“Father Times Favorite Son of both Baseball and Billiards”


“Father Times Favorite Son of both Baseball and Billiards”
By Jim Parker

In 1863, with the founding of Michael Phelan’s first “Billiard Congress,” (no affiliation to today’s BCA), billiards, meaning all cue games, became an organized professional sport in America. Baseball followed and began spinning its way thru history faster and harder than William A. (Candy) Cummings first curve ball of 1867 when as a nation we saw our first professional base ball team in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The same year as Tom Foley, an Irish immigrant and owner of Chicago’s premier downtown billiard room who in 1865 won the first formal billiard championship of Illinois was engaged by the city’s leading businessmen to help build Chicago’s first professional base ball team. After seeking out and signing on Chicago’s first 9 pro ball players, by April of 1870 Chicago was ready to play ball and saw it’s first professional base ball team, the Chicago’s White Stockings – today’s Chicago Cubs. Recruited and managed by Foley the teams early success was largely due to his steady and clever leadership.  http://wrigleyivy.com/early-years/

Today, Jim and Bonnie Parker, founders of the historical Illinois Billiard Club (IBC) are exhibiting both their original art work by America’s premier sports cartoonist of the 20th century, Mr. Willard Mullin. http://wrigleyivy.com/early-years/


In addition to Mullin’s work the only known one of a kind studio portraits of baseball and billiards sports legend whose popularity soared in “both” baseball and billiards long before the names of Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers were even whispered. Mr.Tom Foley, Father Times Favorite Son of both Baseball and Billiards. An Irish immigrant who as a  young man was responsible for signing on Chicago’s first 9 pro ball players that sparked the evolution of today’s Chicago Cubs, went on in 1919, during the winter of his life, and founded perhaps the longest running baseball association in the history of all professional sports. An association that remained active throughout the following 81 years of the 20th century before leaping into the next millennium! – The Old Timers Baseball Association of Chicago (OTBA of Chicago). https://otbac.wordpress.com/about/

The Illinois Billiard Club’s baseball, billiards and sports cartoonist exhibit is being hosted to commemorate both Chicago’s professional baseball’s 146th anniversary and American billiards 152nd. Thus, to remember and honor all those who played and belonged to Chicago’s first family of baseball and billiards, and in later years the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children baseball and billiards has since inspired as a competitive, exciting and socially entertaining sport. And last but not least, in memory of the man himself, Mr.Tom Foley, for his lifetime achievements within both baseball and billiards. And with it, the official beginning of Chicago’s 146th year of professional baseball, that in the end, brought us today’s Chicago Cubs!

Spotlight on sports cartoonist Willard Mullin …


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