Chicago's baseball history begins in 1870 when The Chicago White Stockings are formed. They begin play the following year in 1871 and do well. So good that with three games left they found themselves tied for first place. Then disaster strikes on Oct. 8 as the Great Chicago Fire rages for three days burning down much of the city. Including Lake Front Park and all the teams uniforms & equipment. They are able to round up the gear they need but finish the season losing two of the three games and finishing in 2nd place.
For the next two years the team didn't play as the whole city plunged into rebuilding following the fire. They came back in 1874 but floundered for the next couple of years as their league, the National Association, came under attack for fixing games. In 1876 Chicago and seven other cities began a new league, The National League, and almost 140 years later it still endures.
The place had it's problems it only held 10,000 people and the park was shaped like a bathtub with the foul lines only 215'. It also shared the space with a bicycle racing track that encircled the already crowded field. One additional note on September 21 1888 three White Stockings players were arrested flirting with Mrs. Seth Blood, the proprietor of a "house" just beyond the wall at old West Side Park. What kind of "house" it was was never clarified but in Chicago at that time vice was king.
Then they have no real home for a couple of years, earning the name orphans, before settling back to the west side in 1893 near Ashland and Congress not far from the old park. Here is where they would develop some exciting new players including the famed combo of Tinkers, Chance & Evans. The Chicago Daily News decides to nickname this young team the Cubs. Than name sticks and in 1903 it becomes official.
By the middle of the decade they were a dynasty at one point winning 538 games out of a possible 765 games. No team has ever done something like that. They were National League champs in 1906,07,08 & 1910 and World Series Champs in 07' and '08. In 1906 they won a record 116 games but would end up being beaten by by crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox. Known as the hitless wonders.The Cubs would continue to play here without much success until 1915 when they moved. Perhaps they felt they were to close to their upstart rivals the White Sox who were playing not far away.
One more little nugget about the old ball park is that it is where the term "out of left field" came from. As in; the idea was from out of left field meaning it's not a normal or "traditional" idea. The saying began here because beyond the left field wall was an insane asylum and people in the park could hear the moans and babbling of the patients.
They ended up on the north side at Weegham park which became Wrigley field in 1925. And although there have been some World Series games played here no World Series winning team have called Wrigley home.