YOUR SPORTS MEMORIES START HERE
Test your sports IQ with these short quizzes:
LET ME OVERSTATE THE OBVIOUS: YOU LOVE SPORTS.
Let me start with the obvious: You love sports.
Call it what you will: Sports in general can be something to look forward to, a great diversion, or simply an event that breathes life during dull, painful moments. But there’s a host of others that embrace sports as a major part of their life. How so? They reach for the sports section before opening up the rest of the newspaper, know the channel and times of the next game or listen at length to strong opinions on sports radio. These folks are both passionate and possessive: it’s not just a team, it’s their team
And most fans are not passive. Just watch how they twist their bodies while watching a play or listen to them (from afar) as they yell at the TV set; many even carry a strong dislike for a particular opponent. And what of those who wear war paint, or arrive several hours early to obtain a player’s autograph?
On game day, fans are busy buying jerseys, caps, terrible towels, and foam cheese they proudly wear on their head. Travel near or far: How many bars do you see that have a sports theme? Check inside: How many widescreen TVs do they have? This is not surface-level affection. Nope. This kind of love embraces a team, or an era, a particular game and its score, or more importantly, a long-held hero. you are in the right place.
This much is certain: Books on sports are many, but none have what is offered here. My journey started in 1991 when I wanted to find how a certain team or a specific league did on a year-by-year basis. It had to be more than just the final standings. Who were the stars? Who was picked first in the draft? Who was traded, injured, fined, or choosing to play out their final year? What were the games of note? What were the rule changes and trends? Who won the year-end awards? I wanted the story, the details, and a few necessary statistics. After a lengthy search, I found no such book. That is, not until now. So, whether you call yourself a casual fan, a sports “junkie,” or even a history lover, you are in the right place.
What is offered? Plenty! Seventeen books (some are shortened versions of the whole) and 20 free reports.
NBA: History of the NBA (1966-2018)
History of the Chicago Bulls (1966-2018)
History of the Chicago Bulls (1984-2018)
NFL History of the NFL (1933-2017)
History of the Chicago Bears (1920-2017)
History of the Chicago Bears (1963-2017)
History of the Chicago Bears (1985-2017)
MLB: American League Players’ Stats (1901-2018)
History of the American League (1901-2018)
History of the Chicago White Sox (1901-2018)
History of the Chicago White Sox (1959-2018)
History of the Chicago White Sox (1983-2018)
National League Players’ Stats (1901-2018)
History of the National League (1901-2018)
History of the Chicago Cubs (1901-2018)
History of the Chicago Cubs (1967-2018)
History of the Chicago Cubs (1984-2018)
NBA: Early American Basketball (1892-1949)
History of the NBA (1949-1965)
Chicago Bulls 1990-1991
Chicago Bulls 2017-2018
NFL: Early American Football (1893-1920)
History of the NFL (1920-1932)
Chicago Bears (1975; Walter Payton’s 1st year)
Chicago Bears (1985)
MLB: Baseball (Pre-1876)
American League Players’ Stats (2018)
American League – a review (2018)
National League Players Stats (2018)
National League – a review (2018)
History of the Chicago Cubs (1876-1900)
Chicago Cubs (1984)
Chicago Cubs (2018)
Chicago White Sox (1983)
Chicago White Sox (2005)
Chicago White Sox (2018)
What will you find? Page after page, you will quickly recall names, dates, and even minor details. You will also note how much the game has changed over time. Remember when pro basketball defenses were always man-to-man? There was also a time when (with minor exceptions) pro football was always played on Sunday afternoons.
Follow baseball? Not all that long ago, Major league pitchers often pitched all 9 innings, batters struck out less frequently, and games often took a little more than 2 hours to play.
Each book is a quick read, so select one or several and begin taking note of trends and context. Find out when the AL began to use the DH or who were the first players to seek free agency. Football is not the only sport that has suffered scandals: check out what happened during and after the 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. I could go on, but there is still one more thing that awaits…
It’s time to renew your relationship with that long-held hero. Fascinated by the likes of Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig? Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Pete Maravich or Larry Bird? How about Jim Brown, Paul Hornung, Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, Joe Montana, or Peyton Manning? That’s the short list, but you get the picture.
Don’t delay. Your reserved seat awaits; sports memories start right now.
