Longtime College of Dentistry staffer writes book about 1970 Chicago Cubs
William S. Bike, the former director of advancement and alumni affairs for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, former UIC senator, and former UIC Academic Professional Advisory Committee member, has written a new book about the Chicago Cubs.
Chicago Cubs fans always will remember the beloved 1969 team, yet the 1970 Cubs are, in many ways, more fascinating. Author Bike tells their story in his latest book, “The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow,” which will be available from The History Press on May 17, 2021.
Bike, who worked for UIC for 24 years, is the author of “Celebrating A Proud Past,” a history of the UIC College of Dentistry; edited Essays on Earl Renfroe: A Man of Firsts” about pathbreaking UIC College of “Dentistry faculty member Dr. Earl Renfroe; and edited “The Dentofacial Complex” by UIC College of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Allan Brodie.
“In 1970, the Cubs added interesting characters like Joe Pepitone and Milt Pappas to the legendary nucleus of Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Ernie Banks,” Bike said. “The team came closer to finishing first than in any year between 1945 and 1984 — ending the season only five games out in one of baseball’s hottest three-team pennant races ever.”
Offering a fast-paced look at the season month by month, Bike moves beyond wins, losses, and statistics to relive Ernie Banks’s 500th home run, the addition of “the basket” to the outfield walls, good trades and bad trades, how manager Leo Durocher’s radio show caused clubhouse chaos, death threats against third baseman Ron Santo, outfielders Billy Williams’s and Jim Hickman’s best season, the great Cubs pitching rotation, and statistical and computer analyses of how the Eastern Division Cubs would have done playing in the Western Division — and in the playoffs and World Series.
The book shows how the baseball, pennant race and Wrigley Field of 1970 differed from the modern era. It analyzes “what might have been” if different scenarios had played out and reveals what happened to each of the players. For Chicago Cubs fans of that era or any era, the book is a must-read.
“My book is both fun and analytical,” Bike said. “You’ll feel the heat of the pennant race and figuratively smell the popcorn and hot dogs and hear the crack of the bat in Wrigley Field in 1970.”
Bike also wrote the books “Streets of the Near West Side” and “Winning Political Campaigns.” Formerly, he directed communications for Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry. He currently is associate editor of the newspaper Gazette Chicago. Bike has earned more than 50 awards in journalism, publications, media relations, and alumni relations, including three Peter Lisagor Awards, the top honor in Chicago journalism.
“The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow,” published by The History Press of Charleston, SC, is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other book purchase websites, in bookstores, and at https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467149082. ISBN: 97814671-4908-2, paperback, 160 pp., $21.99.