“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds…”


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) and locate that long-held hero! These are the 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.

“Who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Former US President Teddy Roosevelt


Test your sports IQ with these short quizzes:





Chicago Sports JournalCall 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 opposing team. And what of those who wear war paint, or arrive several hours early to obtain a player’s autograph?

Chicago Sports JournalOn 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.

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 specific team and particular 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.

Total Football II
The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League
Edited by Carroll, Gershman, Neft, and Thorn

The NFL Century
The Complete Story of the National Football League, 1920-2000
(Smithmark Publishers

The Pictorial History of Football
Roland Lazenby

NFL Record and Fact Book

The Story of Football
Robert Leckie

The First 50 Years (1974 edition)
The Story of the National Football League
(NFL Properties)

NFL’s Greatest
Pro Football’s Best Players, Teams, and Games
Text by Phil Barber and John Fawaz

The Scrapbook History of Pro Football
Richard M. Cohen, Jordan A. Deutsch, Roland T. Johnson, and David S. Neft

Football, The Hidden Game (The Next Edition)
Bob Carroll. Pete Palmer, and John Thorn

Sunday Heroes
Richard Whittingham

Football’s Most Wanted
The Top 10 Book of the Great Game’s Outrageous Characters, Fortunate Fumbles and other oddities
Floyd Conner

What Bears They Were
Chicago Bears Greats Talk About Their Teams, Their Coaches, and the Times of Their Lives
Richard Whittingham

Chicago Bears History
Roy Taylor

Chicago Bears Facts & Trivia
Wayne Mausser

The ’85 Bears, Still Chicago’s Team
Chicago Tribune

Halas by Halas
George Halas

Mudbaths &Bloodbaths, The inside story of the Bears-Packers Rivalry
Gary D’Amato and Cliff Christl

PB: The Paul Brown Story
Paul Brown & Jack Clary

The Football Book
Larry Lorimer and John Devaney

When Pride Still Mattered, a Life of Vince Lombardi
David Maraniss

The Best Seasons of Pro Football’s Greatest Teams
Eddie Epstein

Forty Niners
Joseph Hession

Sporting News Draft Encyclopedia

Sporting News Pro Football Guide

Pigskin, The Early Years of Pro Football
Robert W. Peterson

Chicago Bears Facts & Trivia
Wayne Mausser

Pro Football’s Great Moments
Jack Clary

ESPN magazine

Profootballhof.com – Hall of Fame
Pro-football-reference.com – Use this one extensively
Profootballresearchers.org – PFRA


The History of the NBA
Peter C. Bjarkman

The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia
Edited by Zander Hollander and Alex Sachare

Total Basketball, the Ultimate Basketball Encyclopedia
Contributors: Ken Shouler, Bob Ryan, Sam Smith, Leonard Koppelt, Bob Bellotti

The Encyclopedia of Pro Basketball, Team Histories
Peter C. Bjarkman

Sports Illustrated: The Basketball Book

For The Love of the Game, My Story
Michael Jordan

The Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia
Alex Sachare

Home and Away
Scott Simon

Bullsuniverse.com – Use this one extensively
basketballreference.com – Use this one extensively
sportsonline.com/u/basketball/nba –  not affiliated

Various issues

Baseball (DK Eyewitness Books)
James Kelley

Baseball’s Greatest Moments
Joseph Reichler

The Baseball Anthology: 125 Years
Joseph Wallace (General Editor)

Baseball: An Illustrated History
Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

The Story of Baseball
John M. Rosenberg

The World Series: Complete Play-by-Play of Every Game (1903-1978)
Richard M. Cohen, David S. Neft

The Baseball Book
Zander Hollander

The Ultimate Baseball Book
Edited by Daniel Okrent and Harris Lewine

Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century
Mark Okkonen

Baseball Dynasties
Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein

Baseball’s Book of Firsts
Lloyd Johnson

Baseball’s Dream Teams: The Greatest Major League Players Decade by Decade
Lloyd Johnson

Green Cathedrals: Ultimate Celebration of Major League and Negro League Ballparks
Philip Lowry

Lost Ballparks: Celebration of Baseball’s Legendary Fields
Lawrence S. Ritter

Pennant Races: Baseball at Its Best
Dave Anderson

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2003 edition)

Deadball Stars of the American League (SABR)Edited by David Jones

The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It
Lawrence S. Ritter

The Cubs Journal
John Snyder

The Complete Chicago Cubs
Derek Gentile

The Chicago Cubs: Memories and Memorabilia of the Wrigley Wonders
Bruce Chadwick and David M. Spindel

Essential Cubs: Chicago Cubs Facts, Feats and Firsts
Doug Myers

Chicago Cubs: Seasons at the Summit
Warren Wilbert and William Hageman

A Day at the Park: In Celebration of Wrigley Field (Revised edition)
William Hartel

The Cubs of ’69, the Reflections of the Team That Should Have Been
Rick Talley

Cubs, The Golden Era (1876-1940)
Eddie Gold and Aert Ahrens

Catcher in the Wry
Bob Eucker and Mickey Herskowitz

Players of Cooperstown
Contributors include David Nemec, Matthew D. Greenberger, Dan Schlossberg, Dick Johnson,
and Mike Tully

The Golden Age of Baseball
Paul Adomites, Robert Cassidy, Bruce Herman, Dan Schlossberg, and Saul Wisnia
Baseball, from the Archives of the Sporting News

Baseball Research Journals (SABR)

Baseball’s Greatest Quotations
Paul Dickson

Veeck as in Wreck
Bill Veeck and Ed Linn

Baseball is a Funny Game
Joe Garagiola

The Cubs Chronology
Tim Steele

The World Series
Josh Leventhal

Baseball, a Celebration!
James Buckley, Jr., and Jim Gigliotti

The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia
Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer

The Baseball Timeline
Burt Solomon

Ballparks Then and Now
Eric Enders

Diamonds, The Evolution of the Ballpark
Michael Gershman

Total Baseball, The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball (7th Edition)
Edited by John Thorn, Pete Palmer, and Michael Gershman

Real Chicago Sports
Richard Cahan, Michael Williams, and Neal Samors

Who’s on 3rd? The Chicago White Sox Story
Richard Lindberg

Chicago White Sox Facts & Trivia
Larry Names

White Sox, The Illustrated Story
Richard Whittingham

Scandal on the South Side, The 1919 Chicago White Sox
Editor: Jacob Pomrenke; Associate editors Rick Huhn, Bill Nowlin, and Len Levin

Chicago Historical Society
Spring and Summer 1976, Spring 1981, Fall and Winter, 1989




Baseball Weekly Digest

Vine Line

Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s Greatest Sports Memories
Chicago Sun Times; edited by Roland Lazenby

Pictorial History of American Sports
H.A. Schneider

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