Tag Archives: midwest league

Cougars and Snappers and Loons (Oh My!) by Dave Hoekstra: a review

Hoekstra, who writes for the Chicago Sun Times, has been writing essays, called “The Glove Compartment,” for publication in the Kane County Cougars’ gameday program for most of the team’s history. About sixty of the essays here originated as Glove Compartment pieces; the others were newly composed for the book. The result is episodic, of course, but it’s a reasonably thorough history and (as it says) field guide to the league. Moe Hill, Deacon Jones, and the 1951 Paris team are all profiled. Paul Molitor, Joey Meyer, and scores of Cubs are mentioned. The emphasis, though, is on the current teams and recent players.

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Owning a Piece of the Minors by Jerome Klinkowitz: a short review

Jerry Klinkowitz, who teaches at the University of Northern Iowa, was one of the owners of the Waterloo Diamonds from 1978 until they were sold in 1994. This series of essays explores that experience from a variety of perspectives; he talks about how he got involved with the team, about how he wrote a novel (Short Season) based on his ownership experiences, about his grandstand neighbors, about team officer Mildred Boyenga, and about why the Diamonds failed.

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Baseball in South Bend by John Kovach: a short review

A decent overview of South Bend’s baseball history; pics are good, the research appears to be sound, and some of the stories are quite remarkable. This book does, however, devote a little too much attention to the author’s own baseball career; I have preferred a little more about the Silver Hawks and quite a bit less about the most-recent recent incarnation of the Blue Sox.

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Waterloo Diamonds by Richard Panek: a short review

This book is almost entirely about how the Diamonds died. It’s a portrait of the owners, the team officers, and the city slowing coming to realize that the team was no longer viable, and of the efforts of a large number of people to stave off what was perhaps inevitable. It’s also an exploration of the causes of that death. Waterloo Diamonds is a wonderful, if sad, book, and its great strength is its sympathetic portraits of the principal characters. They didn’t all agree, and their differences are the drama. Excellent book; if you can find a copy I highly recommend it.

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Baseball in Fort Wayne by Chad Gramling: a short review

I really wanted to like this book; couldn’t.

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Rookie Season by Branson Wright: a review

Branson Wright, who covered the then-new West Michigan Whitecaps for the Grand Rapids Press, summarizes the first year of the team’s existence. The book’s narrative covers the season’s high and low points, describes perhaps twenty games in some detail, and sketches many of the players and other folks involved with the team.

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Ump Simon Has a Picnic and Sits Down on the Job (1966)

Tom Simon, veteran showman of the Midwest League’s umpire staff, pulled some new tricks here, August 22.

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Vincennes to Canton, June 1952

Although Vincennes was a contender for the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League pennant for the first time in three years, the attendance was so disappointing that General Manager Bob Rouse decided to transfer the franchise to Canton, Ill., June 6.

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The Boys Who Would Be Cubs by Joseph Bosco: a review

Bosco’s claimed intention was an exploration of the reasons players succeed or fail; instead, he’s chronicled the ways coaches teach and motivate players. His book does this better than any other in my library; it’s a fascinating read.

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Gruenwald Bows Out (1965)

[Midwest League president James] Gruenwald said he wanted to devote more time to private life and his vice-presidency of the Davenport Bank and Trust Company.

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