No baseball for Lent? Time for Spring Break road trip.

Steven F. Shundich

Good morning, Mobsters. Live from Chicago, it’s Steven Frederick Shundich, an occasional replacement player for the irreplaceable Paul “Doc” Daugherty. I’m here to remind you just how lucky you are. Not to have (or have not) baseball, but to have him – one of the best sportswriters in the land.

I live in Wrigleyville, a subset of Lakeview, just steps away from Wrigley Field, where there presently are no plans to play professional baseball. Normally, at this time of year, I would be in Fountain Hills, Arizona, for Spring Training. But there’s no baseball there either.

Maybe you’ve given up baseball for Lent. That’s thru April 14, heathens. Maybe you’ve given up baseball forever. If you’re as disgusted by its present state as I am, then maybe you need a date with the past. A little baseball history to cleanse the palate. There’s nothing quite like it. And there’s just so much of it. Yeah, we’re close enough to Spring Break. Let’s hit the road.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

670 miles/10 hours from Cincinnati

Historic Baseball Trail

Just an hour southwest of Little Rock, Hot Springs is recognized by some as the birthplace of Spring Training. In 1886, Chicago White Stockings (later the Cubs) owner Albert Spalding and his player-manager Cap Anson decide it would be beneficial to take their team south to “boil out all the alcoholic microbes which may have impregnated the systems of these men during the winter ... ,” as Spalding put it (The Sporting News, March 17, 1886).

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