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Chicago White Stockings

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The Chicago White Stockings were the first professional team in Chicago, IL, when they began paying some players in 1869. They were the unofficial national champions in 1870, before a true major league was established, and in 1871 finished second in the first season of the National Association, before the Great Chicago Fire destroyed their ballpark, Dexter Park, equipment, records and a lot of personal property belonging to its players on October 8, 1871. As a result, they dropped out of the National Association for a couple of seasons, while still playing exhibition games, then returned in 1874.

William Hulbert became team President in 1872 and in early 1876 was the main force in creating a new major league, the National League. Along with the Boston Red Caps, the White Stockings are one of two franchises from the NL's original season to still exist today: the Red Caps are the ancestors of today's Atlanta Braves, while the White Stockings have continued to represent the Windy City in the senior circuit all those years, and are now known as the Chicago Cubs. The name White Stockings was abandoned around 1890.

In 1900, Charlie Comiskey moved the St. Paul Saints to Chicago when the Western League became the still minor league American League. The team was relegated to the south side of town. In honor of the North Side team, Comiskey renamed the team the "White Stockings". However he was only allowed to use the White Stocking name, and not the Chicago name on the uniforms. The name was still used when the American League became a major league in 1901 but was quickly overtaken by its shortened form, White Sox.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Jeff Laing: "The Windy City-Collar City Connection: The Curious Relationship of Chicago’s and Troy (NY)’s Professional Baseball Teams (1870–1882)", in Stuart Shea, ed.: North Side, South Side, All Around Town, The National Pastime, SABR, 2015. ISBN 978-1-93359987-8
  • Richard C. Lindberg: The White Sox Encyclopedia, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA, 1997
  • Brian McKenna: "Sputtering Towards Respectability: Chicago's Journey to the Big Leagues", in Stuart Shea, ed.: North Side, South Side, All Around Town, The National Pastime, SABR, 2015. ISBN 978-1-93359987-8
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