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Wrigley Field's Last World Series: The Wartime Chicago Cubs and the Pennant of 1945
     

Wrigley Field's Last World Series: The Wartime Chicago Cubs and the Pennant of 1945

by Andy Pafko (Foreword by), Charles N. Billington
 
On the eve of World War II, baseball truly was America's national pastime. Little could anyone predict the changes and sacrifices that would be imposed on the sport during the early 1940s. As the war was coming to an end in 1945 and a jubilant mood was overtaking the country, baseball was back in full swing and the Chicago Cubs were on top of their game. How did the

Overview

On the eve of World War II, baseball truly was America's national pastime. Little could anyone predict the changes and sacrifices that would be imposed on the sport during the early 1940s. As the war was coming to an end in 1945 and a jubilant mood was overtaking the country, baseball was back in full swing and the Chicago Cubs were on top of their game. How did the Cubs clinch the pennant in 1945 and go to the World Series? Simply, they fielded, hit, and pitched better than any other team in the league. How did they then lose the championship to the Detroit Tigers, a team with one of the most mediocre records in pennant history? And why haven't they been back since? Billington's fast-paced narrative of this historic season includes an inning-by-inning account of critical games, highlights of winning streaks and road trips, and a discussion of how and why the team ultimately unravels. Incorporating statistical analysis, descriptions of key teams, and player biographies, Billington paints an evolving and exciting portrait of the 1945 Cubs and the wider national baseball scene of a war-torn era.

I don't care who wins, as long as it's the Cubs!—legendary announcer, Bert Wilson, WIND 

On the eve of World War II, baseball truly was America's national pastime. Little could anyone predict the changes and sacrifices that would be imposed on the sport during the early 1940s. As the war was coming to an end in 1945 and a jubilant mood was overtaking the country, baseball was back in full swing and the Chicago Cubs were on top of their game.

How did the Cubs clinch the pennant in 1945 and go to the World Series? Simply, they fielded, hit, and pitched better than any other team in the league. How did they then lose the championship to the Detroit Tigers, a team with one of the most mediocre records in pennant history? And why haven't they been back since?

One thing is clear: 1945, the last time the Cubs went to the World Series, was a turning point in the team's fortune. For in the first half of the twentieth century, few teams were as good as Chicago; in the second half, few teams were as bad.

Between 1900 and 1945 the Chicago Cubs won the National League pennant ten times and had more first division finishes than any other team in the league and only one last-place finish. Between 1946 and 1990, the Chicago Cubs finished in the National League basement nine times, and went 20 consecutive seasons in the second division between 1947 and 1966.

Charles N. Billington's fast-paced narrative of this historic season includes an inning-by-inning account of critical games, highlights of winning streaks and road trips, and a discussion of how and why the team ultimately unravels. Incorporating statistical analysis, descriptions of key teams, and player biographies, Billington paints an evolving and exciting portrait of the 1945 Cubs and the wider national baseball scene of a war-torn era.

 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Billington makes an astute observation that '45 was the dividing line between the successful Cubs of the early 20th century and the crappy Cubs my father and I have been saddled with. . . . A wealth of information is provided about the effect of WWII on the team and the interesting circumstances around Spring Training of that year. . . . It makes me wish that I could have a whole bookshelf of books, each putting the magnifying glass on a particular year. Peanuts Lowry and Bill "Swish" Nicholson would be proud of this book. Recommended very highly, especially to those with an interest in the World War II era [of baseball]…."—View From the Bleachers

 "Required reading for baseball history buffs."—Sportsology.Net

A page-turner.”—Sports Fan Magazine

"Every 'real' Cub Fan ought to go out to Amazon today and plunk down the eleven and change [$16.95] that this large soft-cover goes for, to see for themselves the kind of clutch performance a real pennant winner requires."—Rob Letterly, Goat Riders of the Apocalpyse

"Wrigley Field's Last World Series . . . is Charles N. Billington's account of the ball club that brought the World Series to the 'friendly confines' of Wrigley Field . . . This book is a well researched review of the Cubs' playing ability, as well as how owner, chewing gum mogul Phillip K. Wrigley handled the team, including the sale of World Series tickets to loyal and dedicated fans! . . . No matter who one roots this baseball season, Wrigley Field's Last World Series makes a great read! . . . [I]t's a book that will give an urge to 'Root, Root, Root for the Cubbies.' And if they don't win, then it's not a shame . . . (to use a WWII-era phrase) it's SNAFU!"—Rich Borowy, Accessibly Live Off-line

"Required reading for baseball history buffs."—Harvey Frommer, Sportsology.net

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781893121454
Publisher:
Lake Claremont Press
Publication date:
05/28/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
321
Sales rank:
899,715
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Charles N. Billington is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30 years of experience in mental health. He has worked as an administrator, psychotherapist, and consultant, most recently specializing in work with the elderly. A three-sport athlete in high school who played baseball at the collegiate level, he combined his background in sports and his interest in history with his work with senior citizens to write about Wrigley Field's last World Series, World War II–era baseball, and the 1945 Cubs. The fascinating recollections of two elderly baseball players who came to Mr. Billington for assistance and became the inspiration for Wrigley Field's Last World Series. Charles grew up in the Chicago area and lives in the northern suburbs. His hobbies include boating, playing the piano, and playing outfield in the Chicago North Men's Senior Baseball League.

Charles N. Billington is a licensed clinical social worker with 30 years of experience in mental health. After graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, he received his master's degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. He has worked as an administrator, psychotherapist, and consultant. Most recently he has worked with the senior citizens.

A three-sport athlete in high school who played baseball at the collegiate level, he combined his background in sports and his interest in history with his work with seniors to write about the Chicago Cubs' last World Series. The fascinating recollections of two elderly baseball players who came to him for assistance became the inspiration for the work.

Charles grew up in the Chicago area and lives in the north suburbs with his wife of 25 years and two children. His hobbies include boating, playing the piano, and playing outfield in the Chicago North Men's Senior Baseball League.

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