Chicago Cubs: Cardinals birth the White Sox and the McGwire fantasy
I love Chicago.
Chicago, like any other city, has its issues. One of those issues is being a city divided. Of course, if there were only one baseball team in Chicago – the Chicago White Stockings (later evolved into Colts, Orphans and finally Cubs), then there would be no city divided, two-team town. We’d all be Chicago Cubs fans if it weren’t for Charles Comisky.
A big reason we hate the St. Louis Cardinals is, they gave us Comisky, who played pitcher and first base for the St. Louis Brown Stockings (early 1800’s version of the current Cardinals) and eventually took over as manager of the team.
Later in 1901, years after Comisky stopped playing ball, he used all had learned to found and become the first owner of the Chicago White Sox. He named his team the Chicago White Stockings which was actually the Cubs’ first moniker.
This, of course, caused the first bit of friction between North and South. The Cubs were called the Chicago Orphans and changed their name permanently to the Cubs in 1903. Comisky shortened the name of his team to White Sox. The shorter name used less ink to print and saved the team money with cheaper advertising.
Yes, it’s true the Chicago North-South split is the fault of the Cardinals via Comisky. When you see White Sox fans, just remember, that team came from Comisky and the Cardinals.
A little closer to this day and age, in the 1990s, we had to suffer Cardinals first baseman, Mark McGwire and his 1998 home run single-season chase. Chicago outfielder, Sammy Sosa was battling against McGwire all summer but getting only half the coverage of the Cardinals legend. Kids in Chicago got used to seeing McGwire everywhere in advertising and even more so after he beat out Sosa in the home run race.
St. Louis fans were nearly pompous, throwing McGwire in our face while raking up another win for their franchise. Later we find out, McGwire was taking steroids the whole time. While there is high suspicion that Sosa was as well, he has never admitted to taking steroids during his career and even testified just the opposite in Congress. Sosa may be guilty, but we know McGwire certainly is. Once again St. Louis causes a bunch of noise about nothing.