On September 29, 1945, the Chicago Cubs’ fireball pitcher Paul Erickson threw a curve ball to Tommy O’Brien of the Pittsburgh Pirates with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. O’Brien’s knees buckled, as any hitter’s knees would when he expects a fastball but gets a curve instead. O’Brien had reason to be surprisedit was Erickson’s first curveball of the game, and some even claim that it was his first of the year. The ball crossed home plate for strike three. The Cubs won 4-3 and captured the National League championship.
The Cubs’ journey to the National League pennant in 1945 is detailed here. The author interviewed nine surviving members of the 1945 Cubs, including pitchers Erickson, Hank Borowy, Hank Wyse and Claude Passeau, second baseman Don Johnson, shortstop Lenny Merullo, backup catcher Dewey Williams, first baseman Phil Cavaretta, and outfielder Andy Pafko, and includes their recollections of that magical Cubs season.
|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)|
About the Author
John C. Skipper, a political reporter for the Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette, has written numerous books on politics and baseball, including a history of the The Iowa Caucuses and acclaimed biographies of Grover Cleveland Alexander, Dazzy Vance and Charlie Gehringer.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
1. The Return of Charlie Grimm 9
2. Pitching Staff: The Old and the Wyse 26
3I. The Starting Lineup 39
4. The Season Begins 65
5. The “Pitch and Pray” Lineup Wins It All 82
6. Surprises and Otherwises 100
7. The American League Pennant Race 110
8. The World Series 128
9. Afterthoughts 160
10. Major League Career Statistics of 1945 Cubs 172