Home > Books, cubs, sports > Book thoughts – “Are We Winning” by Will Leitch

Book thoughts – “Are We Winning” by Will Leitch

I picked up Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball from the library a couple of weeks ago because it’s about baseball and it centers around a game at Wrigley Field that I very much remember watching on TV (the Cubs clinched the NL Central in 2008 by beating the Cards that day). Leitch uses the 8.5 innings of that game as a framework for a series of conversations about fathers and sons and baseball. In fact, the book is written to his unborn son and he ends each chapter with the things he wanted his son to learn.

This is a great book. Leitch talks about baseball from the perspective of a guy who really loves the game and lives and dies with the fortunes of his team. The book is insightful and funny and is written really well. The topics range from stats to beer to steroids to the poor facial hair decisions made by players. He even dedicates a good part of one chapter to Bartman (probably because of the pain inflicted by that guy on Cub fans everywhere) as a picture of true fandom. It’s a must read for Cards or Cubs fans and anyone else who is passionate about the game, particularly if you are a second or third generation lover of the game.

Just a couple of quick excerpts:

On fandom: “True baseball fans do not cheer for their teams to win: They cheer for them not to lose. Victory does not come with joy; it comes with relief.” (p.147)

On stats and records: “Baseball is three hours of Shakespeare sixteen times a day, and. somehow, we’ve turned it into a math problem about longevity.” (p.165)

Take some time to check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

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