Finally: A lot can happen while one sleeps or is not looking! Since each sport is on-going, subscribe to the weekly Journal Notes newsletter and get updates on baseball, football, and basketball plus a reminder of events and noteworthy games that took place 5, 10, 20, and 50 years earlier!
About the Author
Full disclosure: I indulged myself in this project; I hope you will indulge yourself as well. So, find out how each sport has evolved, follow your favorite team(s) or locate that long-held hero! Time to embrace those things we truly want to remember.
On a more personal note, my wife (Donna) and I currently live in Wheaton, Illinois. We are blessed with 3 adult children and our wonder dog, Gracie.
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Carroll, Bob. Total Football II. HarperCollins World, 1999.
Carroll, Bob, et al. The Hidden Game of Football. Warner Books, 1988.
Clary, Jack T. Pro Football’s Great Moments. Bonanza Books, 1989.
Cohen, Richard M. The Scrapbook History of pro Football. Bobbs-Merrill, 1976.
Conner, Floyd. Football’s Most Wanted: the Top 10 Book of the Game’s Outrageous Characters, Fortunate Fumbles, and Other Oddities. Brassey’s, 2000.
D’Amato, Gary, et al. Mudbaths & Bloodbaths: the inside Story of the Bears-Packers Rivalry. Prairie Oak Press, 2005.
Epstein, Eddie. Dominance: the Best Seasons of pro Football’s Greatest Teams. Brassey’s, Inc., 2002.
The First 50 Years: the Story of the National Football League. Publisher Not Identified, 1973.
Halas, George, et al. Halas. McGraw-Hill, 1979.
Hession, Joseph. Forty Niners. Woodford Publishing, Inc., 1997.
Lazenby, Roland. The Pictorial History of American Football. Hamlyn, 1988.
Leckie, Robert. The Story of Football. Random House, 1974.
Lorimer, Lawrence T., and John Devaney. The Football Book. Random House, 1979.
MacDonough, Will. The NFL Century: the Complete Story of the National Football League, 1920-2000. Smithmark, 1999.
Maraniss, David. When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Fince Lombardi. Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Mausser, Wayne. Chicago Bears Facts & Trivia. E.B. Houchin, 1995.
News, Sporting. Complete Pro Football Draft Encyclopedia 2006. Sporting News, 2006.
Nistler, Tony. Pro Football Guide. Sporting News, 2004.
Peterson, Robert W. Pigskin: the Early Years of Pro Football. OUP USA, 1998.
Pierson, Don. The ’85 Chicago Bears: Still Chicago’s Team. Chicago Tribune, 2005.
Siwoff, Seymour, et al. Official 2010 National Football League Record & Fact Book. National Football League, 2010.
Whittingham, Richard. Sunday’s Heroes: NFL Legends Talk about the Times of Their Lives. Triumph, 2003.
Whittingham, Richard. What Bears They Were: Chicago Bears Greats Talk about Their Teams, Their Coaches, and the Times of Their Lives. Triumph Books, 2002.
Profootballhof.com – Hall of Fame
Pro-football-reference.com – Use this one extensively
Profootballresearchers.org – PFRA
Bjarkman, Peter C. The Encyclopedia of pro Basketball Team Histories. Carroll & Graf, 1994.
Bjarkman, Peter C. The History of the NBA. Crescent Books, 1992.
Hollander, Zander, and Alex Sachare. The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books, 1989.
Jordan, Michael, and Mark Vancil. For the Love of the Game: My Story. Crown Publishers, 2002.
Sachare, Alex. The Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia. Contemporary Books, 1999.
Shouler, Kenneth A. Total Basketball: the Ultimate Basketball Encyclopedia. Sport Classic Books, 2003.
Simon, Scott. Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan. Hyperion, 2001.
Sports Illustrated The Basketball Book. Time Books, 2007.
Bullsuniverse.com – Use this one extensively
basketballreference.com – Use this one extensively
sportsonline.com/u/basketball/nba – not affiliated
Baseball (DK Eyewitness Books)
Adomites, Paul. The Golden Age of Baseball. Publications International, 2003.
Anderson, Dave. Pennant Races: Baseball at Its Best. Galahad Books, 1997.
Buckley, James, and Jim Gigliotti. Baseball, a Celebration! DK Pub., 2001.
Cahan, Richard, et al. Real Chicago Sports: Photographs from the Files of the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago Sun-Times, Inc., 2005.
Chadwick, Bruce, et al. The Chicago Cubs: Memories and Memorabilia of the Wrigley Wonders. Abbeville Press, 1994.
