You can listen to Hoosier History Live! live on the air each Saturday, or listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast on any computer with speakers, anywhere, or on a smartphone. We invite you to visit our website!
Feb. 4 show
Sports team loyalties across Indiana
During Super Bowl weekend in Indy, what better time to tackle the heritage of sports fans across the Hoosier state?
Beloved as the Indianapolis Colts have become in their hometown, do you recall that several years after their arrival in 1984 the Hoosier capital remained packed with Chicago Bears fans? In fact, early match-ups between the Colts and the Bears early on in the bygone stadium then known as the Hoosier Dome often included brother-vs.-brother clashes among families with sharply divided loyalties.
In baseball, some analysts contend that generations of Central Indiana residents have been about evenly divided between Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds enthusiasts. (Pardon us as we hustle back to football for a sec to observe that the Cincinnati Bengals never seemed to catch fire in Central Indiana. They just didn't have the traditions or the colorful aura of Da Bears.)
Of course, Cubs fans are renowned for their fervor and faith, despite the fact that the team hasn't won a World Series since 1908.
In Evansville and other areas of southwestern Indiana, the allegiance of many baseball fans is to the St. Louis Cardinals. Did you know that in terms of mileage, Evansville is closer to St. Louis than to Indy?
In Lake County and elsewhere in northwestern Indiana, of course, the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox and other Chicago-based teams enjoy passionate support.
To explore sports team loyalties across Indiana - and across several sports, including football, basketball and baseball - Nelson will be joined in studio by two veteran Indianapolis-based sports marketers with media backgrounds. His guests will be:
- Pete Cava, who has served in top posts with USA Track & Field and the Amateur Athletics Union. Pete is the author of Tales From the Cubs Dugout and Mom's Handy Book of Backyard Games.
- And David Morton, a principal of Sunrise Sports Group, sports marketing consultants. Sunrise specializes in athlete management, media relations, sponsorship sales and other sports-related services.
On the eve of the big game at Lucas Oil Stadium, Pete, David and Nelson will delve into regional loyalties across Indiana and how some have shifted while others remain as rock-solid as a defensive lineman. Listeners are invited to call in and share their observations on this "divided loyalties" issue.
According to the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly, Super Bowl XLI in February 2007 - a Colts-vs.-Bears match-up - "tore at the region's football loyalties." After the Colts won, their fans enjoyed temporary bragging rights in the region that traditionally has been Bears turf, the magazine notes.
Even today, the Northwest Indiana magazine continues, "fans of the stylized 'C' of the Bears dominate the landscape - on flags, hats, sweatshirts and bumper stickers. But the fact that the blue horseshoe of the Colts is becoming a more common sight shows the importance of Northwest Indiana to both teams. ... The Indianapolis Colts have increased their presence in the region, bringing team officials, players and cheerleaders to high school games and other events."
Some fun facts:
- The star pitcher of the 1908 World Series won by the Cubs was a colorful Hoosier. A native of tiny Nyesville in far-western Indiana, Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown lost part of his right hand in a childhood accident with a corn shredder. Some experts contend his reshaped hand became an asset because he was able to throw a curveball with an exceedingly sharp downward break. In the early 1900s, Brown's popularity in his home state is said to have sparked allegiance to the Cubs among many Hoosiers.
- In northwest Indiana, the Chicago White Sox even run a training academy for aspiring sluggers, pitchers and fielders. The Northwest Indiana Bulls/Sox Academy is located in Schererville in Lake County.
- During World War II, the Cincinnati Reds held spring training at Indiana University, igniting excitement in Bloomington and other southern Indiana communities. In 1943, the Reds used the campus fieldhouse (now Wildermuth Fieldhouse) for spring training amid news coverage that involved "nearly daily reports regarding the team's arrivals, preparations, practices and exhibition games," according to a recent retrospective in the Indiana Daily Student newspaper.
- No poll of central Indiana residents - at least, of the Colts enthusiasts among them - is needed to conclude that the New England Patriots won't be the local fan favorite in Sunday's game. Aside from the intense rivalry between the Colts and the Patriots, there's the brother thing between New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and a famous sibling who led the Colts to the Super Bowl win against the Bears in 2007.
