Chicago baseball exhibit opens in time for Elmhurst Museum Day
ELMHURST – Just a week after Chicago's South Side proved victorious in the Crosstown Classic, both Cubs and White Sox fans can explore the rivalry's history at the Elmhurst Historical Museum.
"Sox vs. Cubs: The Chicago Civil Wars," which opens today, examines the baseball controversy that's divided the Chicago area for more than a century.
"The rivalry really wasn't amongst the teams it was really amongst the fans," said Lance Tawzer, the museum's curator of exhibits.
Tawzer worked with Sox and Cubs experts, both ball clubs, broadcasters, former players and fans to put together the exhibit, which opens to the public today.
Richard Rothschild, Chicago baseball journalist, author and Sports Illustrated feature writer, authored the exhibit copy.
"We try to do exhibits in the summer that definitely cast a wider net," Tawzer said.
He said he believed the local rivalry may draw a larger crowd than some of the museum's other exhibits, and that the content is more than everyday trivia.
Historian George Castle at the Chicago Baseball Museum provided insight and research for the exhibits that focuses on the history behind what could be consider baseball's greatest rivalry.
"It's not obscure history. It's history that touches you," Tawzer said.
He wanted to draw fans into the exhibit with interactive elements. A trivia challenge allows fans to test their knowledge and a Greatest Players section asks visitors to weigh in on MVPs throughout each club's history. Tawzer plans to keep a chart of the results as visitors cast the vote during the summer.
"We found two super fans in town that have these sort of man caves," Tawzer said of collecting items for the display.
Artifacts from each will be put on display in the exhibit, representing pride for each team from a pair of Elmhurst's own.
Since Tawzer isn't originally from the Chicago area, he didn't feel a loyalty to either team, but said he understood exactly how deep-rooted a Chicago baseball fan's pride goes.
"Usually, they're not both. They're usually one or the other," Tawzer said of Chicago's baseball fans.
Some of the most interesting facts Tawzer discovered during his research was the amount of shared history between the ball clubs.
Both teams were formally called the White Stockings. The names originally belonged to today's Chicago Cubs, and was then adopted by south-siders before their team became the White Sox.
Several events accompany the exhibit, which will be on display through Sept. 28, including stadium tours, a trivia night and a film series, among others.
"The hope is that our visitors will walk away with a much broader perspective on the history of these teams."
For more information, visit www.elmhursthistory.org, or call 630-833-1457.
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Elmhurst Museum Day
Park at one of Elmhurst's museums and enjoy free admission and complimentary trolley transportation to all three museums. Get a stamp at all three museums and be entered to win prizes.
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
Elmhurst Art Museum
Where: 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave.
Current exhibit: LifeLoggers: Chronicling the everyday
About: By focusing on a particular aspect of their lives, artists turn personal bits of data and lived experience into works of art. Exhibit runs through Aug. 17.
Info: www.elmhurstartmuseum.org or 630-834-0202
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
Where: 220 S. Cottage Hill Ave.
Current exhibit: Modern Designer Jewelry from the Smithsonian
About: The exhibit features eleven pieces or jewelry created between 1960 and 2010 from award-winning American jewelry designers in the National Gem Collection. Exhibit runs through Sept. 25.
Info: www.lizzadromuseum.org or 630-833-1616