Saturday, May 2, 2015

Book Review - A Nice Little Place on the North Side


In A Nice Little Place on the North Side, leading columnist George Will returns to baseball with a deeply personal look at his hapless Chicago Cubs and their often beatified home, Wrigley Field, as it turns one hundred years old. Baseball, Will argues, is full of metaphors for life, religion, and happiness, and Wrigley is considered one of its sacred spaces. But what is its true, hyperbole-free history?

Winding beautifully like Wrigley’s iconic ivy, Will’s meditation on “The Friendly Confines” examines both the unforgettable stories that forged the field’s legend and the larger-than-life characters—from Wrigley and Ruth to Veeck, Durocher, and Banks—who brought it glory, heartbreak, and scandal. Drawing upon his trademark knowledge and inimitable sense of humor, Will also explores his childhood connections to the team, the Cubs’ future, and what keeps long-suffering fans rooting for the home team after so many years of futility.

In the end, A Nice Little Place on the North Side is more than just the history of a ballpark. It is the story of Chicago, of baseball, and of America itself.


George Frederick Will is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize–winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics. In 1986, The Wall Street Journal called him "perhaps the most powerful journalist in America," in a league with Walter Lippmann.


This book is all about that iconic piece of real estate called Wrigley Field. Mr. Will was born in Chicago and could have chosen the White Sox as his team but instead, like many of, chose to root for the Cubs. Being a Cubs fan is discouraging, to put it mildly. I had never heard of the Cubs until the early 80's when as a young bride, was uprooted to a very small town in remote Nevada with nothing but Cable TV and the Cubs. I became a die-hard fan but, as I like to say, they will break your heart. So what makes us Cub fans stay Cub fans? George Will believes it's because of Wrigley Field.

He shares how Mr. Wrigley wanted baseball to be more than about the game. He wanted it to be about fresh air, sunshine, and picnics with the family at the field. It was more about the field than it ever was about the team, and it stuck. 

Wrigley Field has become a historical icon and something of a legend. People go there from out of of town to see the field, but not always the Cubs. We love the brick walls, the ivy on those walls, and all the other history behinds the field. We know the Cubs are the lovable losers but they play in one of the most beautiful and historical fields ever.

I enjoyed the stories about the field and the players in this book. The statistics had me cross-eyed at points, but for people like my son, these will be a great joy. I also enjoyed the pictures scattered throughout and reading about some of my favorite players and announcers. The book does have some language, so be aware of that. He quotes players, coaches and other sports figures and we all know how they can talk at times. I also loved the psychology that he talks about regarding us Cubs fans who continue to stand behind them.

I really enjoyed this book. As a Cubs fan I truly understood more about how they got started and more about the beautiful home field that they play on, Wrigley Field. If you love the Cubs, or baseball, or history, you'll love this book, too! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Blogging for Book program

Blessings - Julie

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a message! I love hearing what you have to say and look forward to your comments.