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Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs' Glory Years, 1870–1945 brings to life the early history of the much beloved and often heartbreaking Chicago Cubs. Originally called the Chicago White Stockings, the team immediately established itself as a powerhouse, winning the newly formed National Base Ball League's inaugural pennant in 1876, repeating the feat in 1880 and 1881, and commanding the league in the decades to come. The legendary days of the Cubs are recaptured here in more than two dozen vintage newspaper accounts and historical essays on the teams and the fans who loved them. The great games, pennant races, and series are all here, including the 1906 World Series between the Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Of course, Before the Curse remembers the hall-of-fame players--Grover Cleveland Alexander, Gabby Hartnett, Roger Hornsby, Dizzy Dean--who delighted Cubs fans with their play on the field and their antics elsewhere. Through stimulating introductions to each article, Randy Roberts and Carson Cunningham demonstrate how changes in ownership affected the success of the team, who the teams' major players were both on and off the field, and how regular fans, owners, players, journalists, and Chicagoans of the past talked and wrote about baseball.
For more than a century Johnny Evers has been conjoined with Chicago Cubs teammates Frank Chance and Joe Tinker, thanks to eight lines of verse penned by a well-known New York columnist. He has been caricatured as a scrawny, sour man who couldn't hit and who owed his fame to that poem. In truth Johnny Evers was the heartbeat of one of the greatest teams of the 20th century and the fiercest competitor this side of Ty Cobb. He was at the center of one of baseball's greatest controversies, a chance event that sealed his stardom and stole a pennant from John McGraw and the New York Giants in 1908. Six years later, following a stunning set of reversals and tragedies that resulted in his suffering a nervous breakdown, he made a comeback with the Boston Braves and led that team to the most improbable of championships. Spanning the time from his birth in Troy, New York, to his death less than a year after his election to the Hall of Fame, this is the biography of a man who literally wrote the book about playing his position and set the standard for winning baseball.
Amazing Stories From the Cubs Dugout is crammed with stories, quotes, and anecdotes about the greatest Cubs players of past and present. The story of the Cubs is part legend, part pathos; heroic and, on occasion, hilarious. Enjoy the heartbreak and joy of unforgettable afternoons at Wrigley Field. Without a doubt Amazing Stories From the Cubs Dugout is a must for any Chicago Cubs fan.
On October 8, 1871, four decades after its founding, Chicago's destiny was rewritten "with a pen of fire." In this imaginative and penetrating study, Ross Miller considers the mythic proportions of the Great Chicago Fire as the city reshaped its own tragedy into an archetype of the modern struggle against adversity. Amid myriad eyewitness and photographic accounts of the fire, a consideration of what had actually happened was quickly subordinated to a developing narrative that attempted to resolve the city's conflicted identity into a unity. Disaster was recast as opportunity, and a period that began with catastrophic destruction ended in the triumph of the World's Columbian Exposition. Within a generation of the fire, Chicago became home to a radical new architecture, a daring new realistic fiction, literary journalism, and the new scientific study of society.
All Cub fans know from heartbreak and curse-toting goats. Fewer know that, prior to moving to the north side in 1916, the team fielded powerhouse nines that regularly claimed the pennant. Before the Ivy offers a grandstand seat to a golden age: • BEHOLD the 1871 team as it plays for the title in nine different borrowed uniforms after losing everything in the Great Chicago Fire • ATTEND West Side Grounds at Polk and Wolcott with its barbershop quartet • MARVEL as superstar Cap Anson hits .399, makes extra cash running a ballpark ice rink, and strikes out as an elected official • WONDER at experiments with square bats and corked balls, the scandal of Sunday games and pre-game booze-ups, the brazen spitters and park dimensions changed to foil Ty Cobb • THRILL to the poetic double-play combo of Tinker, Evers, and Chance even as they throw tantrums at umpires and punches at each other Rich with Hall of Fame personalities and oddball stories, Before the Ivy opens a door to Chicago's own field of dreams and serves as every Cub fan's guide to a time when thoughts of "next year" filled rival teams with dread.
UNDERBELLY HOOPS covers Carson Cunningham's final season in the storied and now defunct Continental Basketball Association (CBA). In the process, it takes a sober look at minor league professional basketball, as Cunningham tries to navigate a poor relationship with his coach and yet finish his career on his own terms by playing a final season and winning a championship. As UNDERBELLY HOOPS shows, the CBA was a realm where hopeful players desperately hung on and crusty motels might very well have no clocks. It was a place where a trainer could be ordered to fill the visiting team's cooler with warm shower water and a coach might tell a player (namely, Cunningham) that he was focusing too much on his marriage and child rather than basketball. It was also a place where entire hotel wings could become saturated with the pungent smell of marijuana. And yet, even as it chipped away at your dignity and made little economic sense to remain, the CBA drew you in with the allure of action and the prospect of an NBA call-up. And it could inspire, like when you and your teammates caught a rhythm that made you remember why basketball is such a beautiful game, or when you saw guys continue to strive, to persevere, even if their dreams weren't fully realized. "The hoops answer to Ball Four. By turns funny and poignant—and always self aware—this book allows fans into the locker room and huddle, yes, but also into the cortex of a professional basketball player. If Carson Cunningham could have jumped, run and created his shot off the dribble as masterfully as he writes and observes, he'd be starring in the NBA." —L. Jon Wertheim, Senior Writer for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
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