Wrigley Field: The Centennial by Les Krantz (2013)
Wrigley Field: The Centennial
by Les Krantz
Triumph Books, 2013
192 pages, plus a 42-minute DVD
The Chicago Cubs’ home ballpark is turning 100 years old this year, and along with a centennial celebration numerous merchandisers will be looking to cash in with memorabilia to mark the occasion. A number of books on Wrigley Field will appear in bookstores, and some have already gone on sale; among them is Triumph Books’ Wrigley Field: The Centennial by Les Krantz, released a few months ago. This particular release comes with a bonus DVD documentary narrated by Lou Boudreau Jr. and Ron Santo Jr.
All of the major events are covered in the book, from Lou Gehrig’s high school home run to Babe Ruth’s called shot, the rivalry between the Chicago Bears and Sammy Baugh’s Washington Redskins, Stan Musial’s 3000th hit, highlights of Gale Sayers exploits on the gridiron, Harry Caray in the booth, Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, and of course, Steve Bartman. In addition to team highlights, several individual players are given a brief biography throughout the book, such as Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Andre Dawson. Wrigley Field: The Centennial is an informative book that serves as a good primer for those just discovering the wonders of the Friendly Confines.
The accompanying DVD features something no book can: moving pictures. It’s always a pleasure to see footage of baseball greats from other eras, and there is no shortage of vintage video here. The narration is a bit dry and the dialogue sounds forced, which is disappointing coming from the sons of two legends. But if you can overlook that shortcoming (or if you have a mute button on your remote control), the DVD is a nice bonus.
There will be plenty of competition for Wrigley Field fanatics from other publishers, but Les Krantz does a good job leading off the 100-year celebration with Wrigley Field: The Centennial. Cubs fans and baseball history buffs will enjoy this offering.