Lots of good stuff here, and Shea writes well with a sense of ironic humor. But the organization–essentially, this is 336 pages of short articles–is pretty annoying. Each of the little articles has a title, many of which are distracting cultural references.
This is a book mainly about the northside ballpark, and about the team executives who’ve been responsible for maintaining it. Although many ballgames are described, and seasons are summarized, the Cubs (and the ChiFeds who first resided here) are not the book’s subject. This is not a shortcoming, but is occasionally disconcerting.
The author gets a little preachy at the end, discussing the gentrification of the neighborhood and the political battles about the ballyard’s historic landmark status. I share his opinions, but he might have been wise to tone things down.
This review was originally published on LibraryThing.