Johnny Kling

A Baseball Biography

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About the Book

In the view of contemporary players and sportswriters, Chicago Cub Johnny Kling was one of the greatest catchers of all time. A strong batter, Kling was even better behind the plate, where his strong arm, quick reactions, and even his chatter harried the opposition. He was by all accounts an indispensable part of Cubs teams that won four National League pennants and two World Series titles between 1906 and 1910. Yet today he is remembered by historians as a player at the center of two unresolved questions: Was Johnny Kling’s absence from baseball in 1909—during the prime of his career—the result of a salary holdout? And was he Jewish?
This heavily researched biography ends the debate over those questions while restoring Kling to his place among the greats at his position. It covers in detail his exploits on and off the field (which included a world billiards championship in 1909) and his life after his playing career ended, when he became a philanthropist and gentleman farmer. The foreword is provided by Ernie Banks.

About the Author(s)

SABR member Gil Bogen is a retired psychiatrist. He is the author of several books about the Chicago Cubs and Cubs players. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Gil Bogen
Foreword by Ernie Banks
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2414-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8309-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Foreword by Ernie Banks      1
Introduction      3

1. EXODUS FROM GERMANY      9
2. SOLACE IN CINCINNATI      13
3. THE EARLY YEARS      17
4. SETTING SAIL      27
5. A CHOPPY SEA      39
6. CHARTING A COURSE      48
7. WEATHERING STORMS      61
8. CLEARING SKIES      73
9. JUMPING SHIP      125
10. CLIMBING ABOARD      144
11. WALKING THE PLANK      167
12. TREADING WATER      175
13. A LAST VOYAGE      182
14. REST AND RELAXATION      190
15. DINNER AND THE THEATER      195
16. PEANUTS AND CRACKER JACK      198
17. SUGAR AND SPICE      205
18. THE GENTLEMAN FARMER      210
19. BREAD AND BUTTER      212
20. MEAT AND POTATOES      214
21. JUST ANOTHER DAY      219
22. JEWISH ANCESTRY, PART ONE      221
23. JEWISH ANCESTRY, PART TWO      227
24. JEWISH ANCESTRY, PART THREE      230
25. BASEBALL AND ANTI-SEMITISM      234
26. SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT      238

Conclusion      243
Appendix A: A Writer’s Regard      249
Appendix B: Documents and Letters      251
Chapter Notes      265
Bibliography      275
Index      281