John Freyer and Mark Rucker, both members of the Society for American Baseball Research and repeat authors in Arcadia's Images of Baseball series, have collaborated to bring Chicago baseball fans a unique visual-historical tour of the city's rich baseball heritage in Chicago Sluggers: The First 75 Years.
Chicago Sluggers:: The First 75 Yearsby John Freyer
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The Chicago White Stockings--later renamed the Cubs--won the inaugural National League Pennant in 1876 with a barrage of offensive numbers. Ross Barnes led the league at a .421 clip, and three other Chicago batters finished among the league's top five hitters. Even pitcher Al Spalding hit an impressive .312. Thus began the "northsiders" tradition of producing some of the major leagues' greatest sluggers--including "Cap" Anson, "Gabby" Hartnett, and "Hack" Wilson.
The Chicago White Sox--still named the White Sox--won the inaugural American League Pennant in 1901, led by Fielder Jones' .311 average for a team built more around pitching than hitting--a team that won its first World Series title in 1906 with the nickname "The Hitless Wonders." But the "southsiders" also put up some lofty offensive numbers with the likes of Shoeless Joe Jackson and Eddie Collins.
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