On Friday, March 31, Saint Xavier hosted the annual Spring Formal and this year, it took place at the Chicago Sports Museum. Prior to this event, I did not even know that this museum existed. Of all the times I have walked through the Water Tower Place, I am not quite sure how I missed it. This place truly is a Chicago sports lover’s dream. Here is my experience at the museum.
Before entering the actual museum, there are pictures of famous Chicago sports figures that line the hallway to the entrance. Each room is the museum has a different room and the first one that you step into is called “Measured Up”. Here you will find a few interactive exhibits that are actually pretty cool. You can learn from former Major League Baseball player now sportscaster Steve Stone how to throw different pitches, compare your vertical jump to Michael Jordan, measure your wingspan compared to Scottie Pippen, and much more. In addition, they have game-used uniforms on display throughout this portion of the museum (they also have additional ones on display in certain parts of the museum). The next little part is called “Forensic Sports”. This section is dedicated to the most infamous sports mysteries and myths of all time. This includes Sammy Sosa’s notorious corked bat, which was pretty interesting to see. This room also included various 3D athletes bodies in full game day gear where you could stand up and place your head where theirs would typically go and take a photo.
Moving on, the “Fan Zone/Hall of Legends” is the portion of the museum that contains a lot of interactive games and activities, which is also the room where the formal festivities took place (even though we had the entire museum at our disposal). This area had a replica of the Wrigley Field broadcast booth (which the utilized as a bar for this event) where you can pretend to call a game like Harry Caray and three interactive games. The first one was a virtual All-Star Home Run contest where you played as White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. Right next to this one was a virtual game that involved Bears Hall of Famer Richard Dent. The object of this game was to throw the football and avoid getting sacked by Dent. The last interactive game was located on the other side of the room and that was a game where you could shoot some hoops with Scottie Pippen. Typically, the would have an interactive game involving shooting goals with Patrick Kane but due to lack of space, it was not featured at this event. The last room of the museum was a little portion sectioned off in this room and it was called “Curses and Superstitions”. This area of the room was amusing because not only did you read about the various curses and superstitions that Chicago sports teams have, you also got see some of the objects that some fans would rather not speak of. The infamous Cubs foul ball that fans tried to destroy is on display, as well as the baseball used to make the last out in the 1945 World Series, among others.
One last little thing that was prominent in the museum was the new Cubs World Series exhibit, which was unveiled not too long ago. The exhibit features multiple jerseys, Kris Bryant’s cleats from Game 7, and many other items that commemorate their World Series victory. Something kind of interesting was located above an entry way and that was the shattered windshield that Kyle Schwarber smashed due to hitting a home-run during spring training last year.
Overall, this museum is very unique and it holds a lot of interesting material. Lovers of Chicago sports will greatly appreciate this place. Not only is what’s in the museum a great thing to look at, the view of the city from the main area of the museum isn’t half bad. If you are ever looking for something new to do in the city, this would be a great place to check out.
Senior Features Editor