A Summer Time Read Worth Reading

Our TMG Partner Herb Gould has given us a summer treasure in his book about the 1908 Chicago Cubs.

(No one asked us but)

Although it is a balmy 54 degrees in New England, it is not too early to project to summer vacation at the beach, the mountains, or merely on the deck in your back yard with some entertaining and non threatening reading material.

With that in mind and with an admitted bias, we give you our TMG partner Herb Gould, who has written a marvelous historical novel (The Run Don't Count: The Life and Times of Frank Chance and his 1908 Chicago Cubs) about the last Cub team to win the World Series before the 2016 Cubbies won--(you do the math on that one).

It is not the material from that Cub team or about baseball in 1908--the Cubs were a mini-dynasty. It's the real life figures such as the Cub infield combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance, which to baseball fans is a historic group.

It's a book, breathing life and dialogue at times into such legendary baseball heroes such as Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner and John McGraw.

If we wanted facts only, we would go to Wikipedia for the day to day business of the 1908 baseball season.

But Gould, through the fictional eyes and ears and narration of a Cubs bat boy, who is befriended by the Cubs' manager and first baseman Chance, adds flavor and context which carries the book far beyond baseball.

It is about a different America, where St. Louis was a "West Coast'' baseball trip. It's about a simpler, but not less interesting, time.

It is a time when airplane travel did not exist and even traveling by car was a new adventure.

And is about a smaller, much smaller world of major league baseball and players who didn't make enough money from the sport to support themselves, much less a family.

Gould gives it to us because he can.

His skill at TMG is that he is the best story teller among the TMG partnership of myself, Chris Dufresne and Tony Barnhart.

At TMG, Gould has told us stories about growing up as a vendor at Wrigley Field, or hunting for good pizza in Arizona or watching the Bears or Notre Dame football.

If you grew up as a child of the 50's or 60s, as my TMG partners and I did and were also baseball fans, you had stories.

Being from New Jersey, I was a Yankee fan. To this day I still have embedded in my memory when as a 7th grader taking a shop class taught by a Mr. Biddle.

I was mortified to learn that Bill Mazeroski had just hit a home run for the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the 7th game of the World Series in 1960 over "my'' team. (The World Series was played in daylight in that era, with the feeling viewing, even on a week day afternoon in October.)

Gould's book is filled with such stories and real life figures in 1908 which are readable and believable because the actual stories DID happen. The characters WERE real and Gould provides us texture.

In an era of Fake News, when fact is stranger than fiction in so many areas, when our sense of history goes as far as someone last tweet, it seems logical offer a vacation escape of a book that will make you feel good and will also put some historical knowledge into your memory bank, which is why "The Run Don't Count" should be included in your summer time reading list--and you can get in on your Kindle.