What are the odds? Kevin Cowherd at the Baltimore Sun offers his thoughts on the best baseball books ever written. With all due respect, I find such blatant calls for attention somewhat annoying.
The Salt Lake Tribune offers these suggestions for younger readers and their parents. Previous post: Author appearance: Ira Berkow. Next post: Bookshelf Review roundup, July In my most recent "day job," I was the sports and features editor for a weekly New Jersey newspaper, where I hosted another blog. Busy, busy, busy. I did a profile piece on the award-winning cartoonist Arnold Roth and he was nice enough to "immortalize" me. I always get a kick when someone outside of the game who is serious fan, and not just someone looking to glom on to the extra celebrity status of running with a winner, publishes a heartfelt book like this.
An accessible tribute to a legendary figure in the game and a good education for a generation of fans that never heard of Ole Case. Another "colorful character" who spent a lifetime in the game. Recently Read Archives Previous "recently". The Bookshelf Conversation Discussions about all things baseball with authors, journalists, filmmakers, musicians, artists, et al.
Todd Radom. Tony Castro.
Bryan Hoch. Sridhar Pappu. Rich Cohen. Richard Sandomir.
Claire Smith. Jason Turbow. Dan Schlossberg. Scott Simon. Marty Appel. Paul Dickson. Jon Leonoudakis. Mike Shannon. Lincoln Mitchell. Al Yellon. Peter Golenbock. Brian Kenny. Micheal Leahy Part Two. Micheal Leahy Part One. Jeff Polman. Howard Megdal.
Erik Sherman. Kevin Larkin. Abie Rotenberg. George Gibson. Doug Wilson. Russ Cohen. Mark Armour. Jerry Cohen. Lonnie Wheeler. Danny Peary. Dick Flavin.
Jonathan Knight. Troy Soos. Filip Bondy. Fritz Peterson. Brad Balukjian. Rob Fitts. Josh Leventhal. Chris Lucas. Gary Cieradkowski. Jeff Katz. Fred Harris. Me Ron Kaplan. Steve Kettmann. Phil Pepe.
Barbara Gregorich. Walter Friedman. Bennett Jacobstein. Josh Pahagian. The trade for Sandberg was a sound baseball decision. Every now and then, such decisions make general managers look like geniuses. With all the Philadelphia transplants in Chicago, it didn't take long for the Cubs to be nicknamed "Phillies West" and the "Cubillies.
They resented the hell out of me for that. It would be a couple more years before some strategic trades and Ryno's emergence as a superstar helped the Cubs shed their losing ways. For the time being, we had to try to drum up interest in the team based on a belief that better days lay ahead, even if they might take a while to arrive. I tried to make it clear that I didn't think there was anything lovable about losing.
The new tradition of winning wouldn't take hold overnight. A blind man could see that. But it was being built Not everybody embraced the idea of the Cubs as winners. Some so-called fans actually liked the decades of losing. Studs Terkel, the legendary Chicago writer, summed up that mind-set best when he said, "I think they're more endearing in defeat than in victory. I like their loser-like quality. I had no delusions of grandeur when I got to Chicago.
But as someone who liked a good challenge, I relished the chance to try and rebuild an organization. Teams win games, but organizations establish the framework for success. And while the Cubs may have been a venerable organization, they certainly weren't a successful one. It was hardly a coincidence that the Cubs' record for single-season attendance to that point had come in , the year the team played inspired baseball until they blew a nine-game lead and lost the division to the Mets in the final weeks of the season.
It's simple: when you win, you put people in seats. And because the Cubs didn't win a lot in the s and early s, they didn't draw well. Fewer people watched games at Wrigley Field in than at the outset of the Great Depression in Among the reasons for that was the team's difficulty selling season tickets. I leveled with Cubs fans about their misplaced love of failure, a phenomenon further perpetuated by the team. I did a call-in radio show in Chicago that gave me a chance to interact with fans.
And by that I mean it gave me a chance to set fans straight on some things. Why did they lose? Because Wrigley Field didn't have lights. The team got tired from coming off the road late at night and then reporting to the ballpark early for day games. That sapped their stamina. The team and day baseball were both sacred to Cubs fans. But there I was on the airwaves disparaging both. That led to a lot of pissing contests with callers to the show, especially after we got off to another losing start in I've always had a loud mouth and yakked too much, but I didn't do the show just to make people angry at me.
I felt it was a way to reach a section of the fan base that knew the game and could give me feedback on how we were doing. I guess it all made for good radio. A lot of the callers were your typical talk show types who just wanted to harangue me. Well, I'm not harangue-able. My advocacy for lights at Wrigley Field, which started slow and built over the next few years, was evidence of my willingness to mix it up with the locals. The new general manager and the stubborn old fans agreed on one point: Wrigley Field was a wonderful place to watch a game.
So many Chicagoans had childhood memories of taking the train to Wrigley with their parents or grandparents. Now, they were parents or grandparents themselves who were passing on the same tradition. A love of the Friendly Confines and the game itself is a perfectly good reason to come out to the ballpark.
But I felt we had to move beyond that by bringing back pride to the organization. Copyright c by Dallas Green and Alan Maimon. Published by Triumph Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Tweets by ThePostGame.
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