Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink

Holt. May 2019. 272p. notes. index. ISBN 9781250182036. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781250182029. SPORTS
Cook (Electric October) has written another gem of a book for serious baseball fans. Centering on an outrageous 1979 game between the Cubs and Phillies that featured 45 runs, 50 hits, and 11 home runs, this work takes readers inning by inning, detailing everything from the wind conditions to the fans in the bleachers to the exploits of the players on the field. What makes this account extraordinary is Cook's ability to pack every page with tidbits, statistics, and baseball insights rich enough to give even the most seasoned fan something new to savor. Starting with the losing legacies of each of these franchises at that moment in time, he proceeds to tell of the many colorful characters who shared the field that day, including future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Bruce Sutter, along with the eventually tragic pitcher Donnie Moore, and the oversized personalities of Pete Rose, Dave Kingman, and others. This thoroughly enjoyable and impressively researched book covers hundreds of fascinating topics such as Wrigley Field's ivy-covered walls, the split-finger fastball, and the evolution of metrics.
VERDICT A delightful treat for baseball lovers.
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