Normal Park

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Quick Summary

Location
41°46'53"N
087°39'16"W
Country
 United States of America
Categories
  • Nature
Rating
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Description

Normal Park is the name of a former football field in Chicago, Illinois. It was on Racine Avenue between 61st and 62nd Streets, extending to Throop Street. Normal Avenue (or Normal Boulevard) is also sometimes given as one of its bordering streets, although Normal Avenue (500W) is about 7 blocks east of Racine (1200W), at least under the current city grid configuration. Normal Park was the home of the Chicago Cardinals, who started out as the "Morgan Athletic Club" in 1898 and changed their name to "Racine Normals" after they began playing at the field. Soon after, they became the "Racine Cardinals". According to legend, they assumed that nickname upon acquiring some reddish hand-me-down jerseys from the University of Chicago football team, the Maroons. The Cardinals joined the new American Professional Football Association (soon renamed to what is now the National Football League) and continued to use Normal Park as their home field for several years and continued to be called the Racine Cardinals for a while. They changed their name again, to "Chicago Cardinals", to avoid confusion after the National Football League fielded a team in Racine, Wisconsin. Starting in 1922, they split time between Normal Park and Comiskey Park before finally abandoning the old field in the late 1920s. The park no longer exists. On the Eastern portion of the site along Racine sits a Chicago Police Department facility and the Western portion of the site is occupied by single family homes built on a cul-de-sac where the field once was. The only evidence of the field is an otherwise unexplained discontinuation of Elizabeth Street, which abruptly ends halfway between 61st and 62nd Streets and then resumes again a half-block north at 61st.
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