- "Great Moments in Indy Sports" is a new exhibit at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center that runs now through Aug. 11, presented in partnership with the Indianapolis Star.
He has a rare distinction. Not only did he grow up in Indiana, where he was a high school and college football star, he suited up both as a Baltimore Colt and as an Indianapolis Colt.
Question: Who is he?
Hint: He has been a studio guest on Hoosier History Live!
To win the prize, you must call in with the correct answer during the live show. Please do not call if you have won a prize from any WICR show during the last two months. The call-in number is (317) 788-3314, and please do not call until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air.
The prize is a gift certificate to Shula's Steakhouse at the Westin in downtown Indianapolis. This prize is courtesy of the ICVA.
Roadtrip: Quiet and serene Winona Lake
As Roadtripper Chris Gahl of the ICVA is working non-stop through the Super Bowl, photo historian Joan Hostetler of Heritage Photo and Research Services, who is a native of Kosciusko County in northern Indiana, suggests that we might want to seek quiet and reflection at some point in time!
One of her favorite "refuges" is Winona Lake near Warsaw, Ind., about a two-and-a-half-hour drive north from Indianapolis.
Joan tells us that Winona Lake was home to an independent Chautauqua in the early part of the 20th century, including visiting artists, religious leaders and notables such as William Jennings Bryan and Billy Sunday.
The historic guest houses and hotels now are part of a charming restored village; tune in Saturday to learn more!
Feb. 16 is our fourth-anniversary party
Can you believe it? Hoosier History Live! has been on the air for four years! We are proud to have become a unique asset to the state of Indiana, producing original content every week that is then added to our growing online archive. Thanks to all who have listened, clicked, browsed and supported the show!
We plan to be around quite awhile longer, contributing to Indiana's culture and offering a well-reported take on our state's rich and varied history.
Come join in the festivities as we celebrate four years on the air at the Morris-Butler House, 1204 N. Park Ave. in Indianapolis, on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Wine, soft drinks and appetizers will be served. Generously hosted by Indiana Landmarks. This is a free event. For those who choose, checks of support (payable to Indiana Humanities, with a memo line "for Hoosier History Live!") are graciously accepted but certainly not expected.
You can click here to RSVP, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Hoosier History Live! team,
Nelson Price, host and creative director
Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101
Chris Gahl, Roadtripper
Richard Sullivan, webmaster and tech director
Pam Fraizer, graphic designer
Garry Chilluffo, creative consultant
Michele Goodrich, Jed Duvall, grant consultants
Joan Hostetler, photo historian
Dana Waddell, volunteer-at-large
Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana Landmarks, Lucas Oil and Story Inn.
Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo and Research Services, Derrick Lowhorn, Samantha Stratton and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorships, grants and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.
Feb. 11 show
African-American newspapers across Indiana
They covered news, topics and public figures ignored or given short shrift by mainstream newspapers, including the triumphs of athletes such as bicyclist Major Taylor and baseball great Oscar Charleston. Since the late 1800s, African-American newspapers have had an impact on communities across the Hoosier state.
The most enduring has been the Indianapolis Recorder, which our guest Wilma Moore calls "the single most important tool for researching the history of African Americans in Indianapolis."
As Hoosier History Live! salutes Black History Month, Nelson will be joined in studio by Wilma, the senior archivist for African-American history at the Indiana Historical Society.
In addition to delving into the history of the Recorder, a weekly newspaper that began in the 1890s, we will explore the Gary INFO in Lake County; the Evansville Argus, which was published from 1938 to 1943, and the Indianapolis Freeman, a competitor to the Recorder during the 1920s.
The Freeman was heralded for increasing the popularity of Negro League Baseball because its sportswriters provided extensive coverage.
Known for emphasizing local and statewide news, the Recorder covered topics ranging from the political power of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana during the 1920s to the jazz scene that flourished along Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis after World War II.
Launched as a two-page church bulletin in 1897, the Recorder became a weekly two years later. According to Wilma's research, in 1901 the Recorder published the names of black Indianapolis residents whose wealth was estimated at more than $5,000.
The digital archives of the Recorder are available at IUPUI's University Library. The full-text, searchable archives include more than 5,000 issues of the newspaper.
© 2012 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.