Red Devils hoping to end 104-year drought
Updated: March 1, 2013 7:41PM
Hinsdale Central’s boys basketball team is in a first-place struggle with Oak Park-River Forest and York for the West Suburban Silver championship.
It’s unlikely the Red Devils could win state, but not unprecedented. Hinsdale’s 1909 team captured Illinois’ mythical title with a 22-3 record, outscoring opponents 838-498. In the state championship game, they beat Washington 18-13.
“This was no easy feat since just seven boys comprised the team and there only were six boys in the senior class,” The Doings wrote. “The team was soundly beaten by alumni at Christmas time, however. Most of the grads had been playing college ball and their roughness defeated our boys.”
This fascinating item and hundreds of others were included in a 100-year anniversary volume put together in 1995 by then-Doings publishers Mary and Peter Teschner. The edition was dedicated to Daniel Merritt, who started the newspaper in 1895 on his 17th birthday and hand-delivered it to every Hinsdale home.
Baseball Hall of Fame team owners Bill Veeck and Chuck Comiskey were notable Hinsdale residents.
Veeck, known as “Steelwool” for his red hair, spent his 1914-1935 formative years in a house overlooking cornfields on the 600 block of South Park. He worked for a florist in the summer and delivered programs for the theatre.
Veeck was a standout blocking back/linebacker for Hinsdale’s lightweight football team (under 135 pounds). He was the only player not to wear a helmet.
Comiskey, a long-time Hinsdale resident whose family owned the White Sox until 1962, shared ownership of the Sox with Veeck from 1959-61.
“Bill Veeck was the Barnum and Bailey of the modern era,” Comiskey said.
Harvey Dickinson put Hinsdale’s athletic department on the national map with a 148-49-8 football record while coaching 1940-42 and 1946-78, with 10 conference titles, five unbeaten seasons and four teams that were voted state champs.
Other Doings tidbits:
• 1898: A six-passenger steamboat was launched on Salt Creek near Fullersburg.
• 1905: To the relief of many villagers, a bear named Sallie that had been kept for a year in a back alley of Hinsdale’s business district, was sold to an Aurora man.
• 1916: An advertisement urged women to march for suffrage by wearing “white waist and skirt, black shoes and white sailor cap with yellow band and yellow cape.”
• 1926: A grand jury charged a group of men with burglary in “the bad lands of Chicago’s West Side.” One theft was at The Doings and another at the high school where an instrument was pawned by the sister of a suspect. “She got $12 and her brother got a trip to jail,” The Doings wrote.
• 1929: The Cubs drank between one to four bottles of milk a day from a Hinsdale dairy farm on Garfield. The farm shipped 60 individual bottles to Wrigley Field each day.
• 1986: The Royal Highness of Wales played polo at the Oak Brook Sports Core. “Prince Charles paused on the field with a mighty swing of the mallet before galloping away.”