Sunday

Mike(y), my jim-dandy other fraternal twin brother, his top-notch wife, and moi, argued Friday at  the Chicago History Museum.  We stood a foot from the  Edgewater Beach Hotel exhibit , a star studded locale where you were to see and be seen, between 1916, and according to museum documents, posters, signs, it disappeared in 1967.

"No!  I can't believe you don't believe me!  It was there.  No, I don't remember how long ago.  But I was there!"  I insisted.

"Okay, whatever," they mumbled in unison.  Quickly they pointed at a Pullman train car, "Sheila, look at this."  

As soon as I got home, I forwarded them the article, clearly stating I'd been at Edgewater Beach at 5555 N. Sheridan, the same exact address.  Yes, I was there, wasn't I?

Turns out, Edgewater Beach Hotel where Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, the rich and famous, hung their hats, did close in 1967.  Yet in 1927 Edgewater Beach Apartments got built adjacent to the original property, which is where I hung my journalist hat for the piece I wrote covering Wrigley Field’s Last World Series, and Charles N. Billington's new book.

Today you can still wander into their lobby and feel the splendor, no museum acknowledgement because it's no longer the cat's meow, as it roared in its day.  

Not the hotel, but the property, this is an excerpt from that assigned article:

Better Than A Night At Wrigley Field

It's 1945. Baseball really is the favorite, the greatest and the All-American Pastime. And in 1945, America can celebrate again as it begins to walk away from the ever-pervasive depression of World War ll.

The Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit for the World Series title. The infamous pet goat is rejected before Game 5.

Cubs lose.

Sixty years later, on a sweltering summer evening - I walk into a picturesque room, reminiscent of what it used to be like at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, and I am greeted by that old song from the 1940’s: “I’ve got rhythm, I’ve got music … who could ask for anything more?”

As I look around, people are enjoying Vienna beef hot dogs from an old fashioned hot-dog vendor, throwing popcorn into open mouths, cracking peanut shells and flipping through pages of Billington’s book, smiling, and talking baseball.

The charming, antiquated Edgewater Beach Hotel -- at 5555 N. Sheridan in Chicago -- and baseball history reach back in time along parallel lines. On a round table sat photos of old time baseball players at Edgewater Beach in the 30’s and 40’s; like a 1932 Chicago Tribune picture of Babe Ruth, relaxing in a room at Edgewater while in town for the 1932 World Series. 

Author Charles N. Billington, a longtime Chicago resident, is a baseball historian. 

Meshing his interest in sports and history, he produced this nostalgic look back at the last time a World Series visited the “Friendly Confines,” and will serve as a worthy primer for what the Cubbies faithful hope will be a return engagement.

Having the chance to learn first hand about the storied Cubs of yesteryear and the significance of the Edgewater Beach Hotel, I felt the beating hearts of Cubs fans present and past. And it felt exhilarating. And since the heat index was 101 degrees in Chicago that night, for me it was better than a night in the park. 

By Sheila Cull
Sheila Cull is a writer based in Chicago.
Published via Lake Claremont Press, SportsFan Magazine.

Mike(y) and Paula?  Well, sort of!  

Sheila
Cull
Twin
Cull