Metro-East News

Lincoln Museum to put Cardinals-Cubs rivalry in spotlight

Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will have an opportunity to explore the long rivalry between the teams next month when the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum opens its “Cubs vs. Cardinals: The Rivalry” exhibit.

On March 24, museum visitors will be able to look at a number of artifacts and photos from both teams in what some call the “I-55 Rivalry.” Visitors will be able to interact with the exhibit by sharing their own memories of the rivalry, answering trivia questions and playing a home run derby as their favorite team. Information about past players and current stars will be made available.

“Baseball is the American pastime and a huge part of history and culture. Few sports stories can top the length, passion and sheer fun of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry,” Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, said in a news release. “We’re excited to offer our visitors an unprecedented look at this piece of the Illinois story.”

The exhibit was developed with the help of the Cubs, Cardinals and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Among the items that will be on display are the base that Cardinals outfielder Lou Brock stole in 1974 to set a modern record for stolen bases in a season; a cap worn by Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood when he struck out 20 Houston Astros batters on May 6, 1988; a chart kept by Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog to track the hitting trends of Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson; a watch fob owned by Cubs pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown with medallions for the Cubs’ 1907 and 1908 World Series victories and the team’s 1906 pennant win; and gear worn by Cardinals greats Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson and Albert Pujols and Cubs’ legends Hack Wilson, Fergie Jenkins, Sammy Sosa and more.

“The artifacts in this exhibit will amaze baseball fans,” Illinois State Historian Samuel Wheeler said in a news release. “The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has, literally, opened its vault to us, as have the Cardinals and the Cubs.”

The exhibit will begin with information before the Cubs and Cardinals were formed, going through more than 150 years of baseball history. It will be housed in the museum’s Illinois Gallery, a space dedicated to rotating exhibits on Illinois history. There is no extra fee to view the exhibit. It is part of the regular museum price. The exhibit will be open for the remainder of 2017.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND