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Before Wrigley Became Wrigley

by Sean Deveney

Chicago's Wrigley Field opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park, the new North Side stadium erected for use by the Federal League's Chicago team, which would eventually be called the Whales. It was built in just 50 days, with an rectangular shape in the style of New York's Polo Grounds, designed to fit the odd dimensions of the lot-which formerly housed a seminary school-that Whales owner "Lucky" Charley Weeghman had purchased with a 99-year lease at a little over $300,000. In all, it took $250,000 and a plenty of scrambling to build the park.That seminal event is at the heart of Before Wrigley: The Inside Story of the First Years of the Cubs' Home Field . The book will explore the early years of Wrigley Field, when it bore a different name and housed a different team. Sean Deveney has mined documents and resources from baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as well as the Chicago History Museum, to supplement the reports in newspapers and magazines of the day, giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at origins and birth pangs of the park.At the center of the Before Wrigley drama is a cast of typically colorful Chicago characters, particularly Weeghman, the young and flamboyant restaurant man who started out in the city as an $8-a-week waiter, eventually became a millionaire baseball magnate, and then lost everything. There's tightwad owner Charles Murphy, who oversaw the Cubs' early 20th century dynasty (yes, there was a Cubs dynasty), only to run off his famed infield of Tinkers, Evers and Chance, and be run out of the game himself. There are crooked baseball officials like Ban Johnson and Garry Herrmann, crooked politicians like mayor "Big Bill" Thompson, rogue ballplayers out to make a quick buck or two and, of course, the generally fair and hard-working citizens of Chicago.Using careful and detailed research, incorporated into the bizarre and gripping narrative of the city, the game and the team in the mid-1910s, Before Wrigley gives Cubs' fans a rollicking account of their beloved ballpark's little-explored early days.

Facing Michael Jordan

by Sean Deveney Kent Mcdill

Relive the magic of the greatest player to ever step on the court."Air Jordan," "His Airness," "MJ."Whatever you call him, Michael Jeffrey Jordan can be considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. During his career, Jordan won six NBA championships and was a 14-time All-Star, five-time NBA MVP, and six-time NBA Finals MVP. To say Jordan was dominant during his career would be a severe understatement.Now for the first time ever, hear stories from opponents, teammates, and coaches about what it was like to go against MJ in Facing Michael Jordan. You will hear stories from such All-Stars as:Charles BarkleyDennis RodmanRobert ParishTerry PorterAnd many more!From the moment Jordan stepped onto the court, he dominated the game of basketball. No matter who comes around today or tomorrow, Jordan's name and the number 23 will resonate with basketball fans for all eternity.

Fun City

by Sean Deveney

On January 1, 1966, New York came to a standstill as the city's transit workers went on strike. This was the first day on the job for Mayor John Lindsay--a handsome, young former congressman with presidential aspirations--and he would approach the issue with an unconventional outlook that would be his hallmark. He ignored the cold and walked four miles, famously declaring, "I still think it is a fun city. " As profound social, racial, and cultural change sank the city into repeated crises, critics lampooned Lindsay's "fun city. " Yet for all the hard times the city endured during and after his tenure as mayor, there was indeed fun to be had. Against this backdrop, too, the sporting scene saw tremendous upheaval. On one hand, the venerable Yankees--who had won 15 pennants in an 18-year span before 1965--and the NFL's powerhouse Giants suddenly went into a level of decline neither had known for generations, as stars like Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford on the diamond and Y. A. Tittle on the gridiron aged quickly. But on the other, the fall of the city's sports behemoths was accompanied by the rise of anti-establishment outsiders--there were Joe Namath and the Jets, as well as the shocking triumph of the Amazin' Mets, who won the 1969 World Series after spending the franchise's first eight seasons in the cellar. Meanwhile, the city's two overlooked franchises, the Knicks and Rangers, also had breakthroughs, bringing new life to Madison Square Garden. The overlap of these two worlds in the 1960s--Lindsay's politics and the reemerging sports landscape--serves as the backbone of Fun City. In the vein of Ladies and Gentlemen: The Bronx is Burning, the book tells the story of a remarkable and thrilling time in New York sports against the backdrop of a remarkable and often difficult time for the city, culturally and socially. The late sixties was an era in which New York toughened up in a lot of ways; it also was an era in which a changing of the guard among New York pro teams led the way in making it a truly fun city.

The Original Curse: Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth's Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal?

by Sean Deveney

IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF EIGHT MEN OUT ... the untold story of baseball's ORIGINAL SCANDAL. Did the Chicago Cubs throw the World Series in 1918--and get away with it? Who were the players involved--and why did they do it? Were gambling and corruption more widespread across the leagues than previously believed? Were the players and teams "cursed" by their actions? Finally, is it time to rewrite baseball history? With exclusive access to surprising new evidence, Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney details a scandal at the core of baseball's greatest folklore--in a golden era as exciting and controversial as our sports world today. This inside look at the pivotal year of 1918 proves that baseball has always been a game overrun with colorful characters, intense human drama, and explosive controversy.

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