Book ‘The Cubs Way’ details historic World Series win


Writer Sierra Hoeger’s newest summer book recommendation is “The Cubs Way,” by Tom Verducci about the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series win.

Sierra Hoeger

I miss sports. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. ESPN has thankfully made up for the lack of live sports coverage with “The Last Dance,” allowing sports fans to relive Michael Jordan’s successes while on the Chicago Bulls. Thankfully YouTube exists, so we can relive our favorite sports moments. 

This is the first summer since my freshman year of high school where my friends and I haven’t gone to a baseball game. I mostly went to baseball games for the social aspect, to sit with my friends and go out to eat afterward. 

It wasn’t until my junior or senior year I actually started to pay attention and understand the rules of baseball. 

Growing up only four hours away from Chicago, my family’s naturally Cubs fans, although I’ve never stepped foot in Wrigley Field. I remember watching the World Series in 2016, cuddled up on the couch with my sister, our mom allowing us to stay up late on a school night to watch the final game. 

“The Cubs Way” by Tom Verducci details the different key elements and puzzle pieces that had to come together to help the Cubs win the World Series in 2016. 

Verducci, being a Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst, got to watch the 2016 World Series unfold right in front of his eyes, making him one of the perfect people to tell this story. 

Starting with Theo Epstein, president of the Cubs, who had broken one curse already with the Boston Red Sox and was hoping to do the same for the Chicago Cubs, it was all about recruiting and building the perfect team, who would then hopefully win a pennant after 108 years. 

After Epstein joined the Cubs, it was then time to find a manager, one who would have the same mindset as Epstein in wanting to secure a World Series win. Enter Joe Maddon, who not only would share the same vision as Epstein, but would one-up it. 

Throughout the book, Verducci explains little methods, exercises and phrases Maddon would purposefully drill into their minds to help them maintain a positive mindset and allow them to be successful teammates and players. 

The book details what was going on in Maddon’s mind when he was looking to recruit key players that would help the Cubs win. Players such as Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, David Ross and Jon Lester would all work together to bring the Cubs their first World Series win in 108 years. 

Going behind the scenes and experiencing what Maddon and Epstein went through to recruit several players helps the book gain its ethos. The two wanted players who would represent the Cubs well.

As the Cubs grew closer to finally securing the 2016 World Series win, Maddon reflected on little “godwinks” as he calls them, that seemed like chances of fate working with them to win. 

“The Cubs Way” highlights the mindsets of the players and coaches — including anecdotes and pages from their handbooks. Players must uphold certain attitudes and ways on the field if they want to be considered a team player. 

If a player didn’t immediately show signs of wanting to uphold these values, Maddon, alongside other coaches, worked with them to form a personal relationship and bond, hoping to show them the benefits of being a team player. 

Just recently, the MLB announced a modified version of the baseball season, set to start at the end of July. Shamelessly, I admit that throughout the book I followed along by watching the games within the World Series as they coincided with the chapters, making me miss real-time baseball even more. 

Hopefully, like many others, I can go to a game at Wrigley Field within the near future. 

Editor’s note: Every other week, writer Sierra Hoeger will be recommending and reviewing her summer beach read books. Keep an eye out for more upcoming beach reads reviews.