When Evers was managing the Cubs in 1913, his biggest hothead was third baseman Heine Zimmerman (pictured below) who by mid-June had been ejected five times. Then an anonymous letter from a mysterious “Irishman” arrived at the Chicago Tribune with one half of a one-hundred dollar bill enclosed. The letter indicated that if Zimmerman could…
FINALIST: 2014 Casey Award FINALIST: 2015 Seymour Medal
For more than a century Johnny Evers has been conjoined with Chicago Cubs teammates Frank Chance and Joe Tinker, thanks to eight lines of verse penned by a well-known New York columnist. He has been caricatured as a scrawny, sour man who couldn’t hit and who owed his fame to that poem. In truth Johnny Evers was more than a part of “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” He was a gifted player in all phases of the game, a master strategist, and the heartbeat of one of the greatest teams of the 20th century; he was also the fiercest competitor this side of Ty Cobb. Evers was at the center of one of baseball’s greatest controversies, a chance event that cemented his stardom and stole a pennant from John McGraw and the New York Giants in 1908. Four years later, following a stunning set of reversals and tragedies that resulted in his suffering a nervous breakdown, Evers embarked on a comeback that culminated in his leading the 1914 Boston Braves to the most improbable of championships. Spanning the time from his birth in Troy, New York, to his death less than a year after his election to the Hall of Fame, this is the biography of a man who literally wrote the book about playing his position and set the standard for winning baseball.
“Dennis Snelling provides a portrait of the man in full. This meticulously researched work reveals Evers’ many accomplishments. The Cubs went to the World Series four times in five years from 1906-1910. They won their second straight world championship in 1908…and haven’t won it all since. Evers was the sparkplug for those teams, and also one of the game’s early innovators. He lived a fascinating life, a life which Snelling has done a masterful job in capturing.” Paul Hagen–mlb.com
“Johnny Evers in his day was simply considered a great baseball player, the heart and soul of the great Chicago Cubs teams of the period, who was entirely deserving of baseball’s highest accolades. In Dennis Snelling’s new biography of “The Crab,” this basic truth about the career of Johnny Evers comes through plainly and convincingly…. [Snelling] gives us the full measure of a player whom it is now possible to properly appreciate.”–Spitball Magazine
Available in both softcover and kindle.