About a year ago I read the book Touching Second-The Science of Baseball (1910) by John J. Evers and Hugh S. Fullerton. Don't quiz me on it. I have a frightfully bad memory. What I do remember was thinking that although some of it was almost quaint, quite a bit seemed like it could still be said today. I couldn't help but think of this book the other day when lookingdeadred joked that we should get Frank Chance for manager. I had a flashback of reading Evers' version of how the team that won 116 games in 1906 and won back to back WS in 1907 and 1908 was put together.
I decided to have another look at it and found that it is actually online for free in numerous locations. Considering what is currently going on with the Cubs I thought a few of you might enjoy the chapter "Creating a Winning Team." It's about 17 pages long.
Here are a couple of excerpts I found interesting.
Usually ten years, frequently more, are required to create a pennant-winning team and it is of pennant-winning caliber not more than three years before it begins to retrogade. Occasionally after reaching its highest form a team collapses entirely in one season and the work must be begun all over again.
The first problem of the owner of a franchise is to get a leader, for without leaders who can get the best work out of every man, teams cannot win. The next is to get the team, then the team work, and having all these there remains nothing to do but to pray for luck and good umpiring.
I thought since we were discussing how to look at our past this somehow seemed appropriate.