Before the Ivy

Before the Ivy : The Cubs' Golden Age in Pre-Wrigley Chicago

3.8 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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All Cub fans know from heartbreak and curse-toting goats. Fewer know that, prior to moving to the north side in 1916, the team fielded powerhouse nines that regularly claimed the pennant. Before the Ivy offers a grandstand seat to a golden age:


BEHOLD the 1871 team as it plays for the title in nine different borrowed uniforms after losing everything in the Great Chicago Fire


ATTEND West Side Grounds at Polk and Wolcott with its barbershop quartet


MARVEL as superstar Cap Anson hits .399, makes extra cash running a ballpark ice rink, and strikes out as an elected official


WONDER at experiments with square bats and corked balls, the scandal of Sunday games and pre-game booze-ups, the brazen spitters and park dimensions changed to foil Ty Cobb


THRILL to the poetic double-play combo of Tinker, Evers, and Chance even as they throw tantrums at umpires and punches at each other

Rich with Hall of Fame personalities and oddball stories, Before the Ivy opens a door to Chicago's own field of dreams and serves as every Cub fan's guide to a time when thoughts of "next year" filled rival teams with dread.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.28 x 17.78mm | 294.83g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252080289
  • 9780252080289

Review quote

"An excellent reference of the glory days for those poor fans caught up in the endless cycles of 'Wait Until Next Year' on the Northside of Chicago."--SABR's The Inside Game "With so many things we love, there must a history lesson in order to understand what it is that got us here in the first place. Before the Ivy does just that, taking the reader to a time just after the Civil War and at the dawn of the second Industrial Revolution when labor laws didn't exist and the thought of having a beer at a ballgame was unheard of. . . . Pernot's book isn't just a trip a handful of decades ago, when our fathers or grandfathers were adjusting the bunny ears on the television or finding the right spot on the back porch for the radio to come in clearly in order to catch their favorites starts of the game. It's back to a time so delicate where the balance of interest in the game relied so heavily on those who promoted it by way of barnstorming across the country as well as weeks-long trips across the ocean to foreign lands."--Gapers Block "A well-written and entertaining read, filled with copious illustrations and photos that might sustain the rabid Cub's fan base as they 'wait until next year.'"--Journal of Sport History "Packed with entertaining stories, the general public with find Before the Ivy informative and rewarding."--Journal of Illinois History "Quite readable. . . . Pernot does not ultimately suggest there is a cure for Cub fever, but he certainly gives us the basis for a better understanding of the phenomenon."--Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature "A journey worth taking for both the serious baseball historian and the casual baseball fan alike." --Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society
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About Laurent Pernot

Laurent Pernot is the executive vice chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago.
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Rating details

5 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 20% (1)
4 60% (3)
3 0% (0)
2 20% (1)
1 0% (0)
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