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Before the Curse
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Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs' Glory Years, 1870-1945 brings to life the early history of the much beloved and often heartbreaking Chicago Cubs. Originally called the Chicago White Stockings, the team immediately established itself as a powerhouse, winning the newly formed National Base Ball League's inaugural pennant in 1876, repeating the feat in 1880 and 1881, and commanding the league in the decades to come. The legendary days of the Cubs are recaptured here in more than two dozen vintage newspaper accounts and historical essays on the teams and the fans who loved them. The great games, pennant races, and series are all here, including the 1906 World Series between the Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Of course, Before the Curse remembers the hall-of-fame players--Grover Cleveland Alexander, Gabby Hartnett, Roger Hornsby, Dizzy Dean--who delighted Cubs fans with their play on the field and their antics elsewhere. Through stimulating introductions to each article, Randy Roberts and Carson Cunningham demonstrate how changes in ownership affected the success of the team, who the teams' major players were both on and off the field, and how regular fans, owners, players, journalists, and Chicagoans of the past talked and wrote about baseball.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: "The Chicago Cubs: From Early Excellence to the Golden Gilded Age to That Darn Goat" Section 1: Let's Play Ball to King Kelly 1: Title Time, Nominally "Sporting: Comments of the Cincinnati Press on the Late Base-Ball Match," The Chicago Times, 1870 2: Baseball, Celebrated and Lampooned "America's National Game," Outing, An Illustrated Monthly Magazine of Recreation "This National Game," New York Times, 1881 3: Measuring Fielders "Fall Field Sport," Chicago Times,1876 4: "Cap" "Cap Anson of Marshalltown: Baseball's First Superstar," David L. Porter Charley Horse, "Open Letter to Anson," Chicago Daily Tribune, 1897 5: The $10,000 Beaut! When Fans Roared 'Slide, Kelly, Slide!' at the Old Ballgame," James A. Cox "Death of Kelly," Boston Daily Globe, 1894. Section 2: The Colts to the Dynasty 6: From Tee-totaling to Egypt "The Lessons of the League Campaign of 1888," Spalding's Official Baseball Guidebook, 1889 "The Great Baseball Trip Around the World in 1888-'89," Spalding's Official Baseball Guidebook, 1889 7: Hot Time at the Hot Springs "Start Play This Week: Orphans Finish Their Training at Hudson Hot Springs," Chicago Daily Tribune, 1899 8: Chi-town Fandemonium "Nearly Everybody in Chicago Is Crazy About Baseball," Chicago Daily Tribune, 1906. "Frantic Rooters Crowd the Field," Chicago Daily Tribune, 1906 9: Evers on the Glory Years Touching Second: the Science of Baseball, John J. Evers and Hugh S. Fullerton 10: Bartman's Got Nothin' on Merkle "Story of the Merkle Game," I. E. Sanborn, Chicago Daily Tribune, 1912 Bluff of Giants Typical," I.E. Sanborn, "Chicago Daily Tribune, 1908 "Manager O'Day Takes from Evers Credit for Famous Merkle Play," Chicago Daily Tribune, 1914 11: Cubs, Champions! "Cubs Supreme in Baseball World," I.E. Sanborn, Chicago Tribune, 1908 12: Centennial Brown "Three-Fingered Immortal," Ed Burkholder 13: Politics at the Park "President's Day at Chicago," Spalding's Official Baseball Guide, 1910 Section 3: The Hangover thru the Roaring '20s 14: Oh My! It's O'Day! "Evers Deposed As Cubs Leader; O'Day Gets Job," Sam Weller 15: Grover's Highs and Lows "His Own Worst Enemy," Andrea I. Paul 16: Share Squabble at the Series "Adjustment Today, Players' Demand," Melville E Webb Jr., 1918 17: Papa, The Gipper, and the Cubs "Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1918: A New Kansas City Piece by Ernest Hemingway," George Monteiro "Title: Ronald Reagan: Above all, the Gipper was a good sport," Gary Peterson 18: Humble Beginnings, Majestic Life "Wrigley Spent Fortune to Make Cubs Champs," James Crusinberry 19: Baseball Man "Busher Joe McCarthy," Joe Williams 20: Haymaker Hack "Hack Wilson Fined $100," Daily News, 1929 Section 4: Depression Era Greatness to that Darn Goat 21: Rajah in Charge "McCarthy Likely To Go," Daily News, 1930 22: Did He Call It? "Home Runs By Ruth, Gehrig Beat Cubs, 7-5," Edward Burns, 1932 23: What Depression? Third World Series in Seven Years "All World Thrilled By Big Series," Gene Morgan, 1935 24: Sandberg Before Sandberg? "Well-spent dime," Ron Coons 25: Speakin' of Hartnett "Gabby Likes 'Em Hot," Warren Brown 26: Swoonin' "The Decline and Fall of the Cubs," Stanley Frank 27: Maybe Next Year? "Cubs' No. 1 Bleacher Fan Is a Damsel in Distress," 1945 "Back Cubs With Heavy Betting: O'Neil's Hope In Southpaws, Tiger Pilot Will Shift to Trucks if Newhouser Fails," John P. Carmichael, Daily News, 1945

Promotional Information

The early days and glory days of the Chicago Cubs

About the Author

Randy Roberts is Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University and the author of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man. Carson Cunningham is an assistant professor of history at Depaul University and the author of American Hoops: U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball from Berlin to Beijing.

Reviews

"A substantial, in-depth collection that shows how the Cubs came to be, from the late nineteenth century up to the mid-twentieth century, and how they set up the direction of the franchise into the present day." George Castle, Chicago sportswriter and author of Sweet Lou and the Cubs: A Year Inside the Dugout "Full of lively newspaper accounts and vintage articles, Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs' Glory Years, 1870-1945 will draw a wide audience among baseball scholars and, of course, Cubs fans." David Zang, author of Sports Wars: Athletes in the Age of Aquarius

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