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Thillens Family: Namesake Ballpark ‘Embarrassing’

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CHICAGO (CBS) – WBBM Newsradio first reported the disappearance of the Thillens name and the removal of the iconic giant baseball that marked the entrance to Thillens Stadium, the little league park built in 1938 on Chicago’s North Side.

Now, the son of the founder tells us, the family was no longer proud of the place.

Mel Thillens, the son of the Stadium’s founder, says in recent years the ballpark had become an embarrassment to the family that once maintained it meticulously until it was handed over to the Park District in 2005.

“Over the years I asked the Park District if there’s any way we can fix these things up, maintain the way it used to be maintained, the way people remember it,” Thillens said.

“Never got any response until I finally said I want my name off. Our family is not proud anymore to have our name on the stadium.”

Thillens says he’s not blaming the Park District.

He gets the money issue.

He did not tell them to remove the giant baseball that marked the entrance, he says.

“It meant so much to so many people. They just let it go. Its embarrassing.”

The Park District says the ball came down because it was a safety concern.