The Chicago Cubs have conceded Central Illinois to the St. Louis Cardinals, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Having attended my freshman year of college in Peoria, I can say that I was very happy to have had the opportunity to watch several St. Louis Cardinals games on Fox Sports Midwest. Unfortunately, it was the 2003 season and it did not afford me the chance to watch the Cardinals play during the postseason.
According to the Tribune:
Not only are they considering leaving WGN in 2015, they’re alienating some hard-core Cubs fans in Downstate Illinois, resulting in hard feelings and accusations they have surrendered Peoria to the archenemy Cardinals.
After starting out as the California Angels (now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) affiate during the 1984-85 seasons, the Peoria Chiefs would serve as the Cubs affiliate during the 1985–1995 seasons and again during the 2005–2012 seasons. The Cardinals took over the 1996-2004 seasons and resumed once more with the Chiefs this past season in the first of a four-year affiliation agreement.
Chiefs president Rocky Vonachen “doesn’t think the Cubs are in danger of losing Peoria to the Cardinals, and believes it’s evenly split right now” according to the article.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals had 19 Caravan stops in Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Illinois. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins has stops in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Southern Illinois is Cardinals country–make no mistake about it–but the Cardinals are certainly making in-roads in Central Illinois.