Chicago Cubs fans always will remember the beloved 1969 team, yet the 1970 Cubs are, in many ways, more fascinating. Author William S. Bike, associate editor of Gazette Chicago, tells their story in his latest book, The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow, which is available from The History Press.
“In 1970, the Cubs added interesting characters like Joe Pepitone and Milt Pappas to the legendary nucleus of Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Ernie Banks,” Bike said. “The team came closer to finishing first than in any year between 1945 and 1984—ending the season only five games out in one of baseball’s hottest three-team pennant races ever.”
Offering a fast-paced look at the season month by month, Bike moves beyond wins, losses, and statistics to relive Ernie Banks’s 500th home run, the addition of “the basket” to the outfield walls, good trades and bad trades, how manager Leo Durocher’s radio show caused clubhouse chaos, death threats against third baseman Ron Santo, outfielders Billy Williams’s and Jim Hickman’s best season, the great Cubs pitching rotation, and statistical and computer analyses of how the Eastern Division Cubs would have done playing in the Western Division— and in the playoffs and World Series.
The book shows how the baseball, pennant races, and Wrigley Field of 1970 differed from the modern era. It analyzes “what might have been” if different scenarios had played out, and reveals what happened to each of the players. For Chicago Cubs fans of that era or any era, the book is a must-read.
“My book is both fun and analytical,” Bike said. “You’ll feel the heat of the pennant race and figuratively smell the popcorn and hot dogs and hear the crack of the bat in Wrigley Field in 1970.”
The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow, published by The History Press of Charleston, SC, is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other book purchase websites; in bookstores; and at www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467149082. ISBN: 97814671-4908-2, paperback, 160 pp., $21.99.