refer to the team by their former name, the Rivneas, a combined name of the Rivals and Northeastern A.C.’s of Joliet, with a World War I-era roster that was composed of several former major and minor leaguers.

That the Rivals-Cubs game was played was not surprising, as in those days most major league clubs scheduled exhibitions against local semi-pro or college teams on their days off. These unofficial games were a means for the teams to have real game action instead of a practice and to give local teams and their fans a chance to see big-league stars in action up close.

One such contest took place in Joliet on Thursday, Sept. 30, 1920. The circumstances that surrounded this game, however, have made it a rather infamous, if forgotten, episode of Joliet folklore.

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Originally published: March 21, 2018. Last Updated: March 21, 2018.