With a lineage that dates back to the Chicago White Stockings of the National Association, the history of the Chicago Cubs is, in essence, a history of the game of baseball. The team has gone from dominating dynasty to lovable losers and back again perhaps more than any other. The Cubs have boasted countless all-stars and Hall of Famers, as well as their share of goats—both real and figurative. With more than 250 photographs and illustrations chronicling fourteen decades of team history, Chicago Cubs Yesterday & Today explores every facet of the game and illustrates how things have changed, and how they have remained constant for fans and players of Chicago baseball over more than 130 years.
From the very origins of organized professional baseball, the Cubs franchise has played an integral role in the development of the sport. Team owners William Hulbert and Al Spalding were pioneers in shaping baseball during its nascent years. Three generations of Wrigleys and two generations of Veecks transformed the team from the dead-ball era through the depression and wartime years and into the modern age, revolutionizing how fans experience the game at the ballpark and in their living rooms. An afternoon game at Wrigley Field is an event that every baseball fan should experience first-hand, and Chicago Cubs Yesterday & Today provides a visual and historical tour of this storied ballpark. From the development of Wrigley’s famous bleachers and the planting of its iconic ivy to the late arrival of night baseball and the legacy of the rooftop bleachers beyond the ballpark’s walls, this book illustrates how the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field has adapted to the ever-changing nature of the game while retaining its classic appeal. Indeed, even before the Cubs moved to Chicago’s North Side in 1916, they played at other noteworthy venues—including Lakefront Park (home to baseball’s first luxury sky boxes) and West Side Grounds—all presented here alongside the beloved Wrigley. Red-hot hot dogs, icy-cold brews, and other classic snacks have been enjoyed by Cubs fans generation after generation.
Beyond the ballpark and the front-office wheeling and dealing, however, it is the men who have donned the Chicago uniform over the years that truly represent the majesty of Cubs baseball. In Chicago Cubs Yesterday & Today, you will find the all-time legends and the lesser known workhorses that have brought both glory and hardship to this great organization. A position-by-position tour around the field introduces the men who have defined Cubs greatness at each spot. From baseball’s earliest superstars Cap Anson and Mike “King” Kelly to the celebrated infield of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance; from Gabby Hartnett, Hack Wilson, and the sluggers of the 1930s to Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, and the popular squads of the late 1960s and early ’70s; to the heroes of today and the stars of tomorrow, the best and the brightest from 130 years of Chicago Cubs baseball are on display within these pages.