- Paperback: 242 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (21 Jun. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060592370
- ISBN-13: 978-0060592370
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,552,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
When Chicago Ruled Baseball Paperback – 21 Jun 2016
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"I love this book." -- Ken Burns
"I love this book."--Ken Burns
."..brings life to a magical city, an enchanting World Series and the baseball legends who battled for glory."--Tom Stanton, Casey Award-winning author of The Final Season and Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America
I love this book. --Ken Burns"
...brings life to a magical city, an enchanting World Series and the baseball legends who battled for glory. --Tom Stanton, Casey Award-winning author of The Final Season and Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America"
..".brings life to a magical city, an enchanting World Series and the baseball legends who battled for glory."--Tom Stanton, Casey Award-winning author of The Final Season and Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America
About the Author
Bernard A. Weisberger is a distinguished teacher and author of American history. He has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester, is a contributing editor of American Heritage for which he wrote a regular column for ten years, has worked on television documentaries with Bill Moyers and Ken Burns, and has published some dozen and a half books as well as numerous articles and reviews. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Prior to completing this work on a subject for which he obviously holds deep affection, Bernard Weisberger, former professor of American history at several institutions, including Swarthmore College, University of Chicago and University of Rochester (where he was chairman of the department) authored several works on American history. In this work, Professor Weisberger provides a lively and engaging narrative of the games of the series, the events of the season leading up to it, as well as the goings on in the crowd (both inside and outside the ballpark). The result is that the reader receives as close to a feeling of having actually witnessed the events as is reasonably possible.
Weinberger also explores in considerable depth the backgrounds of the teams and the principal individual participants in the 1906 drama. At the forefront of this group are Cubs Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, all assured of a permanent place in baseball lore because of Franklin Pierce Adams' 1910 poem (the name of which is known by anyone who has gotten this far in this review). Among others whose lives are explored on the Cubs side are pitchers Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown (with one of the most colorful nicknames in baseball history), and Ed Reulbach, along with third baseman Harry Steinfeldt (the member of the Cubs' infield who did not make it into Adams' poem.)
Among the White Sox of prominence discussed in the text are center fielder and team manager Fielder Jones, pitchers Nick Altrock, Ed Walsh, and Doc White, and George Rohe, a substitute during the regular season, whose .333 average during the World Series tied for the team lead with that of first baseman "Jiggs" Donahue (such a performance would now term him to be a `super-sub').
Enhancing the narrative are images and references to the history of the city of Chicago, as well as literary references that are worked in smoothly and without pretention (such as a quotation from the clown Feste from Twelfth Night, "What's to come is yet unsure.")
Weisberger also provides a brief `history of organized baseball for dummies' from the origins of the various leagues through the nineteenth century leading up to the events of 1906. This is particularly pertinent to the two teams involved in the 1906 Series because of the integral roles of Albert G. Spalding, with respect to the Cubs and Charles Comisky, with respect to the White Sox, each played prominent roles in the formation of their teams respective leagues.
Weisberger describes in some detail how Spalding was key figure in the 1876 machinations that led to the organization of the National League and the accompanying demise of the league's predecessor, the National Association. A star pitcher for the 1875 Boston Red Stockings of the National Association, Spalding convinced several stars of the Red Stockings as well other players, including Cap Anson, to leave their teams in the National Association and join him on the Chicago team in the new National League that was then known as the "White Stockings"--which would become the Cubs. He would go on to manage the team, then to move into ownership of the teams. Weisberger also discusses how Spalding amassed a fortune from the sporting goods company he started and was a key figure in the creation of the myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown.
Weisberger follows Comisky's career as a player in the early days of the National League, then as a player and a manger in the Western League; Comisky would eventually move of the St. Paul Saints to Chicago in 1900 and rename the team the "White Stockings" (the name had been abandoned by the Cubs by that time.) Weisberger also relates in detail the politics and machinations in which Comisky engaged to establish his franchise in the early days of the American League.
The reader is introduced to those who covered the Series, including the Tribune's Hugh Fullerton (whose reporting on the 1919 World Series would be among the key elements in exposing the fix), the scholarly Irving "Sy" Sandborn, and Charles Dryden, who practiced what is described as his "Aw nuts" school of sportswriting.
The book, which is written in a flowing and conversational style, laced with dry humor at spots, will be a welcome read for any Chicago baseball fan, as well as anyone who enjoys a history of the game. The book is also broad enough in its coverage of the events and culture of Chicago that in many ways it transcends just baseball and should be enjoyable for anyone interested in the history of the city during that period.
It is appropriate and commendable that the book includes individual records of the players for the season and the World Series, as well as box scores for the respective games. The formatting could have been a bit more user friendly, but that is why BaseballRefernce.com was invented (and whoever did that should receive a Nobel Prize.)
As a conclusion, Weisberger reflects on recent events on the Chicago baseball scene(the book was written in 2006) in an engaging "Afterword" on the 2005 White Sox' World Championship. (Choosing to stick to the positive, he leaves alone other Chicago baseball events which at the time were comparatively recent-- being the infamous grab by a fan (unnamed here) of a foul ball about to be caught by Moises Alou of the Cubs in game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series game-- the play viewed by Cub faithful as the key in a sequence of events that led to the team's failure to win that year's NLCS and move on to the World Series that year.)
Wise to stick with the positive, Professor, in a work well done.
Weisberger covers all the bases in explaining how the Cubs and White Sox were built and got to the World Series. He delves into Albert Spalding and Charles Comiskey, architects of the teams; the early years of baseball and its fledging leagues; the formation of the National League and American League; how the players were acquired; and what happened to the players after 1906.
Surprisingly, the White Sox upset the Cubs, four games to two. Although the White Sox had Ed Walsh and Doc White, they had few notable players, particularly compared to the Cubs that featured Three-Finger Brown, Ed Reulbach, Frank Chance, Johnny Kling, Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker.
This thin book, which includes a chapter on the White Sox winning the 2005 World Series, is probably best enjoyed by diehard Chicago baseball fans.
Chicago of the American League proved that good pitching stops good hitting...the Cubs had great pitching also but got overconfident in the first couple of games in the series which set the tone for rest of the series. The author did a good job of putting the series in context describing the events of the day along with the political and social machinations of the first decade of the 20th century.