1969 is a memorable year. A man walked on the moon. The Vietnam War was consuming and dividing the nation. And the Cubs fielded arguably one of their best teams ever. Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ken Holtzman, Randy Hundley, Ron Santo and Don Kessinger were led by their unforgettable manager, Leo Durocher. The Cubs finished April 1969 in first place and held that position through August. Then they lost 8 in a row, dropped out of first place and finally lost the pennant to the “Miracle Mets”.
As difficult as it is to read about the 1969 season, this is a rich part of Chicago Cubs history. I have recently added two books about the 1969 Cubs to my collection.
The first book is “The Cubs of “69” by Rick Talley. Talley is a noted former sports columnist who contributed to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Today and the Los Angeles Daily News. This is a well written book containing stories and recollections about the 1969 Cubs.
The second book is called “Durocher’s Cubs – The Greatest Team That Didn’t Win” by David Claerbaut. Claerbaut is a lifelong Cubs fan who works as a consultant in Chicago. This book covers the 1967 through 1972 Cubs seasons with a focus on the 1969 season.
Both of these books are well written and would be enjoyed by nearly any baseball fan. Of course they are particularly interesting for a Cubs fan. Regardless of the outcome of the 1969 season, the stories about Ernie, Fergie, Billy, Ron and the others are great reading for the Cub fan.