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Old 11-05-2017, 08:04 AM
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Default A.J. Shumann Co. Chicago Cubs West Side Grounds exterior RPPC circa 1908

I wanted to share this Real Photo Post Card ("RPPC") of the main entrance/ticket window of the Chicago Cubs West Side Grounds ballpark circa 1909.

West-Side-Grounds-ticket-office-fron-resized-watermrkedt.jpg

It one of only images I can find of the exterior of the West Side Grounds which was the Cubs home during their 1907 - 1908 championship run. Note the statues on top of the ticket office secured by wires. Also note the sculpted Cubbies holding up the oriel window above the ticket windows and the 75 cent ticket price posted on the shuttered window. The iconic "Chicago National Leauge Baseball Club" lettering is apparent on the chain link fence at the top.

West-Side-Grounds-ticket-office-fron-resized-cropt.jpg

West-Side-Grounds-ticket-office-fron-resizedt-window.jpg

Here is the postcard back showing it was mailed to Maine in August of an indecipherable year.

West-Side-Grounds-ticket-office-back.jpg

I found this RPPC image that is in the same glossy sepia tone and same printed handwriting showing a Cubs/Giants game at the West Side Grounds in 1909 also mailed to Maine in August 1909. They are almost assuredly taken by the same person and mine is probably 1909 as well.

1909 front.jpg

The only other similar photos I can find look similar to this and have the 1908 championship banner hung on the structure.

1908 banner.jpg

Here is another photo I have of the park interior from that era and an enlargement of the "Baseball" lettering that appears to show at least one of the statues with the support wires evident. This orients us to where the front entrance booth was relative to the field of play.

1908-West-Side-Park-Chicago-BW-photo.jpg

West_Side-Grounds-photo-statue-wire.jpg

Does anyone else have images of the Front Entrance/Ticket window to share? I love to see another image of the statues. For me, this rivals the Wilkerson NY stadium RPPCs for one of the best images of a Deadball Era exterior view of a stadium. To me the architectural details just seem to perfectly capture the spirit of the Deadball Era.

Last edited by T206Jim; 12-02-2017 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:21 AM
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Very cool ... thanks for sharing!

I've been replaying the 1908 NY Giants season (Strat-O-Matic/computer) and have been searching for decent pictures of the inside playing fields of all the Deadball Era NL ball parks ... to add to my SOM computer screens. Finding good images of these old ballparks circa 1908 are hard to find. Particularly looking from the spectator point of view (panoramic) of the whole field from behind home plate :-) Anyway ... nice photo's of WSG!
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:40 AM
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made the photo clearer
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File Type: jpg westside2.jpg (77.8 KB, 387 views)
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:13 AM
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The postcard was mailed in 1908. You can see part of the 8 at the bottom of the postmark. Great image. I wonder what ever became of those statutes?
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:11 PM
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As a huge fan of Chicago baseball and it's associated history, this is pretty awesome. I dont think I have seen such detail of the front of the West Side Grounds like this one shows. The cubby bears holding up the window is really cool.

Looking at the statues on the top of the building makes me wonder if this was the inspiration for the pitcher and catcher posted on top of the early Wrigley Field scoreboard seen below.
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File Type: jpg Wrigley Field old scoreboard.jpg (66.9 KB, 349 views)
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:57 PM
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Love seeing RPPCs which is a piece of American history! You have a great eye for cards Jim
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:05 PM
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Jim - very cool PC, I bid strong but nice to see it went to a good owner.

I looked through an old Cubs magazine I have and found a couple photos of the statues and a little write up too that I think you'll like.

Again, great purchase. So cool. (and Don, thanks for making clearer!)
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File Type: jpg cubs4 001.jpg (72.2 KB, 242 views)
File Type: jpg cubs1 001.jpg (74.4 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg cubs2 001 (2).jpg (72.7 KB, 240 views)
File Type: jpg cubs2 001 (3).jpg (73.1 KB, 242 views)
File Type: jpg cubs2 001.jpg (66.0 KB, 240 views)
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:59 PM
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Fantastic magazine article Peter! Is the magazine dated? It seems to imply the statues were put up the prior year.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slidekellyslide View Post
The postcard was mailed in 1908. You can see part of the 8 at the bottom of the postmark. Great image. I wonder what ever became of those statutes?
Noting the two cubby bears holding up the bay window, this photo would likely have to have been 1908 or later given that the Chicago NL ballclub did not officially adopt the name "Cubs" until the 1908 season, though it had already been in common usage by newspapers and fans for several years.

Last edited by bmarlowe1; 11-10-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:09 AM
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I have just discovered that this postcard was issued by the A.J. Schumann Co. out of Chicago. They did at least two other RPPCs of the West Side Grounds in 1908 as shown below as depicted in Ron Menchine's A Picture Postcard History of Baseball. Some of their postcards had a stamp on back and some did not, a typical stamp is also shown. All of them had the distinctive handwriting on the front which was the hallmark of a Schumann postcard. A.J. Schumann was to Chicago RPPCs of the early 1900s as Thaddeus Wilkerson was to New York postcards during that same era. The work of each are remarkably similar and are real high spots in the RPPC collecting world. It appears that the Schumann PCs are much more rare than the Wilkerson PCs which are scarce themselves. A copy of a Wilkerson Polo Grounds RPPC like the one shown below recently sold at REA for $5,400.

Schumann 1.jpg

Schumann 2.jpg

schumann back stamp.jpg

wilkerson polo.jpg

Last edited by T206Jim; 12-02-2017 at 08:44 AM.
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