Thursday, November 3, 2016

Chicago Cubs and Their West Baden Connection

 
Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs on their World Series win! It’s been 108 years since the Cubbies won the Series. The first time was in 1907 against the Detroit Tigers, and again in 1908 in a grudge match against Detroit. The Cubs were the only team to win back-to-back World Series games, and to have played in three consecutive series.


Cubs Practicing at West Baden
It is interesting to note that from 1906 through 1911, the Cubs came annually to West Baden Springs Hotel for their preseason conditioning and training regime, as did the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cub’s manager/first basemen Frank Chance attributed his team’s well being, in part, to the West Baden Springs water treatment. Chance felt the players derived benefits from the Sprudel mineral water. Plus, they could practice on the ball field surrounded by the two-story bicycle track – a rarity for its time.

Chicago Cubs
Did the mineral waters really help the players with their game back in 1907 - 08? If so, it was probably more psychological than physiological. But it is interesting to note that the next year, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the National League Pennant, and the World Series. 

And yes, the Pirates also came each spring to West Baden for conditioning training, and to “take the waters.” Coincidence? No one thought so at the time.

By Joy Neighbors