January 22, 2019

Jack Bales Writes Baseball Book

Jack Bales, Simpson Library’s Reference and Humanities Librarian, has finished researching and writing his book on the Chicago Cubs baseball team, tentatively titled Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team.  Bales uses–and cites–more than 2,000 sources, including newspaper articles, memoirs, and archival records, to chronicle a history of the team from its nineteenth-century planning stages to 1902, when a sportswriter referred to the young players as Cubs in the March 27 issue of the Chicago Daily News.  The book will include 30 photographs and other illustrations, some of which Bales found by poring over numerous reels of microfilm. His history will be published next year by McFarland & Company, a leading publisher of baseball books and academic nonfiction.

Bales Receives McFarland/SABR Baseball Research Award

Jack Bales, Humanities Reference Librarian, has been awarded the McFarland/SABR Baseball Research Award for his article, “The Show Girl and the Shortstop: The Strange Saga of Violet Popovich and Her Shooting of Cub Billy Jurges.”  Jack’s article appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Baseball Research Journal.  This award is given by SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research, to recognize research projects that have advanced understanding of baseball.  The award, which includes a cash prize, will be presented at the SABR annual conference.

Bales Publishes Article in Baseball Journal

Jack Bales, Reference and Humanities Librarian, had his latest critical baseball study, “Baseball’s First Bill Veeck,” published as the lead article in the fall 2013 issue of The Baseball Research Journal.  Bales’s biographical piece in the peer-reviewed journal is the first major work on William L. Veeck Sr., who as president of the Chicago Cubs from 1919 until his death in 1933, helped mastermind two National League pennants (1929 and 1932) and built the foundations for two others (1935 and 1938). Bales used largely original source materials for his lengthy article. The Baseball Research Journal is the publication of the Society for American Baseball Research.

Making a Point: Did Babe Ruth Call His Shot? (Chicago Side Sports.Com)

Reference Librarian Jack Bales Debunks Baseball Legend

Reference and Humanities Librarian Jack Bales has written an article debunking the Chicago Cubs’ famous Billy Goat Curse for ChicagoSide, an online sports magazine. The so-called curse dates to 1945, when a Chicago tavern owner was asked to remove his pet goat from the Cubs’ Wrigley Field during the fourth game of the World Series. The angry restaurateur allegedly put a curse on the Cubs, declaring that the team would never again get to the World Series. Bales, who has used original sources to disprove other baseball legends, writes that Chicago journalists not only created the story but also helped perpetuate it. With the passing of many Cubs losing seasons (and perhaps due to shrewd publicity on the part of the restaurant owner), the alleged curse has gained international renown, been the subject of several books, and become a part of Chicago and baseball folklore. Bales originally wrote about the legend for his website, http://WrigleyIvy.com, which he created while participating in UMW’s “Domain of One’s Own” faculty initiative this past spring.

Jack Bales’ Exhibit Featured in the Chicago Cubs’ Magazine

Jack Bales, reference and humanities librarian, wrote a letter to the editor that is featured in the December 2011 issue of Vine Line, the official magazine of the Chicago Cubs. The letter discusses the exhibit, “Before They Were Loveable Losers: The Pennant-Winning Chicago Cubs,” that has been on display in the Simpson Library since September, and includes two images of the exhibit. The exhibit will remain up until December 16.