SC Gruen Weiss began the 1960 season in the Major Division of the National Soccer League. Their core group of players remained.
"There were about 15 players," Fritz Becker remembers, "and those guys played all the time.”
The reserve team also featured many former first team players and original members of the team, but other former players had higher priorities.
"Some of them got girlfriends and wives and didn’t start coming around as much," Becker recalls.
"I was in college at the University of Illinois most of that year," original Green White member Frank Stadler remembers. "I wasn't around Chicago much and didn't play at all. 1960 was one of the years we acquired some players from other clubs. In short, we just didn’t have the horses to stay in the Major Division."
They made a valiant effort. It came down to the final game of the season; October 30, 1960. On that day, the deciding game was played to see which team would go back down to the First Division. It was Green White against Fortuna, and on this particular day, the black and white beat the green 2-0. The same fate awaited Green White in the indoor season.
Fellow German club Schwaben AC was once again crowned champion of the National Soccer League.
Green White Off the Field
While the soccer team struggled to stay in the Major division on the field, Green White was also struggling with the fact that they didn't exactly have Major Division facilities off the field.
"That clubhouse on Elston Avenue wasn't even a clubhouse," long time member George Polaretzky says now. "It was really a dance hall."
"I vaguely remember having our GW meetings in a bar area which was not very conducive to our needs," Stadler recalls.
"I was the Fest President when we had our clubhouse on Elston Avenue," Adam Harjung remembers with a smile. "We had all of our dances there, at least three every year; New Years Eve, Masquerade (Fasching), and the Schlachtfest. We used to go to all the other clubs events too. I would go to the South Side to the Wanderers, and I used to volunteer to go there, because that’s where I met the girl that became my wife.”
The social part of Green White was never stronger than it was in the 1960s, and that "clubhouse/dance hall" on Elston Avenue was the place it all happened. However, don't drive over there now to see if it's still hopping. It's changed a little bit since those days.
"It’s now a Muslim study center," Harjung points out.
Green White Babies born in 1960
*Future first team mainstay Frank Schmaltz
*Robert Klaus (shown here with his mother Hedy, sister of original Green White member Eckhard Kaempfer, and his father, long-time Green White member Walter Klaus.)
*Marianne Schmidt (daughter of long-time members Franz & Gisella, featured in this photograph from 1961)
*Robert Bischoff (son of original member Henri)
*And future player Jason Thodos.
In Pop Culture
~The #1 pop hit of the year was “Theme from a Summer Place” by Percy Faith
~The #1 TV show of the year was “Gunsmoke”
~The Academy Award for Best Picture went to “The Apartment”
Elsewhere in Chicago
~The Chicago Cardinals football team, who had played their home games in Comiskey Park, moved to St. Louis. (They are now in Arizona)
~On May 2nd, 1960, WLS Radio became the first rock station in Chicago. Among the personalities on the air that first day: Dick Biondi.
~On September 26, 1960, the first televised presidential debate in history took place at the WBBM-TV studios at McClurg Ct. in Chicago. John F. Kennedy debated Richard Nixon. 70 million Americans watched it on TV.
~On November 3, 1960, the Northwest Expressway was officially opened. It wouldn't be renamed the Kennedy Expressway until November 29, 1963--exactly one week after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
~On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States. His overwhelming majority in Chicago (with the help of Mayor Daley) allowed him to win Illinois, one of the states that clinched his victory.
Coming next month: 1961. Green White tries to claw their way back into the Major Division, the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, Golden Arches are trademarked, and a Bozo arrives in Chicago.
As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at email@example.com. I consider this a group project, and a work in progress, so we can add and subtract until we get it all exactly correct. If you have photos you’d like to contribute, please do.