I’m a fan of baseball history, anyone who follows me on Twitter or reads my writing regularly knows this is the case. My wife knows this as well, she’s also quite aware of my lifelong fandom of the Chicago Cubs. Thus, when thinking of random gifts to get me for some occasion or another, she caught a glance of Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance at our local Walgreens and tossed it into her cart. Being the Cubs fan and baseball history buff that I am I was certainly willing to give Art Ahrens’ effort a shot.
Unfortunately, Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance isn’t much of a book. It is the sort of fodder one would expect to find at a Walgreens or an airport newspaper shop. Ahrens presents a pictorial essay with very little in the way of content outside of the pictures. Sure, there are blurbs under every picture and a couple of pages of prose to start every chapter. However, words appearing on the page and those words saying anything of merit are two very different things.
That’s not to say that Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance isn’t without its high points. The pictures are great, a collection of photos that do really let the reader understand the subjects and Major League Baseball at the time of the Tinker to Evers to Chance era of Cubs baseball. It was delightful to quickly scroll through the various photos and feel like I was being transported to that time and place.
The main problem with Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance is that is so very light on quality content. A few good or noteworthy pictures do not make for a great book. Especially one that is as pricey as Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance. I don’t usually spend much time writing about the price of the book I’m reviewing. However, Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance isn’t a book you’re likely to find at a library. It is a book that you find as you’re about to check out at a train depot general store. If it cost anywhere south of five dollars I wouldn’t have much of an issue with it as a frivolous waste of time. However, at over twenty dollars I can’t actually recommend that people plunk down that much money on what is a maybe one hour, at most, read.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Arcadia Publishing