There’s a rich history associated with Chicago sports, so it’s a little surprising that no one has thought to build a museum devoted to artifacts and memorabilia from the city’s various teams until now. The new Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch restaurant in Water Tower Place is more than just “a sports restaurant for foodies,” it also houses the Chicago Sports Museum
, which features paraphernalia from CEO Grant Deporter’s extensive personal collection. The 8,000-square-foot space on the seventh floor is lined with display cases and interactive exhibits that use body-tracking technology, allowing you to shoot free throws as Scottie Pippen or knock balls out of the park as White Sox slugger Frank Thomas.
Admission to the museum, which opens to the public April 2, is free if you dine at the adjacent Harry Caray’s restaurant, otherwise adults pay $6 while seniors and kids ages 3–11 get in for $3. You can only stare at Michael Jordan jerseys and Stanley Cup championship rings for so long, so don’t expect an experience that lasts much longer than a half an hour. If you want to breeze through the museum after putting away a giant burger
, here’s what you should check out:
The infamous 2003 Cubs playoff foul ball
Many Cubs fans are still fuming about Steve Bartman’s interference with a foul ball in a 2003 playoff game, which cost the Cubs a National League pennant. Harry Caray’s CEO Grant Deporter bought the ball that Bartman deflected and destroyed it at a public event in 2004. The remnants of the baseball are on display next to an installation that allows fans to gain some additional closure by “detonating” a replica.
Andrew Shaw’s stitches from game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals
One of the weirdest pieces of memorabilia on display is the stitches that Blackhawks
forward Andrew Shaw received after getting hit in the face with a puck during game six of the 2013. Deporter bought the bloody fragments of fiber in an online auction for $6,500.
Sammy Sosa’s corked bat
There’s an entire section of the museum devoted to CAT scans of baseballs and bats, including Sammy Sosa’s notorious corked bat. Attendees can view one of Sosa’s bats and then use a computer terminal to zoom in on a scan of its interior, CSI: Wrigley Field–style.
Sports almanac and hoverboard from Back to the Future II
Remember when Marty McFly traveled to the year 2015 and discovered that the Cubs had finally swept the World Series? While you wait to see if this prophesy comes true, you can take a look at the sports almanac and hoverboard props that were used in the movie. Even if the Cubs don’t pull it off next year, we would settle for a real hoverboard
Will Perdue’s size 21 shoes
No, that’s not a small boat in the display case, it’s one of former Chicago Bulls player Will Perdue’s gigantic size 21 basketball shoes. It makes Derrick Rose’s size 13 kicks (also on display) look puny in comparison.