Cohen, Richard M., and David S. Neft. The World Series: Complete Play-by-Play of Every Game, 1903-1985. Collier Books, 1986.
Dickson, Paul. Baseball’s Greatest Quotations. HarperPerennial, 1992.
Enders, Eric. Ballparks Then & Now. Thunder Bay Press, 2015.
Garagiola, Joe. Baseball Is a Funny Game. Perennial Library, 1990.
Gentile, Derek. The Complete Chicago Cubs: the Total Encyclopedia of the Team. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2004.
Gershman, Michael. Diamonds: the Evolution of the Ballpark. Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
Gold, Eddie, and Art Ahrens. The Golden Era Cubs, 1876-1940. Bonus Books, 1985.
Hartel, William. A Day at the Park: in Celebration of Wrigley Field. Sagamore Pub., 1994.
Hollander, Zander. The Baseball Book. Random House, 1982.
Huhn, Rick, et al. Scandal on the South Side: the 1919 Chicago White Sox. Society for American Baseball Research, Inc., 2015.
James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Free Press, 2003.
Johnson, Lloyd. Baseball’s Book of Firsts. JG Press, 2007.
Johnson, Lloyd. Baseball’s Dream Teams: the Greatest Major League Players Decade by Decade. Crescent Books, 1994.
Jones, David. Deadball Stars of the American League. Potomac Books, 2006.
Leventhal, Josh. The World Series: an Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Fall Classic. Tess Press, 2008.
Lindberg, Richard. Who’s on 3rd?: the Chicago White Sox Story. Icarus Press, 1983.
Lowry, Philip J., and Mike Ross. Green Cathedrals: the Ultimate Celebration of Major League and Negro League Ballparks. Walker & Company, 2006.
Myers, Doug. Essential Cubs: Chicago Cubs Facts, Feats, and Firsts– from the Batter’s Box to the Bullpen to the Bleachers. Contemporary Books, 1999.
Names, Larry. Chicago White Sox Facts & Trivia. E.B. Houchin Co., 1996.
Nemec, David. Players of Cooperstown: Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Publications International, 1998.
Neyer, Rob, and Eddie Epstein. Baseball Dynasties the Greatest Teams of All Time. Norton, 2000.
Okkonen, Marc. Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: the Official Major League Baseball Guide. Sterling Pub. Co., 1993.
Okrent, Daniel, et al. The Ultimate Baseball Book: the Classic Illustrated History of the World’s Greatest Game. Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Palmer, Pete, and Gary Gillette. The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, 2007. Sterling Pub. Co., 2007.
Reichler, Joseph L. Baseball’s Greatest Moments. Bonanza, 1981.
Ritter, Lawrence S. Lost Ballparks: a Celebration of Baseball’s Legendary Fields. Viking Studio Books, 1994.
Ritter, Lawrence S. The Glory of Their Times the Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It. Collier, 1979.
Rosenburg, John M. The Story of Baseball. Random House, 1977.
Snyder, John. Cubs Journal: Year by Year & Day by Day with the Chicago Cubs since 1876. Clerisy Press, 2008.
Solomon, Burt. The Baseball Timeline. DK, 2001.
Steele, Tim. The Cubs Chronology: a Chronological History of the Chicago Cubs. Stellar Press, 2003.
Talley, Rick. The Cubs of ’69: Recollections of the Team That Should Have Been. Contemporary Books, 1989.
Thorn, John. Total Baseball: the Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball. Total Sports Publishing, 2001.
Uecker, Bob, and Mickey Herskowitz. Catcher in the Wry. Putnam, 1982.
Veeck, Bill, and Ed Linn. Veeck as in Wreck ; the Autobiography of Bill Veeck. Putnam, 1962.
Wallace, Joseph E. The Baseball Anthology: 125 Years of Stories, Poems, Articles, Photographs, Drawings, Interviews, Cartoons, and Other Memorabilia. Abrams, 2004.
Ward, Geoffrey C., et al. Baseball: an Illustrated History. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Whittingham, Richard. White Sox: the Illustrated Story. Quality Sports Publications, 1997.
Wilbert, Warren N., and William Hageman. The Chicago Cubs: Seasons at the Summit. Sagamore Pub., 1997.
Baseball Weekly Digest
Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City
Chicago’s Greatest Sports Memories
Chicago Sun Times; edited by Roland Lazenby
Pictorial History of American Sports