For the last half century, since 1945 when they won their last pennant, the Chicago Cubs have often been characterized as "lovable losers." Even Dallas Green, when he took over the club following the 1981 season, was unaware of the Cubs' glorious history and launched a promotional campaign entitled "Building a New Tradition." It was an understandable mistake.
The Cubs set a record for consecutive second division finishes, 20. Still, all that was needed was one or two championship teams, certainly not a new tradition. The Cubs have won 16 pennants, set the one-season major league record for victories, 116 in 1906, and are the only charter member of the National League to play in the same city without interruption, 121 years.
They were baseball's first dynasty—six pennants in the National League's first 11 seasons. Twice they won three consecutive pennants and four in a five-year sequence. A galaxy of hall-of-famers have paraded across the Chicago scene: Adrian Constantine Anson, Frank Chance, "Three Finger" Mordecai Brown, Gabby Hartnett, Hack Wilson, and more recently, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, and Ryne Sandberg, just to name a few.
The Chicago Cubs Encyclopedia presents the touching history of the team that has been without a pennant longer than anyone in the major leagues. It includes:
•over 500 illustrations, including a 16-page color section
•complete statistics through the 1996 season on hitting streaks and ERA's, box scores, trades, and an all-time roster of managers, players, and position leaders
•game highlights and great moments
•over 100 player profiles from Adrian Constantine Anson to Ryne Sandberg
•the managerial strategies, the personalities, honors, and the milestones
•an immense treasure trove of little-known facts and surprising anecdotes
"Jerome Holtzman knows baseball in general and the Chicago Cubs in particular as well, or better, than anybody who ever sat behind a typewriter in a ballpark. Even more so than most blue-blooded Cubs fans, Holtzman has lived, breathed, and absorbed the calamitous times of the Cubs. The few triumphs and many disappointments leap from the pages as only Jerome can tell it. Unlike most Cubs teams, this book is an easy winner."