Chicago Sports History Comes to Life at Historical Society

Article excerpt

Byline: Special to the Daily Herald

Chicago fans can celebrate and relive the memorable moments in the city's sports history - from the Bulls' six NBA championships and the Bears' Super Bowl victory to Golden Gloves boxing and the 1969 Cubs - in a new exhibit, "Chicago Sports! You Shoulda Been There."

The exhibit opens today at the Chicago Historical Society.

"This exhibition was inspired by the unique relationship between Chicago and the world of sports," said Lonnie Bunch, CHS president. "In the city's early days, sports were central in creating a sense of community among the immigrants and people from small towns who poured into Chicago.

"Today, the city's great sports traditions reinforce our sense of civic pride, strengthen our feelings of belonging and contribute to Chicago's status as a world-class city."

The exhibit is presented in a 6,000-square-foot gallery divided into sections representing the great stadiums - Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, Soldier Field and the Chicago Stadium/United Center - as well as venues for neighborhood and school sports. The display creates a sense of place using icons from those great sports venues, such as a turnstile from Wrigley Field, a Blackhawks goal net, a section of the foul pole and exploding scoreboard pinwheel from the old Comiskey Park, seats from Soldier Field and a Bulls backboard.

"The power of sports is tied up not just in our memories of the game but the places where we captured those memories," said exhibition developer John Russick. "The events pass, but the places stay and serve as touchstones for the great moments in Chicago sports. …