Sports in Chicago

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Chicago has garnered national recognition by winning the World Series, the Super Bowl, and a string of titles in the National Basketball Association. But amateur sports also play a large role in the city's athletic traditions, especially in schools and youth leagues. In thirteen chapters, experts focus on multiple aspects of Chicago sports, including long looks at amateur boxing, the impact of gender and ethnicity in sports, the politics of horse racing and stadium building, the lasting scandal of the Black Sox, and the perpetual heartbreak of the Cubs. Well illustrated with forty photographs, this volume will help historians and sports fans alike appreciate the longstanding importance of sports in Chicago.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
White Sox, Black Hawks, Bears, Cubs, and Bulls: Chicago is a heartland of American sports. This comprehensive, 320-page anthology digs deep into the history of Windy City sports, uncorking exciting tales of both trailblazers and miscreants (e.g., the 1919 "Black Sox" World Series fixers). Sports in Chicago also explores the city's rich heritage in amateur and youth athletics. Contributors to this paperback include Peter Alter, Gabe Loban, Linda J. Borish, John Russick, and Timothy Spears.
From the Publisher
"An excellent collection of essays. . . . A useful addition to any library's sport collection."—Journal of Sport History

"At the intersection of Chicago sports and history lies this gem of a book. Rich in lore, wisdom, and insight, it reaches back into the past beyond even Bronko Nagurski—and believe me, that's as big a reach as the Cubs winning the World Series. One difference, though: the Cubs don't always succeed; Sports in Chicago does."—John Schulian, former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist
"Bears, Cubs, Black Hawks, and Sox epitomize sports to most Chicagoans. This volume delivers this and much more. From the introduction of soccer by British immigrants and the racially integrated CYO teams to the forgotten legacy of Bronko Nagurski and the civic impact of sporting venues, Sports in Chicago takes readers beyond the Bull(s).  A must-read for any fan of Chicago history."—Timothy J. Gilfoyle, author of Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark

"Sports have their deepest meanings for local communities, and no city has a richer sports history than Chicago's. The Bears and the Cubs; the Black Sox and Bronko Nagurski; Soldier Field, Comiskey Park, and Wrigley Field; ethnic and racial neighborhoods and the Catholic Youth Organization—all made their mark on Chicago sports and on Chicago the city. This collection of essays is a fascinating photo album of that great city's great characters among its athletes and teams."
—Michael Oriard, former NFL player and author of King Football: Sport & Spectacle in the Golden Age of Radio and Newsreels, Movies & Magazines, the Weekly & the Daily Press

"A fascinating collection (ably illustrated with wonderful archival materials) and well worth reading."—Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252033179
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2008
  • Series: Sport and Society Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Elliott J. Gorn is a professor of history and chair of the Department of American Civilization at Brown University. He is the author of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prizefighting in America, co-author of A Brief History of American Sports, and editor of Muhammad Ali, the People's Champ.

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Table of Contents

Preface Elliott Gorn Gorn, Elliott

1 Sports and Identity in Chicago Gerald Gems Gems, Gerald 1

2 The Rise of Early Chicago Soccer Gabe Logan Logan, Gabe 19

3 Closing Down the Open City: The Demise of Boxing and Horse Racing in Chicago Steven A. Riess Riess, Steven A. 43

4 Jewish Women, Sports, and Chicago History Linda J. Borish Borish, Linda J. 62

5 Baseball Palace of the World: Commercial Recreation and the Building of Comiskey Park Robin F. Bachin Bachin, Robin F. 78

6 Serbs, Sports, and Whiteness Peter T. Alter Alter, Peter T. 113

7 "A Dirty Rotten Shame": The Black Sox Scandal and American Culture Daniel A. Nathan Nathan, Daniel A. 128

8 The Plow That Broke the Midway: Bronko Nagurski Timothy Spears Spears, Timothy 145

9 "An Inalienable Right to Play": African American Participation in the Catholic Youth Organization Timothy B. Neary Neary, Timothy B. 164

10 An Athlete Dying Young: Kenny Hubbs, Memory, and the Chicago Cubs Richard Kimball Kimball, Richard 197

11 The Social Logic of Boxing in Black Chicago: Toward a Sociology of Pugilism Loic J. D. Wacquant Wacquant, Loic J. D. 209

12 Recent Stadium Development Projects in Chicago: A Tale of Three Neighborhoods Costas Spirou Larry Bennett Bennett, Larry 252

13 Chicago Sports! You Shoulda' Been There: An Exhibition John Russick Russick, John 271

Epilogue: Where Hope Goes to Die Elliott Gorn Gorn, Elliott 291

Index 30

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