Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Today would have been George Halas' birthday. Halas is obviously known for his contributions to the NFL, but he also has a connection to baseball and the Cubs. Here is his write up at Just One Bad Century...
Growing up in Chicago during the Cubs championship era (the first decade of last century), George Halas was a die-hard Cubs fan. When he was a boy, he and his friends used to hang around the player’s entrance at West Side Grounds and wait for Frank Chance to show up. When he arrived, the boys would beg the Peerless Leader to let them into the games for free. Chance obliged them on several occasions, something George Halas never forgot. Halas later became a baseball player himself. A month after World War 1 ended, he signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. He eventually made it to the show for part of the 1919 season, but an injury ended his career after only 22 at bats.
The next year the Yankees had another right fielder; a little known fella with the last name of Ruth.
Halas obviously also excelled at football, and was one of the founders of the National Football League. He patterned the team colors after his college team (the University of Illinois), but he named them “The Bears” as a tribute to his favorite baseball team: The Chicago Cubs. Halas’ Bears even shared Wrigley Field with the Cubs for nearly 50 years. George Halas is a member of Pro Football’s Hall of Fame, and Chicago Bears fans will always revere him for his incredible success. But never forget, George Halas was a Cubs fan even longer.