A sure sign of spring – baseball is back! The national pastime has returned with (and I never thought I’d get to say this so I’m going to savor it) the defending World Series Champions Chicago Cubs (yeah, the thrill of saying that is never going to fade!), an early favorite to repeat.
Like any sports team that wins a championship, a new crop of books about the team soon pop up as publishers rush to take advantage of the excitement and interest. Most of the time – for 108 years actually – Cubs fans haven’t had a reason to look for books to relive a great season. All of that has changed now and books about the 2016 team and their epic World Series run are arriving. Here is a sampling:
Three titles that came out shortly after the World Series highlight the season. Won for the Ages by the Chicago Tribune only goes through the National League Championship Series; both 2016 World Series Champions from Major League Baseball and Believe It by the Chicago Sun Times include the World Series. All are packed with photos and stats and the ups and downs of 2016.
A Season for the Ages by Al Yello is more in-depth and looks at how the Cubs built a team that could break the drought. Just arrived is The Cubs Way by Tom Verducci which also looks at the winning Cub formula, concentrating especially on Theo Epstien (president of baseball operations) and Joe Maddon (manager) and the strategies they followed to create a team.
Coming soon is The Plan by David Kaplan, also about Epstein and Maddon’s baseball strategies (it’s safe to say that baseball managers everywhere are studying these ideas very carefully!), My Cubs: a Love Story by NPR’s Scott Simon and Teammate: My Life in Baseball, a biography by David Ross, one of the key Cub players, now retired (and on Dancing with the Stars!) It’s safe to say there’s plenty to read during rain delays and travel days!
The Cubs home opener is tonight; they’re going to raise the World Series banner (I still get chills saying that) and there’s sure to be lots of pomp and circumstance and happy tears (and maybe Bill Murray in the stands?) Someday has come and we went all the way – let’s do it again!