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Cubs Nation: 162 Games. 162 Stories. 1 Addiction. Hardcover – April 12, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385513003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385513005
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,119,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Many authors have chronicled the fortunes of a baseball team over the course of eight months (including spring training and the postseason). Wojciechowski, a writer for ESPN The Magazine, takes a different approach in his examination of the Chicago Cubs' performance during the 2004 season. The games themselves are only the launch point for his imaginative research, thus get relatively short shrift. Naturally, he keeps track of the wins and losses, tossing in a few pertinent facts and stats in the Cubs' pursuit of the pennant (which never came). He discusses myriad aspects of the games, addressing not just marquee players like Sammy Sosa but utility players as well, and their stories are often more interesting. Still more appealing are the behind-the-scenes glimpses of diehard fans, colorful beer vendors, outrageous broadcasters and others. Even real estate agents, looking to rent apartments across the street from Wrigley Field, get their due as part of Cubs Nation. Wojciechowski isn't overly concerned with gossip; he is more intent on offering readers insight, which comes from diverse sources, like political pundit George F. Will and social commentator Studs Terkel. This engrossing account shows how fans fall in love with a team through heartache and elation. Agent, Janet Pawson. (On sale Apr. 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 2003 the Chicago Cubs almost ended a 50-plus year World Series. With the Cubs poised to shed the "lovable losers" tag in 2004, journalist Wojciechowski, a lifetime Cubs fan, set himself up in an apartment near Wrigley Field to chronicle the season that, as it turned out, wasn't what he had expected. The team was beset with injuries and controversies, and the St. Louis Cardinals ran away with the division. But, as the title states, there were plenty of sidebar stories to tell. Wojciechowski interviewed more than 200 people connected with the Cubs, including players, team officials, and fans. Two sandouts are Paul Rathje, who, in his role as stadium chief, speaks of Wrigley Field like a father would of a successful son, and Billy Corgan, lead singer of the rock group Smashing Pumpkins, who offers a refreshingly "everyman" perspective on citizenship in "Cub Nation." There are plenty of cool baseball anecdotes here, but this revels in the nature of fandom more than in screaming line drives to right field. Given the Cubs' national appeal, expect demand in every market. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Buy several copies for gifts!
David Grim
I am a huge Cub fan and reading this book had me wanting to read more Wojciechowski.
Amy Beth Friedman
While the 2004 season wasn't good for the Cubs, this book is great for the fans.
Buddy Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Buddy Lee on April 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While the 2004 season wasn't good for the Cubs, this book is great for the fans. And not just Cubs fans (although there are plenty of us out there). Gene Wojciechowski manages to show why we're all fans in the first place.

Wojciechowski uses a clever format -- 162 stories (one for each game of the season) on everyone and everything Cubdom from the ballhawks to the beer guy to the umpire's room attendent to the guy who parks the cars to the players to Dusty Baker to stream of Cubs consciousness with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder to movie pitches with Bull Durham's Ron Shelton to beers at the Billy Goat -- and it's a book that is impossible to put down.

Told from the fans' point of view -- and it's obvious Wojciechowski is a fan -- it's a book for us, about us, no matter who our favorite team is or where they finished in the standings.

