Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink

Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink

by Kevin Cook


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The dramatic story of a legendary 1979 slugfest between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies, full of runs, hits, and subplots, on the cusp of a new era in baseball history

It was a Thursday at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, mostly sunny with the wind blowing out. Nobody expected an afternoon game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs on May 17, 1979, to be much more than a lazy early-season contest matching two teams heading in opposite directions—the first-place Phillies and the Cubs, those lovable losers—until they combined for thirteen runs in the first inning. “The craziest game ever,” one player called it. “And then the second inning started.”

Ten Innings at Wrigley is Kevin Cook’s vivid account of a game that could only have happened at this ballpark, in this era, with this colorful cast of heroes and heels: Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Bruce Sutter, surly slugger Dave Kingman, hustler Pete Rose, unlucky Bill Buckner, scarred Vietnam vet Garry Maddox, troubled relief pitcher Donnie Moore, clubhouse jester Tug McGraw, and two managers pulling out what was left of their hair.

It was the highest-scoring ballgame in a century, and much more than that. Cook reveals the human stories behind a contest the New York Times called “the wildest in modern history” and shows how money, muscles, and modern statistics were about to change baseball forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250268372
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 44,709
Product dimensions: 5.49(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Kevin Cook is the author of Electric October and five other books on sports and the people who play them, including Tommy’s Honor and The Dad Report. He is a former senior editor at Sports Illustrated who has written for the New York Times, Men’s Journal, GQ, Playboy, Smithsonian, and many other publications. He has appeared on CNN, ESPN, and Fox TV. An Indiana native, he now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Starting Lineups and Rosters xi

Prologue: May 1979 1

Part 1 National League Least 7

The Cubs: Foiled Again 9

The Phillies: Unloved Losers 27

Part 2 Ten Innings 43

Part 3 Legacies 155

Miracle on Broad Street 157

Kong vs. the Media 171

Disgrace Under Pressure 183

Moore and the Split 193

Ball in the Family 207

Epilogue: Money, Metrics, and Music 219

Box Score 228

A Note on Sources 229

Acknowledgments 239

Index 241

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