The Cubs on Catalina: A Scrapbookful of Memories about a 30-Year Love Affair between One of Baseball's Classic Teams. . . and California's Most Fanciful Isle

( 2 )


A magical place.
A magical team.
A magical time...

Every Springtime back then, the Chicago Cubs would hop a steamship for Santa ...
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A magical place.
A magical team.
A magical time...

Every Springtime back then, the Chicago Cubs would hop a steamship for Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of sunny Southern California.  The idea was to get in shape -- but the boys usually ended up sidetracked with . . .

Movie stars, like Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, & Olivia deHavilland

A future U.S. president, who got himself into a barroom brawl

Pranks and fish tales and earthquakes and landslides and wild boar and
just about every kind of mis-adventure you can imagine -- and then some

Their tales must be told -- with plenty of pictures.  It's The Cubs on Catalina: A Scrapbookful of Memories About a 30-Year Love Affair Between One of Baseball's Classic Teams...& California's Most Fanciful Isle.  It's 384 pages, more than 500 fabulous photos...and we hope you'd like to come along for the fun.


About the Author:

Jim Vitti could not hit the curveball.  (Nor could he hit the slowball, come to think of it.)  Fortunately, some English teachers saw a glimmer of the lad ended up writing about baseball instead.  He's managed to get a pair of lousy novels published, as well as a how-to book for HarperCollins.  James can occasionally be found sitting at the old ballfield in Avalon, wishing it were the Spring of 1937.

Named "Book of the Year" by The Sporting News.
Now in its 10th year, The Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award is the most prestigious honor in sports publishing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974242408
  • Publisher: Settefrati Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Table of Contents

The Gulls-Eye View  
A magical place, a magical time, a magical team

The Magic Isle  
The Rookie's Guide to Santa Catalina Island

The Cubbies
A quick look at one of baseball's oldest, most beloved, legendary teams

Springs Before Catalina  
Boiling off the winter's remnants

A 30-year relationship -- sort of

Getting There  
Trains, planes, buses, steamerships, streetcars, cabs, & the occasional thumb

Hack Miller, Hack Wilson, Stan Hack, & Warren Hacker  
An assortment of colorful Cubs just kept hacking away . . .

Practice, practice, practice  
Goat trails, medicine balls, & a dash of pepper

After practice  
Snipe hunts, a friendly game of cards, & putt perfection:  What's a boy (on an island) to do?

The natives are female!  
Dames, skirts, & even an occasional broad

How a plucky young radio man parlayed his Catalina trip into a career in Hollywood . . . & another in Washington

Lefty Carnett, Lefty Chambers, Lefty Minner, Lefty O'Doul, & Lefty Sloat
Where's a good southpaw when you need one?

Norma Jeane  
The stars really came out . . . while the Cubs played on Catalina

The great quake of '33  
California rolled out more than just the red carpet one March afternoon

Jolly Cholly, Gabby, Old Flash, Cavy, & other managerial types
A collection of colorful coaches & skippers came over to keep the boys in line

They don't make 'em like Andy Lotshaw . . . or Yosh Kawano . . . any more

Chuck Connors, the Branded Rifleman  
After Dutch, another strapping visitor from the East hopped over to Hollywood from the Catalina diamond

Onto the Summer & into the Fall:  Back to the friendly confines
Once the boys broke camp, they spent a little time at Wrigley Field, too

What I did during my winter non-vacation
In those days, most ballplayers slogged through blue-collar wintertime jobs . . . after making it back home at season's end

The other Channel Islands -- & isles further out to sea
There were a few other ports around the deep blue oceans . . .

Mr. Wrigley, PK, & the executive team
Meanwhile, back at the tower . . . they made a lot of chewing gum, a few good baseball decisions, & way too many bad ones

The War, & the dreary front at a place called French Lick
Spring Training in the snow, while the others had traded their bats for bayonets

The press  
Jimmy the Cork, T-Bone Otto, Gentleman Jim, & a variety of others with ink in their veins

Overtown to the other Wrigley Field
Before anybody found a diamond at Chavez Ravine, a beautiful ballpark (or two) graced Los Angeles

Marcelino, Lolo, & lots of other locals
Hang around the Avalon barbershop long enough, & you'll hear plenty of baseball tales that're sure to curl your hair

On to Mesa  
A great thing comes to an end

Baseball on Catalina today  
The diamond remains virtually unchanged -- a time capsule to a glorious
past -- but is there still any baseball to be found on Catalina Island?

The Cubs today  
The flannels & the colorful characters are all gone now . . . or are they?

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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 24, 2014

    This book is an amazing collection of old photos related to the

    This book is an amazing collection of old photos related to the Cubs years on Catalina Island. It is not like the Arcadia Publishing photo books - I have many of those and enjoy them, but understand the limitations of their format. These photos are clear and reproduced well. The copy is extensive. About every Cub you could ever think of is included. The author's humor is a bit to slap-stick but, hey, it is about players enjoying themselves and is not a "serious" book. This is a book that reads like a baseball vacation book, which Catalina was for the Cubs. It is a book that can be picked up from time to time as a "vacation break" or read straight through. I like the Cubs, but actually I'm a ChiSox and Colorado Rockies fan. Nor have I been to Catalina, though I loved the Four Preps song. But this book made me marginally like the Cubs even more and certainly made me want to visit Catalina.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2003

    Not *just* for baseball lovers

    One would think that a book about baseball spring training in the first half of the 20th century, while an excellent read for baseball aficionados, would be significantly less interesting for those people -- like me -- who are not well-versed in baseball lore. However, when I read The Cubs on Catalina, I was continuously drawn in by the funny, touching stories of the ballplayers from their time spent training on Catalina Island. The photographs that fill each page of the scrapbook-like book reminded me how beautiful Catalina is, and introduced me to some new spots and people on the island as well. This book is an excellent choice for everyone from serious Chicago Cub fans to island travelers to lovers of stories.

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