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From Black Sox to Three-Peats: A Century of Chicago's Best Sportswriting from the "Tribune," "Sun-Times," and Other Newspapers

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Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks—there’s no city like Chicago when it comes to sports. Generation after generation, Chicagoans pass down their almost religious allegiances to teams, stadiums, and players and their never-say-die attitude, along with the stories of the city’s best (and worst) sports moments. And every one of those moments—every come-from-behind victory or Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks—there’s no city like Chicago when it comes to sports. Generation after generation, Chicagoans pass down their almost religious allegiances to teams, stadiums, and players and their never-say-die attitude, along with the stories of the city’s best (and worst) sports moments. And every one of those moments—every come-from-behind victory or crushing defeat—has been chronicled by Chicago’s unparalleled sportswriters. In From Black Sox to Three-Peats, veteran Chicago sports columnist Ron Rapoportassembles one hundred of the best columns and articles from the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily News, Defender, and other papers to tell the unforgettable story of a century of Chicago sports. From Ring Lardner to Rick Telander, Westbrook Pegler to Bob Verdi, Mike Royko to Hugh Fullerton , Melissa Isaacson to Brent Musburger, and on and on, this collection reminds us that Chicago sports fans have enjoyed a wealth of talent not just on the field, but in the press box as well. Through their stories we relive the betrayal of the Black Sox, the cocksure power of the ’85 Bears, the assassin’s efficiency of Jordan’s Bulls, the Blackhawks’ stunning reclamation of the Stanley Cup, the Cubs’ century of futility—all as seen in the moment, described and interpreted on the spot by some of the most talented columnists ever to grace a sports page. Sports are the most ephemeral of news events: once you know the outcome, the drama is gone. But every once in a while, there are those games, those teams, those players that make it into something more—and great writers can transform those fleeting moments into lasting stories that become part of the very identity of a city. From Black Sox to Three-Peats is Chicago history at its most exciting and celebratory. No sports fan should be without it.


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Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks—there’s no city like Chicago when it comes to sports. Generation after generation, Chicagoans pass down their almost religious allegiances to teams, stadiums, and players and their never-say-die attitude, along with the stories of the city’s best (and worst) sports moments. And every one of those moments—every come-from-behind victory or Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks—there’s no city like Chicago when it comes to sports. Generation after generation, Chicagoans pass down their almost religious allegiances to teams, stadiums, and players and their never-say-die attitude, along with the stories of the city’s best (and worst) sports moments. And every one of those moments—every come-from-behind victory or crushing defeat—has been chronicled by Chicago’s unparalleled sportswriters. In From Black Sox to Three-Peats, veteran Chicago sports columnist Ron Rapoportassembles one hundred of the best columns and articles from the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily News, Defender, and other papers to tell the unforgettable story of a century of Chicago sports. From Ring Lardner to Rick Telander, Westbrook Pegler to Bob Verdi, Mike Royko to Hugh Fullerton , Melissa Isaacson to Brent Musburger, and on and on, this collection reminds us that Chicago sports fans have enjoyed a wealth of talent not just on the field, but in the press box as well. Through their stories we relive the betrayal of the Black Sox, the cocksure power of the ’85 Bears, the assassin’s efficiency of Jordan’s Bulls, the Blackhawks’ stunning reclamation of the Stanley Cup, the Cubs’ century of futility—all as seen in the moment, described and interpreted on the spot by some of the most talented columnists ever to grace a sports page. Sports are the most ephemeral of news events: once you know the outcome, the drama is gone. But every once in a while, there are those games, those teams, those players that make it into something more—and great writers can transform those fleeting moments into lasting stories that become part of the very identity of a city. From Black Sox to Three-Peats is Chicago history at its most exciting and celebratory. No sports fan should be without it.

30 review for From Black Sox to Three-Peats: A Century of Chicago's Best Sportswriting from the "Tribune," "Sun-Times," and Other Newspapers

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Hallstrom

    This book admittedly has a limited appeal - there will be no reach outside of Chicago sports fans. And I am a Chicago sports fan. You can relive the 1906 all Chicago World Series, the glory days of the Chicago Cardinals football team, the Negro League All-Star Game, Michael and the 100+ year drought of Cubs World Series wins (if the book was published four years later, the 2016 Cubs would have made it). Ron Rapoport has compiled a solid collection of Chicago writers - Ring Lardner, Hugh Fullerto This book admittedly has a limited appeal - there will be no reach outside of Chicago sports fans. And I am a Chicago sports fan. You can relive the 1906 all Chicago World Series, the glory days of the Chicago Cardinals football team, the Negro League All-Star Game, Michael and the 100+ year drought of Cubs World Series wins (if the book was published four years later, the 2016 Cubs would have made it). Ron Rapoport has compiled a solid collection of Chicago writers - Ring Lardner, Hugh Fullerton, Jerome Holtzman, Brent Musberger - and on and on. Nearly every piece is a gem, so much so that the ones that are not really stand out. A most enjoyable read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Mintzlaff

