Editor's Note: The phrase wait 'til next year actually had some meaning for the Cubs in 2016, so the Chicago-based H&HN staff wanted to remind people of this piece of baseball-hospital trivia.
Throwback Thursday originates in H&HN's Windy City office, so it will admit to reminiscing more about the history of the Chicago Cubs than of U.S. hospitals this week. In case you haven't heard, yesterday was the first time in 12 years the team, long-known as the lovable losers, won a postseason game.
As it turns out, there is an actual connection between the Cubs and the hospital field.
The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System got its start with the construction of the Research and Educational Hospitals in 1919 on the site of West Side Park, sometimes referred to as West Side Grounds, the old ballpark. That's where the Cubs won two World Series in 1907 and 1908 — and haven't won another since. Legend has it that a woman gave birth in the stands during the '08 Series.
Back at the turn of the last century, the Neuropsychiatric Institute was located just past the left field fence at the West Side Grounds. As the story goes, patients would scream weird things out of open windows during the game. "Thanks to that odd auditory ambiance at West Side Grounds, the phrase 'that came out of left field' was coined." according to the U of I hospital system's historical Web page.
The current University of Illinois health system still stands at the site. In 1916, the Cubs played for the very first time at Weeghman Field, which later was renamed Wrigley Field, and which longtime fans consider a historic shrine in its own right. Could this be the year Wrigley Field sees the first Cubs' World Series win in 107 years? Throwback Thursday can hope, can't it?