Baseball on Devon


Devon Avenue (it’s pronounced de-VON, but no GPS device ever seems to know that) is known all around the world. Its mix of ethnicities gives it an ambiance that you probably couldn’t find anywhere else. The traffic can be a headache–especially on the weekends–but living here is quite an experience. My family and I are all better for having it.

Many changes have come to Devon over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is Thillens Stadium. The “stadium” part seems a bit generous, but it’s a ballpark where kids can play under the lights, have their names announced when they come up to bat, and feel like they’re playing someplace special. In a way, they are.

The sign outside indicates that Thillens has been around since 1938, when baseball was still segregated, the NBA didn’t exist yet, and the NFL’s MVP played for the New York Giants–as their center. Times have certainly changed since then.

I was driving past Thillens the other day, as I do almost every day, when I decided to get out and take a few pictures. One of them appears above. The enormous baseball in front of the field is rusting out, and I’m not optimistic that it can last for too much longer. One day it will be gone, and I’ll be glad that I took my pictures when I did.

The blue painting on the ball, which is supposed to resemble a baseball’s stitching, used to annoy me, until I learned that baseballs haven’t always had red stitching, like they do today. I’ll tell that story some other time, but for now just appreciating the field, and the thousands of games and players it has seen over the years, is just one more reason why I write this blog in the little spare time that I have. Somebody ought to do it, and I’m willing to answer that call, at least when baseball and Chicago are involved.

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