This is a must-read for any sports fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Winslow Bunny on January 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Gene Wojciechowski, writer for ESPN and Cub fan, has gone where several have blazed a trail before: writing about the day-to-day events in a season with the Cubs. Having read accounts before of 162 entries of Cubs games (or so), I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book and its premise was greatly improved over similar books. Wojciechowski interviewed over 220 individuals for this book and included a very wide range of stories, great humor and poignant episodes in the life of people associated with the Cubs, be they the struggles of ballplayers with injuries, ballplayers befriending kids with serious diseases, Cub fans and celebrities, Cub employees and weaving these tales around the daily game. This book takes place in 2004, when much was expected from the Cubs but the year unraveled for them in the last quarter of the season: players made mistakes, management made mistakes, the team blew leads and games, announcers were blamed for telling the truth, and the start of a wholesale personnel turnover at the park began. The stories are very enjoyable and Wojciechowski has a terrific sense of humor, and the drama of the last few weeks of the season just adds to the enjoyability of the book - it's definitely worth reading.
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By M. Krawczak on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
First off, it's not 162 stories & 162 games. The author skipped one game to take in the Florida Marlins hurricane make-up game at Sox Park and another to take in a college football game! Hence, squandered opportunity. Also, doubleheaders share one story. Lots of nice individual stories, otherwise, although they rarely related to the game "chapter" they fell into. The errors got to be annoying, such as the story about a fan who rented an apartment just outside Wrigley Field described as being on the corner of two streets that do not intersect.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Johnson on August 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First off, I am not a Cubs fan (I'm a Yankees fan). However, I am a baseball fan and I love a good baseball book. I bought this while reading it at a bookstore and decided to get it. The book is part recap of the Cubs' 2004 season, part history of the Cubs and being a Cubs fan. This is not a very good book, although there are some nice things in it. Wojciechowski tried a different format, putting a different story with a brief account of that day's game. While I certainly can respect someone doing something out of the normal for a book, it adds too much length to it.

In here in detail, stories about how obsessed Greg Maddux is with his performance and how he has been a success for so long. Also a touching tribute to Frank Hernandez Jr., who was shot and killed outside of Wrigley Field. Michael Wilbon adds while he knows Steve Bartman isn't at fault for losing Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, he still blames him.

"Cubs Nation" has its share of drawbacks. It is way too long (417 pages?). Wojciechowski tries too hard to be funny and excessively uses the phrases "honk" and "take it in the shorts." There are mulitple spelling errors, including inexcusably misspelling Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew's last name "Killibrew." The Mets' Eric Valent is referred to as "Joe Valent." Believe it or not, there is even an instance where the Cubs' home field is called "Wrigley Stadium"! Geez, no wonder Jeff Gordon got it wrong.

I'd only recommend this book to the most avid Cubs fan. To all others, steer clear of this one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Muegel on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My wife turned me into a Cub fan, and now I am a Cub FANATIC. I learned some great tidbits from this, and the style -- a story and chapter for every game day -- let me pick it up and read when I had a few spare minutes here and there. GO CUBS IN 2006!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In 2003 the Cubs were 5 outs away from the World Series before their collapse. They ended up losing in 7 games to the Florida Marlins after being up 3 games to 1 at one point. 2004 then rolls around and there is a lot of hype about the Cubs, Sports Illustrated even picked them to win the World Series. In Cubs Nation, Gene Wojciechowski follows the 2004 Chicago Cubs from spring training until the end of the season. Throughout the season you learn about the players and what they're like on and off the field, you get to read all kinds of interesting stories, and you get to witness the classic collapse of the Chicago Cubs.

I'm a huge Cub fan, so when I saw this book I had to read it. I've been a fan of the Cubs my whole life and I've been to Wrigley Field many times. I try to go down to Arizona to catch some spring training games every year, but it doesn't always work out. This was a very interesting book to me. It was fun reading it and remembering everything that happened during the 2004 season. Memories such as trading for Nomar Garciaparra, the Moises Alou urine "scandal", Sammy Sosa's sneeze heard around the world, all of the injuries, and the what-ifs. What if the Cubs pitching staff could have all stayed healthy at the same time for the whole year, what if Sammy didn't injure his back by "sneezing", and what if the Cubs played like they were supposed to and didn't underachieve? The Cubs had the best pitching staff on paper and a pretty good offense, they very well could have won the World Series if they could have just stayed healthy and played like they were supposed to. Like I have said, I've been a Cub fan my whole life and I will always be a Cub fan, through thick and thin. I just hope and pray that they win a World Series in my lifetime.
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