Last night a remarkable moment in history occurred when the Chicago Cubs broke a 108 year long drought since their last series victory, beating out the Cleveland Indians to become the 2016 World Series Champions. At the time of their first win, October 14, 1908, baseball was one of the most popular sports in America and the boys from Chicago were a force to be reckoned with. However, Chicago’s star ball players were not the only victors to rise out of the windy city as it was also home to one of the country’s first stars of motorcycle racing. The motorcycle was still quite a young invention in 1908, having only been around for a handful of years, but the era was one of great innovation and the sport of racing was beginning to come into its own. A young Chicago native named Freddie Huyck was among the first to pursue the sport as a career, and one of the first to become a household name. He began racing in Chicago riding for an upstart company in Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson, most likely under the influence of their first dealer C.H. Lang. Before long his talents were recognized by Indian’s Oscar Hedstrom, co-founder, chief engineer, and director of the racing program at Indian. Huyck was quickly recruited and given access to Hedstrom’s ever-evolving prototype racing machines, becoming one of the first professionally contracted riders in America. The very same week that the 1908 Chicago Cubs beat out the Detroit Tigers to win their previous World Series victory, Huyck was down in Indianapolis for a series of races organized by the newly formed Indianapolis Motorcycle Club. The “Chicago Hurricane” swept the field onboard his new 7HP Indian loop-framed prototype racer, winning every event that he entered. As one of the first men to hit average speeds of over a mile a minute, Huyck also set a new 1-mile speed record making one lap in just over 56 seconds, a record speed of just over 64 mph. Needless to say that if you were a sporting fan in Chicago during the fall of 1908 you were no doubt on top of the world.
Freddie Huyck, the Chicago Hurricane, onboard his 61ci, 7HP factory prototype Indian twin racer at the Indianapolis State Fairground track, October 10, 1908.
Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs having become the 2016 World Series Champions.