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More about Before the Ivy

"If you like the Chicago Cubs and thoroughly researched and well-written books, then you're going to dig Before the Ivy. Pernot weaves all kinds of information and insight into this lively early history of this once-great and championship-riddled organization, the now World Series-deficient Chicago Cubs."

Carson Cunningham, co-editor of Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs' Glory Years, 1870-1945

All Cub fans know from heartbreak and curse-toting goats. Fewer know that, prior to moving to the north side in 1916, the team fielded powerhouse nines that regularly claimed the pennant on the south and west sides, and downtown. 


Before the Ivy offers a grandstand seat to a golden age:

BEHOLD the 1871 team as it plays for the title in nine different borrowed uniforms after losing everything in the Great Chicago Fire

ATTEND West Side Grounds at Polk and Wolcott with its barbershop quartet

MARVEL as superstar Cap Anson hits .399, makes extra cash running a ballpark ice rink, and strikes out as an elected official

WONDER at experiments with square bats and corked balls, the scandal of Sunday games and pre-game booze-ups, the brazen spitters and park dimensions changed to foil Ty Cobb

RAZZ Charles Comiskey as he adopts a Cubs hand-me-down moniker for his team's name

THRILL to the poetic double-play combo of Tinker, Evers, and Chance even as they throw tantrums at umpires and punches at each other

CHEER as Merkle's Boner and the Cubs' ensuing theatrics send the team to the 1908 World Series


Rich with Hall of Fame personalities and oddball stories, Before the Ivy opens a door to Chicago's own field of dreams and serves as every Cub fan's guide to a time when thoughts of "next year" filled rival teams with dread.

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