Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: When Chicago Ruled Baseball by Bernard A. Weisberger

The Book: When Chicago Ruled Baseball The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906 by Bernard Weisberger. (From Goodreads) In 1906, the baseball world saw something that had never been done. Two teams from the same city squared off against each other in an intracity World Series, pitting the heavily favored Cubs of the National League against the hardscrabble American League champion White Sox. Now, for its centennial anniversary, historian Bernard A. Weisberger tells the tale of a unique time in baseball, a unique time in America, and a time when Chicago was at the center of it all. 

What I Thought: I found this book sitting on a stack of books in my in-laws house and immediately started reading it mostly because I'm a huge Chicago Cubs fan. I loved this book. Weisberger recounts each of the six games in the 1906 series. However, the best part of the book for me were the pieces of history woven throughout the book. Weisberger includes information about the formation of both the Cubs and White Sox teams, information about the owners, uniforms, players, money situations, formation of leagues, and the ways information and play by plays about the games would be transmitted to others. (Did you know at one point it was suggested the uniform colors correspond with the players position i.e. all the catchers would wear blue, pitchers another color etc. So the players on the field would look like the rainbow. This idea was quickly eliminated but I found the suggestion hilarious. Rainbow colored uniforms haha). 

I will say one of the downsides in reading this book is not being familiar with the teams of 1906 (obviously). Weisberger does an amazing job recounting each of the games and he spends a chapter introducing each of the teams but it was still difficult to keep all of the names and players straight while going through the game chapters. However that is just a minor downfall and not a huge deal in the scheme of things, since all of the historical baseball facts more than makes up for it.

My Rating: B+

Overall a really well written, interesting, and fairly quick read. If your a baseball fan at all this book is well worth of the read. I loved learning about the logistics and history of baseball in the early years. 

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