Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink

Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink

by Kevin Cook


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The dramatic story of a legendary 1979 slugfest between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies, full of runs, hits, and subplots, at the tipping point of a new era in baseball history

It was a Thursday at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, mostly sunny with the wind blowing out. Nobody expected an afternoon game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs on May 17, 1979, to be much more than a lazy early-season contest matching two teams heading in opposite directions—the first-place Phillies and the Cubs, those lovable losers—until they combined for thirteen runs in the first inning. “The craziest game ever,” one player called it. “And then the second inning started.”

Ten Innings at Wrigley is Kevin Cook’s vivid account of a game that could only have happened at this ballpark, in this era, with this colorful cast of heroes and heels: Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Bruce Sutter, surly slugger Dave Kingman, hustler Pete Rose, unlucky Bill Buckner, scarred Vietnam vet Garry Maddox, troubled relief pitcher Donnie Moore, clubhouse jester Tug McGraw, and two managers pulling out what was left of their hair.

It was the highest-scoring ballgame in a century, and much more than that. Bringing to life the run-up and aftermath of a contest The New York Times called “the wildest in modern history,” Cook reveals the human stories behind the game—and how money, muscles and modern statistics were about to change baseball forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250182036
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 29,962
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kevin Cook is the author of Electric October and five other books on sports and the people who play them, including Tommy’s Honor and The Dad Report. He is a former senior editor at Sports Illustrated who has written for The New York Times, Men’s Journal, GQ, Playboy, Smithsonian, and many other publications. He has appeared on CNN, ESPN, and Fox TV. An Indiana native, he now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Starting Lineups and Rosters xi

Prologue: May 1979 1

Part 1 National League Least 7

The Cubs: Foiled Again 9

The Phillies: Unloved Losers 27

Part 2 Ten Innings 43

Part 3 Legacies 155

Miracle on Broad Street 157

Kong vs. the Media 171

Disgrace Under Pressure 183

Moore and the Split 193

Ball in the Family 207

Epilogue: Money, Metrics, and Music 219

Box Score 228

A Note on Sources 229

Acknowledgments 239

Index 241

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Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Amazings fun exciting book
Anonymous 8 months ago
No one tells a baseball story that transcends the game, better than Kevin Cook . "Ten Innings at Wrigley" tells of a wild game back in ' 79 between the Phillies and Cubs in Chicago but the book is much more than that. The author delves deep into the lives of many of that day's participants for a very interesting story about the highs and lows plus the joys and sadness of playing in the big leagues and also facing the obstacles of life, especially in the cases of Tug McGraw and Donnie Moore. The book put me in that ballpark and I was in my youth again. What great feelings. Thank you Kevin Cook.
MinTwinsNY 9 months ago
On May 17, 1979, the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies played one of the biggest slugfests in the history of the game, with the Phillies winning the game 23-22 in ten innings. The two teams combined for thirteen runs in the first inning (Phillies 7, Cubs 6) and the Cubs came back from a 12 run deficit (21-9) only to lose the game in extra innings. This game, along with some history and follow-up stories on some of the players in that game, is shared in this very entertaining book by Kevin Cook. The actual events of the game make up the bulk of the book, but Cook sandwiches the inning-by-inning description by first giving the reader a background history check on the two teams involved and finishes the book with stories about key players such as the Cubs’ Dave Kingman (who homered three times in the game) and Donnie Moore and the Phillies’ Bob Boone and Tug McGraw. These players are featured in the post-game writing but what is truly impressive about this book is that EVERY player who made an appearance in this game gets his just due. Of course, there is more coverage of players who had a great game hitting (or had a terrible game on the mound) but no matter what contribution that player made to the historic game, Cook made sure to mention him. The reader will also get a true feeling of what it was like to see a game at Wrigley at that time – all day games, plenty of empty seats as Wrigley was less than half full on that Thursday afternoon, people waiting in the street on Waveland Avenue for home runs, fans camped on the rooftops - it’s all there and is a terrific trip back in time for readers who remember when only day games were played at Wrigley. While the brief histories of the teams before the chapters on the game are enjoyable to read, the stories on some of the players following the game are even better. What is really interesting is how intertwined the stories of that game became and Cook’s reference to them. For example, it was interesting to read about how two Cubs teammates in that game, Donnie Moore and Bill Buckner, ended up crossing paths on different teams in the 1986 American League Championship Series. Most baseball fans know what happened to both men after that season, so I won’t rehash it here, but Cook’s prose will leave the reader emotionally spent when reading about them, especially Moore. Any reader who is a fan of baseball of that era, a Cubs fan or a Phillies fan, this book must be added to his or her library. With rich detail and a knack for easy-to-read prose, Kevin Cook has written another excellent baseball book. It is certainly one that will stay in my library and will be pulled out when I want to remember the first Cubs game I saw on that relatively new industry called cable television. I wish to thank Henry Holt and Company for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
cindyrnet 9 months ago
Wow. Every spring there are certain things I do in anticipation of Baseball season. I watch Bull Durham ( do not mock me ), Field of Dreams, and The Natural. While listening to The Boys of Summer...and then I am ready for Baseball. This book has joined my EVERY SPRING plan now. Not only is the tale of the famous game spot on and wonderful, but the tidbits about the players during the play by play are insightful and often humorous. Then he follows up with a run down of what happened to all the players and managers after that great game, all the way to now as in 2019. Some of the stories are wonderful, some sad. All of it is just fantastic. I could not ask for a more all purpose story about a great game , with a few broken records that still stand to this day, and the players involved. A baseball fan must read.