If you've been to the corner of Clark and Addison on the North side of Chicago in the last 100 years, then you know the splendor that is Wrigley Field. You've seen the well-kept ivy, you've heard the heckles from Sal, the beer-man, whenever an opposing team visitor shouts for a cold one and you know the aroma of a true Chicago dog. The atmosphere at Wrigley Field is something that confirms for me, along with other, long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans that we indeed are loyal lovers of the team that has "character ". .
"Cub fans under age fifty may find it hard to fathom, but there was a time when the Cubs were not thought of as perennial doormats, " David Folk writes in his book, The Cubs Reader (Fulk 1). To believe this statement you have to flip all the way back to the 1870s. Before the Cubs were the beloved blue and red bear that adorns thousands of baseball caps throughout Illinois and the Midwest, they were known as The Chicago White Stockings Base Ball Club or "Chicago White Stockings " for short. .
During the Civil War, Union soldiers had played the game of "base ball " in camp. Soon after the war ended, big cities started organizing teams of professional players (Vanderberg). The National Association of Base Ball Players, or NABBP, was the first organization of American Baseball and had already been around since 1857. The NABBP was initially made up for amateurs to enjoy play and it wasn't until the 1869 and 1870 seasons that it allowed professional teams to join its organization (Block). .
In 1871, most of the professional clubs broke away and The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) or The National Association (NA) was formed. The National Association is considered the first professional sports league and set most of the rules for the sport of baseball. The White Stockings became the first professional baseball club in the city of Chicago when the Chicago club owners assembled a team of some of the best eastern baseball players.