Wrigley Field's Last World Series: The Wartime Chicago Cubs and the Pennant of 1945

Published By: Lake Claremont Press

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Sports & Recreation

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Reviewed by Dennis Anderson

Despite unmatched failure following World War II, the Chicago Cubs were one of the premiere baseball teams during the 1945 season. Billington has written the definitive work on literally everything about the wartime Cubs, as well as other major baseball teams and their performance.

The author provides
-- a vivid sense of America's enthusiasm for baseball as an entertainment option in this tense era,
--a detailed description of their player salaries, ticket prices (box seats $1.80 and bleacher seats $.60),
--how the composition of major leage baseball (MLB) changed because of wartime, what the 1945 Cubs spring training was like when initially only nine players showed up, and
--a host of other obstacles facing teams and managers because of World War II.

As a veteran Cubs fan with a love for Wrigley Field, I learned a number of other fascinating Cubs insights that readers will appreciate. At the time, Wrigley Field was the only major league ballpark without night lighting. Owner Philip K. Wrigley had bought lights for the 1941 night games, but then decided to donate them to the Navy.

Even the materials for making Spaulding baseballs changed because of the war effort. You learn why and how this affected hitting performance.

For diehard Chicago Cubs or Detroit Tigers fans, this book is a must read. Every inning of the 1945 World Series is described in great detail, including the personalities of the players, fan reactions, the origin of the infamous Billy Goat Curse launched with Game 5 and talked about even today, the 12 innings of Game 6, and the irony of Game 7. The pitching, hitting, and fielding by both teams come alive in a Series that started off with great hopes for a Cubs victory that never materialized.

Billington offers five reasons why Detroit, a slower and poorer fielding and hitting team, won the Series. He also provides insights on why the team has performed so poorly over the past 60 years, despite Cubs fans being the most loyal of any athletic team in history. Included are 25 black and white photos of Cubs players from the era.

Armchair Interviews says if you or a friend is a Cubs or Detroit Tigers fans, this book is for you. If you love baseball and trivia, order with our Amazon link today. Great holiday gift for someone special.

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