Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226415048 Published April 2018
E-book $18.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226415185 Will Publish April 2018

Tinker to Evers to Chance

The Chicago Cubs and the Dawn of Modern America

David Rapp

Tinker to Evers to Chance

David Rapp

336 pages | 16 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226415048 Published April 2018
E-book $18.00 ISBN: 9780226415185 Will Publish April 2018
Their names were chanted, crowed, and cursed. Alone they were a shortstop, a second baseman, and a first baseman. But together they were an unstoppable force. Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance came together in rough-and-tumble early twentieth-century Chicago and soon formed the defensive core of the most formidable team in big league baseball, leading the Chicago Cubs to four National League pennants and two World Series championships from 1906 to 1910. At the same time, baseball was transforming from small-time diversion into a nationwide sensation. Americans from all walks of life became infected with “baseball fever,” a phenomenon of unprecedented enthusiasm and social impact. The national pastime was coming of age.

Tinker to Evers to Chance examines this pivotal moment in American history, when baseball became the game we know today. Each man came from a different corner of the country and brought a distinctive local culture with him: Evers from the Irish-American hothouse of Troy, New York; Tinker from the urban parklands of Kansas City, Missouri; Chance from the verdant fields of California’s Central Valley. The stories of these early baseball stars shed unexpected light not only on the evolution of baseball and on the enthusiasm of its players and fans all across America, but also on the broader convulsions transforming the US into a confident new industrial society. With them emerged a truly national culture.

This iconic trio helped baseball reinvent itself, but their legend has largely been relegated to myths and barroom trivia. David Rapp’s engaging history resets the story and brings these men to life again, enabling us to marvel anew at their feats on the diamond. It’s a rare look at one of baseball’s first dynasties in action.
Preface: “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon”

1 Baseball’s Golden Era and Dark Age

Part One Boys to Men

2 The Irish Game: Johnny Evers in Troy
3 The Midwestern Game: Joe Tinker in Kansas City
4 The Western Game: Frank Chance in Fresno

Part Two Chicago Century

5 Baseball Revival, 1903–1905
6 Baseball Insanity, 1906

Part Three Dynastic Cycles

7 Conquest into Culture, 1907
8 Team of Destiny, 1908
9 Destiny Dissolves, 1909–1912

Epilogue: Hall of Fame
Appendix: Diaspora
Abbreviations Used in Notes
Review Quotes
Tom Verducci, author of The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse
“Finally, the team that won more games over a five-year period than any other club gets its due. Rapp illuminates the Cubs of Tinker, Evers, and Chance against the backdrop of a fast-changing America. He takes us on a fun, swift-moving ride bursting with colorful characters and engaging stories.”
George F. Will, author of A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred
“In the first decade of the twentieth century, America, Chicago, and baseball were revving up and feeling their oats, in tandem. Rapp’s telling of this coming-of-age story crackles with the energy of the era he describes.”
Robert Pruter, author of The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Control, 1880–1930
“One of the best treatments of baseball history I have read. Rapp makes a persuasive case about the role of the Cubs mini-dynasty and the Tinkers, Evers, and Chance trio in making baseball our national pastime and, in a small but significant way, ushering in modern American society. Rapp is a terrific writer who can keep you turning the pages.”
Bryan Soderholm-Difatte, author of The Golden Era of Major League Baseball: A Time of Transition and Integration
“Rapp has written more than a baseball book about the best team of the dead-ball era, the 1906–10 Chicago Cubs. This is also a well-researched and cogently argued story about America at the turn of the twentieth century. The rivalry between the cities of New York and Chicago, newspapers and the public square, and regional and social influences on the development of ballplayers all figure prominently in the narrative. Well worth the historical lesson.”
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