That Time the Chicago Cubs Played in Quincy — and the Local Boys Won

The Boys From Chicago Would Win the World Series a Month Later, But Not Before Being Upset by Quincy’s Iowa State League Team in an Exhibition Game

The area of 17th to 18th Street, Cherry to Cedar, is now a nice, quiet neighborhood in the northern part of Quincy. Not many people know that a century ago that area was home to Quincy’s Sportsman’s Park.

Sportsman's Park Quincy

Quincy’s Sportsman’s Park, which was located between 17th and 18th, Cherry and Cedar.

It was here on Monday, Sept. 16th, 1907 the Chicago Cubs played an exhibition game against the original Quincy Gems. To the surprise of everyone, Quincy beat the Cubs 5-2.

The Cubs had just played a home game in Chicago the day before, an 8-1 win over Cincinnati to run their record to a remarkable 97-38 on the season. Over a century ago, teams traveled by train and the Cubs were on their way to Cincinnati for a game on the following Wednesday.

Needing extra money, the Cubs reached out to officials in Quincy about making a pit stop and playing an exhibition game in the Gem City. With a guarantee of a $500 payout the Cubs were more than willing to play here and actually ended up with a $725.60 payout thanks to an overflow crowd of 2,398.

According to the Chicago American newspaper, the Cubs played the game here for easy pay and to add to their winter attire.  “The West Siders are taking advantage of the chance to run down state and grab a bit of easy money to buy neckties with during the winter,” the newspaper said.

The Cubs came to town needing just three victories to secure the National League Pennant. Although the team rested some of their star players, four of their regulars played in Quincy — Jimmy Slagle, Solly Hofman, Frank Schulte and eventual Hall of Famer Johnny Evers. In addition, the two pitchers Chicago used in Quincy — Jack Pfeister and Ed Reulbach, went on to earn victories in the World Series a month later.

The Cubs would win the World Series in a four game sweep (after a tie in Game One) over the Detroit Tigers.

1907 Chicago Cubs

A poster of the 1907 World Champion Chicago Cubs.

Quincy’s team finished the 1907 season with a record of 61-66. It was the only season the Gems played in the Iowa State League.