Mr. Wrigley's Ball Club

Mr. Wrigley's Ball Club

Chicago and the Cubs during the Jazz Age

Roberts Ehrgott

512 pages
24 photographs

Hardcover

April 2013

978-0-8032-6478-6

$34.95 Add to Cart
Paperback

April 2014

978-0-8032-5342-1

$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Chicago in the Roaring Twenties was a city of immigrants, mobsters, and flappers with one shared passion: the Chicago Cubs. It all began when the chewing-gum tycoon William Wrigley decided to build the world’s greatest ball club in the nation’s Second City. In this Jazz Age center, the maverick Wrigley exploited the revolutionary technology of broadcasting to attract eager throngs of women to his renovated ballpark.

Mr. Wrigley’s Ball Club transports us to this heady era of baseball history and introduces the team at its crazy heart—an amalgam of rakes, pranksters, schemers, and choirboys who take center stage in memorable successes, equally memorable disasters, and shadowy intrigue. Readers take front-row seats to meet Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Joe McCarthy, Lewis “Hack” Wilson, Gabby Hartnett. The cast of characters also includes their colorful if less-extolled teammates and the Cubs’ nemesis, Babe Ruth, who terminates the ambitions of Mr. Wrigley’s ball club with one emphatic swing.

 

Author Bio

Roberts Ehrgott has written for and edited several national publications, including the Saturday Evening Post. He served as a historical consultant for Mark Jacob and Stephen Green’s Wrigley Field: A Celebration of the Friendly Confines.

Praise

"The Second City couldn't get enough of this team of assorted alcoholics, teetotalers, brawlers, carousers, fitness buffs and gamblers that captured two pennants and featured numerous eventual Hall of Famers. . . . An absolute must for any baseball fan's library."—Kirkus starred review

"A fun read . . . full of anecdote and color. Recommended for fans of the Cubs or Chicago or baseball history."—Library Journal

"Roberts Ehrgott has written a graceful, engrossing account of an era in which the Cubs, while already falling short of winning the World Series, built a national following in the age of flash, flappers, mobsters, molls, bank runs and breadlines."—Scott Simon, Chicago Tribune

"[Mr. Wrigley's Ball Club] is a smartly written, well-researched look at the Cubs from 1925 to 1932."—Bob D'Angelo, Tampa Tribune

"What sets the book apart from many set in baseball is how Roberts Ehrgott handles the context in which the fun and games transpired. In the '20s, Chicago was certainly the Cubs, but it was also Al Capone, and, as Ehrgott writes, "Chicagoans venturing to other parts of the country and abroad learned that their city was becoming a byword for mayhem and violence." . . . Chicago's dizzy baseball hopes and dreams seem especially poignant against the background of the onset of the Great Depression."—Bill Littlefield, Boston Globe

"Roberts Ehrgott takes us back to the days when the Cubs were kings and Chicago was a growing, thrilling, dangerous melting pot of Al Capone, speakeasies, "flappers" and vaudeville in his meticulously researched and extremely well crafted new book."—Terry Keshner, Seamheads

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments   000

1. The Capital of Baseball    000

2. Samples of Baseball  000

3. The Age of Wilson Begins   000

4. The McCarthymen Take the Stage   000

5. My Dad the Sportswriter    000

6. To Paradise and Back 000

7. "A Sort of Frenzy"   000

8. McCarthy's Debacle   000

9. "I Wanted Wilson"    000

10. The Prime of Mr. Hack Wilson    000

11. "A Lousy Outfield"  000

12. Room 509      000

13. Informants    000

14. "Nothing to It"     000

15. "No Particular Pal of Mine"     000

16. "That Story Is Terrible, Judge" 000

17. The Natural   000

18. "Mugs . . . Chiselers"    000

Notes 000

Additional Source Comments    000

Bibliography      000Index 000

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