    This was a pretty good book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nopal y Sabal

    Can y'all believe that there was a time when Skip Bayless wasn't a blowhard? You can find that here, among many other great stories. Sportswriting has been trending downward for years now. We have a TMZSports, for crying out loud. There's no research, there's no passion, there's a lot of typos, journalists are afraid of upsetting the status quo. This is a throwback to when that wasn't a thing. Good journalism, longform sports journalism, is collected here, from Chicago writers, obviously, but the Can y'all believe that there was a time when Skip Bayless wasn't a blowhard? You can find that here, among many other great stories. Sportswriting has been trending downward for years now. We have a TMZSports, for crying out loud. There's no research, there's no passion, there's a lot of typos, journalists are afraid of upsetting the status quo. This is a throwback to when that wasn't a thing. Good journalism, longform sports journalism, is collected here, from Chicago writers, obviously, but the stories captured are amazing even if you're not from the Windy City. Hell, two of my favorite pieces have nothing to do with Chicago. One of them has to do with 9/11, the other with the Oklahoma City Bombing. How do those things have anything to do with sports writing? Guess you'll have to find out :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    J.C.

    A nice anthology of articles from various newspapers covering numerous decades in Chicago sports history. All are present, Michael, Sweetness, the Punky QB, Bobby Hull. The joy of Droughts satiated (White Sox and Black Hawks), The sadness of teams still thirsty (Hi Cubs). One Hundred year old Headlines and Articles that may never be written again (Cubs win Back to Back World Serious!!!) The early 20th century stuff from Ring Lardner and Arch Ward were particularly entertaining; their writing was A nice anthology of articles from various newspapers covering numerous decades in Chicago sports history. All are present, Michael, Sweetness, the Punky QB, Bobby Hull. The joy of Droughts satiated (White Sox and Black Hawks), The sadness of teams still thirsty (Hi Cubs). One Hundred year old Headlines and Articles that may never be written again (Cubs win Back to Back World Serious!!!) The early 20th century stuff from Ring Lardner and Arch Ward were particularly entertaining; their writing was so dynamic I forgot I was supposed to be reading and article about the Chicago Cubs or White Sox. Highly recommended for any Chicago sports fan, any city of Chicago aficionado, or any sports fan in general, regardless of team allegiance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Eanet

    Wish I could give half-stars (4.5). My issues with it were mostly matters of personal preference, but overall, a great crash-course collection for anyone interested in Chicago history or sports. I especially loved that among the delightful Royko columns and Ring Lardner's 'World Serious,' Rapoport included the perspectives of writers from the Chicago Defender, an influential and often underappreciated part of Chicago media history. Favorites include Carol Slezak's gut-wrenching observations from Wish I could give half-stars (4.5). My issues with it were mostly matters of personal preference, but overall, a great crash-course collection for anyone interested in Chicago history or sports. I especially loved that among the delightful Royko columns and Ring Lardner's 'World Serious,' Rapoport included the perspectives of writers from the Chicago Defender, an influential and often underappreciated part of Chicago media history. Favorites include Carol Slezak's gut-wrenching observations from outside the Chicago Marathon medical tent, the Defender's celebration of Joe Louis and Mike Royko's review of 'a very solid book.'

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    This is sort of a mixed bag as one might have guessed from the title; the book encompasses a wide variety of topics from a century of newspaper writing. Not all the writers are sportswriters. As you might guess, Royko's two contributions are noteworthy, particularly one recollecting Jackie Robinson's first appearance at Wrigley field. Other notable contributions were "Back to the Bush Leagues with Minnie Minoso" by Tom Kirkpatrick and one by the columnist Chicagoans loved to hate, Jay Mariotti ti This is sort of a mixed bag as one might have guessed from the title; the book encompasses a wide variety of topics from a century of newspaper writing. Not all the writers are sportswriters. As you might guess, Royko's two contributions are noteworthy, particularly one recollecting Jackie Robinson's first appearance at Wrigley field. Other notable contributions were "Back to the Bush Leagues with Minnie Minoso" by Tom Kirkpatrick and one by the columnist Chicagoans loved to hate, Jay Mariotti titled "Jordan Applies a Perfect Touch to One Last Masterpiece"

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Isenberg

    An excellent way to learn about sports from a fine sportswriter who knows how to curate the best of his peers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cathie

    Great reference for those Chicago sports fans!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cosmo

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  13. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  14. 5 out of 5

    Philip Reiter

  15. 4 out of 5

    Makenzie Dolnick

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Moutvic

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brian Ross

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Darius Ostrowski

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marty Keil

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frank

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Neal

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lee Jenner

  26. 4 out of 5

    Allan Konopka

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pete

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tom Ragen

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