Book Review: A Perfect Season

By Chris Rewers on Friday, April 8, 2011

So much has been written about the Cubs' 103-year world championship title drought that it has become cliche. So much venom has been directed at Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, club management, and many of the team's players in the blogosphere that it makes one wonder why they are fans.

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April 1, 2011: Aisle 233, Row 8, Seat 110

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, April 7, 2011

I turned 41 on April 1 and I can't think of a better birthday present than the one my wife, Denise, gave me this year - three tickets to this year's Opening Day game between the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

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Greatest Moments: No. 5, Mr. Cub's 500th Homer

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, February 10, 2011

(Editor's Note: Twenty-sixth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

Radio talk show host Dennis Prager often tells his listeners that "happy people make the world better" so therefore "we have a moral obligation to act as happy as possible."

Ernie Banks - who turned 80 on Jan. 31 - played on some awful Cubs teams for much of his career, endured some nagging injuries, at least one death threat, and many of the difficulties that no doubt were presented to him as one of a group of pioneering black major league players. But throughout his career and since his retirement, Mr. Cub has continued to smile.

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Greatest Moments, No. 10: Willie Smith's Home Run

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, January 22, 2011

(Editor's Note: Twenty-first in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

Cubs fans entered the 1969 season with high expectations and those sentiments were echoed by manager Leo Durocher during spring training.

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Greatest Moments: No. 11, Almost Perfect

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, January 20, 2011

(Editor's Note: Twentieth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

It was perhaps the most bittersweet no-hitter in major league history.

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Greatest Moments: No. 12, Holtzman's No-Strikeout No-Hitter

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

(Editor's Note: Nineteenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

Whenever I watch footage of Ken Holtzman's no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field on Aug. 19, 1969, I am struck by the smiles on the faces of the Cubs players as they mobbed Holtzman after the final out.

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Greatest Moments: No. 13, Sam Jones' No-Hitter

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

(Editor's Note: Eighteenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

There was no denying that Cubs pitcher Sam "Toothpick" Jones had a live arm. The hard-throwing Jones, an imposing figure who stood 6-feet-4, led the National League in strikeouts in 1955 and 1956.

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Greatest Moments: No. 20, Dick Drott's Career Day

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, January 6, 2011

(Editor's Note: Eleventh in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

The 1950s were a dreadful decade for the Cubs, but the emergence of Ernie Banks as one of the game's premier players and a bumper crop of pitching prospects seemed to indicate better times ahead in the 60s.

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Greatest Moments: No. 24, Victory Blows the Cubs' Way

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, January 1, 2011

(Editor's Note: Seventh in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

During the summer of 1977, I was 7 years old and without a care in the world. It seemed like it lasted for years. Our family had a swimming pool installed in our backyard, I was completing my first year of T-ball with the Sluggers of the Wrightwood Baseball Association , and my parents took me to see Star Wars. Activities included managing my growing baseball card collection and clipping and pasting the scrapbook pictures of Cubs players that the Tribune provided that summer. Those were the days!

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Greatest Moments, No. 27: What A Relief

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(Editor's Note: Fourth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

The Cubs didn't provide their fans with much to cheer about for much of the 1960s, but an extraordinary effort by starting pitcher Bob Buhl and three relievers on May 23, 1965 was one of those rare occasions as the North Siders fell behind early but rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory over the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

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13 Moments to Forget

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, November 21, 2010

You don't put together a 103-year championship drought without a few infamous and embarrassing moments. Cubs history is full of head-scratching and gut-wrenching moments. I believe these are the 13 worst:

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102 Years and Counting... Why Us?

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My grandfather turned 90 earlier this year.

Pops is no saint, but I have always been struck by his ability to make friends. It's a testament to his talent for relating to others that a week does not go by when somebody in our neighborhood asks me how he's doing or tells me a story about a good time they had with him.

But the fact that he has been a Cubs fan since at least the 1930s has to be penance for something. The man has been subjected to more bad baseball in his lifetime than anybody else I know and has not even enjoyed the experience of watching his favorite team play in the World Series since 1938. He was serving in the Pacific while the Cubs participated in the 1945 Fall Classic.

"Wait 'til next year!" my late grandmother would mutter whenever she'd hear a Cubs fan speak those words. "It's always wait 'til next year with those Cubs!"

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Ex-Cub Report No. 3

By Chris Rewers on Monday, November 8, 2010

For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the New York Yankees when they fell to the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series.

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Cubs Player Rankings

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, November 6, 2010

The improved play the Cubs demonstrated under interim manager Mike Quade during the season's final weeks (a 24-13 record) was encouraging but it doesn't change the fact that the 2010 season was an unmitigated disaster.

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Cubs 8, Astros 3

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hero: Carlos Zambrano (11-6) allowed three runs - two earned - on three hits over 6 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking three. Zambrano won his final eight decisions and posted a 1.24 ERA in his last 10 starts.

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A Fitting Tribute to Billy Williams

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whenever announcers or writers refer to a star athlete as "a natural," I believe that they are discounting all the hard work that it takes for that player to make it to the top of his profession.

Much has been said and written about the wonderful, "sweet" swing of Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams, and it is often said that the Hall of Famer was blessed with that swing. It is true that Williams brought a great deal of natural ability with him when he became the Cubs everyday left fielder in 1961, but I wonder how many people realize how hard the man worked to become one of the finest hitters of his era.

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Almost Perfect

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, September 2, 2010

It was perhaps the most bittersweet no-hitter in major league history.

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Castro A Hit, But Defense Needs Work

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starlin Castro, whose eighth inning RBI double snapped a scoreless tie in the Cubs' 4-0 victory at Washington on Wednesday, is now hitting .315 and is five plate appearances shy of qualifying for the National League batting championship.

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Fly It High For Mr. Cub

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, August 22, 2010

I must've heard it a million times. Every time the name of Ernie Banks is mentioned in a conversation or during a broadcast, my grandfather will describe the typical Banks home run.

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Holtzman No-Hitter Was High Point of '69

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, August 21, 2010

Whenever I watch footage of Ken Holtzman's no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field on Aug. 19, 1969, I am struck by the smiles on the faces of the Cubs players as they mobbed Holtzman after the final out.

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Sincerely, JCB

I founded Agony & Ivy about five years ago for two reasons. First...

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