I’ve been waiting to get a little time to read Cait Murphy’s excellent book, “Crazy '08: How a cast of cranks, rogues, boneheads, and magnates created the greatest year in baseball history”.
It’s about the 1908 baseball season, and Cait has taken what must have been millions of hours of research and she sort of effortlessly ties all the small stories of the season all together into an easy reading, very funny and informative book.
Since it’s about 1908, I thought it would be all Cubs, but it’s really about everything – every team, the fringe characters, and just real stuff about the times.
How’s this hit you: “The causes of the panic might not sound obscure, but the consequences were not. A committee tasked in 1908 with analyzing the events described what happened: Two-thirds of the banks of the country [had] entered upon an internecine struggle to obtain cash, had ceased to extend credit to their customers, had suspended cash payments and were hoarding such money as they had. What was the result?. . . Thousands of men were thrown out of work, thousands of firms want into bankruptcy, the trade of the country came to a standstill, and all this happened simply because the credit system of the country had ceased to operate.”
That was a hundred years ago.
Plus, you get to meet the big players of the time – Honus Wagner, John McGraw, Tinkers Evers & Chance… do you know who Frank Merkle was?
I didn’t – I just got to this part.
He’s the centerpiece of perhaps the most controversial game ever played.
He made a base-running boo boo that became known as “Merkle’s Boner”.
Why do you love baseball?
It’s stuff like this.
But don’t google it.
Go get the book and spend some quality winter time with a frosty cold one, your favorite sport, and “Crazy '08”.
The drawing below is from when I started the book, on a plane. The guy in front of me suddenly went full recline and invaded all my personal space, forcing me to stare at his perfect part for almost the whole flight.