With the Cubs World Series win in 2016, anyone in Illinois knows all about the rivalry between the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. What they may not know though is that there is a new exhibit dedicated to this rivalry at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM).
The new display is giving baseball lovers a lot to talk about. On March 24th, the ALPLM opened the exhibit Cubs VS Cardinals: The Rivalry in the Illinois Gallery. The display is filled with historical artifacts and fun facts from the 19th century to the present.
I had a chance to preview this great exhibit. Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum said, “Baseball is the American pastime and a huge part of history and culture. Few sports stories can top the length, passion and sheer fun of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.”
This exhibit is a partnership developed between the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. Sam Wheeler, the Illinois State Historian said, “The artifacts in this exhibit will amaze baseball fans. The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has literally opened its vault to us, as have the Cardinals and the Cubs.”
While I loved seeing all the wonderful memorabilia and the stories behind them, the most eye opening thing to me was how they connected this exhibit to Honest Abe. Illinois State Historian Sam Wheeler explained, “In the 1866 election, a political cartoonist used a baseball metaphor.”
The cartoon, which is part of the exhibit shows wording on the bottom that states, “The National Game. Three “Outs” and one “Run”. Abraham winning the ball.”
You will see artifacts jerseys; photos and documents, trophies, bases and more! My personal favorite, being a jewelry hound. was the watch fob owned by Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown with medallions for the Cubs’ 1907 and 1908 World Series victories and1906 pennant win.
Historian Wheeler said that his favorite item in the display “Is the Stan Musial jersey.”
This is the jersey that Musial wore in 1946 after returning from WWII. He wore it when he was voted MVP and the Cardinals won the World Championship. Other impressive memorabilia includes the 1968 Bob Gibson Cy Young award and Harry Carey factoids. “Harry Carey was the voice of both the Cubs and the Cardinals,” Wheeler added, “This will take you back.”
One historic document on display was the original lease that gave the Cubs the ability to build Wrigley Field in 1913. “There are not just items about players, but about stadiums, women and much more,” said Sam Wheeler.
This exhibit will last for the rest of the 2017 calendar year until December 31, 2017. There is a chance to show your support by posing in front of the mural of your favorite team be it Cubs, or be it Cardinals. I of course had to pose next to the red team. There is also an interactive map that shows the percentage of Cardinal fans vs. Cub fans across the State of Illinois. See where your hometown falls.
There are several special exhibits and visitors coming to town, check it all out by logging onto www.ALPLM.org. Take the time to visit; there is something for everyone at this fun exhibit.