Books/SABR articles

Pat Deluhery looks back at his political career and the “golden age of Democratic Party activism” with giants such as Harold Hughes, Bobby Kennedy and John F. Kennedy. His academic experiences at the University of Notre Dame and London School of Economics come to life in this overview of the Irish Catholic experience and Iowa in the 20th century. The book is available on, and An e-book version is available now, too.
Some of my best columns in thirty years of newspaper reporting and editing are included in “What a Ride.” My first book covers family, personalities, politics and sports. Personalities include opera singer and native Iowan Simon Estes, Fred Rogers and baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. For a copy, contact me at or call 319-520-6228.
Despite having a lifetime .236 batting average, Randy Hundley is one of the most beloved Chicago Cubs of all time. For more go to the SABR website at
Although he was overshadowed by four future Hall of Famers on the same team, shortstop Don Kessinger played an integral role on the pennant-contending Chicago Cub squads of the late 1960s and early 1970s. For more go to the SABR website at
George Henry “Joe” Decker Jr. compiled a 36-44 record over nine seasons as a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners. For more go to the SABR website at
When he was growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Kevin Tapani didn’t expect to be playing major league baseball someday. For more see the SABR website at
Ernie Banks became the first African American to play for the Chicago Cubs in September 1953. For more go to the SABR website at
Ernie Banks holds his 500th home run ball in front of the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field. Banks became only the ninth player in major league history when he hit his historic blast in May 1971. For more go to the SABR website at
Located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal Park and its two predecessors have hosted professional baseball since Friday, June 20, 1947. For more see
Hall of Famer Billy Williams broke up an epic pitchers’ duel between two other Hall of Famers, Ferguson Jenkins and Bob Gibson, on Opening Day in 1971 to lift the Chicago Cubs to a dramatic extra-inning victory over their arch rivals from St. Louis. For more, go to the SABR website at
Chicago Cub rookie Kerry Wood had an auspicious start in 1998 when he struck out 20 Houston Astros in only his fifth major league appearance. Despite spending 14 times on the disabled list, the Texas native finished his 14-year MLB career as one of the more popular players in Cubs history. For more, go to the SABR website at
After a sensational rookie season in 1918, Cubs shortstop Charlie Hollocher was compared to Honus Wagner and Rogers Hornsby. By 1925, however, he was out of major league baseball due to mysterious health reasons. Fifteen years later, he was found dead near his hometown, an apparent suicide victim. To read his complete bio, go to
Illinois native Del Howard was a key reserve on the world champion Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1908 after starting his Major League Baseball career with the Boston Bean Eaters and Pittsburgh Pirates. Afterwards, he managed and played in the minor leagues with Louisville, St. Paul and Oakland. He also became a part owner of the Oakland club in the Pacific Coast League. For more, see the his bio on the Society for American Baseball Research website.
Sioux City native Eldred “Salty” Saltwell spent 55 years of his life in professional baseball in a front office capacity. Overall, he was part of the Chicago Cubs organization for 50 years including one year and two months as general manager. For more about Saltwell, go to
Rookie third baseman Ron Santo sparked the slumping Chicago Cubs to a doubleheader sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field on June 26, 1960. He went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the opener and 1-for-3 with two RBIs in the second game. Santo finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting that year and was eventually elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012. For more, go to the SABR website at
Ron Santo hit a grand slam home run and drove in eight runs as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Montreal Expos, 14-2, in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field on July 6, 1970. His two-run home run in the first game put the Cubs ahead for good, 3-2. For more about his career-best day, go to the SABR website at
Ron Santo was showered with gifts on his special day at Wrigley Field on August 28, 1971. Five days earlier, Santo and manager Leo Durocher almost came to blows when Durocher accused Santo of asking the Cubs to hold the special day for him. For more on Ron Santo Day and the preceding tumult, go to the SABR website at
Billy Williams (above) and Ferguson Jenkins reached personal milestones when the Chicago Cubs defeated the Montreal Expos in the first game of a doubleheader in Montreal on September 18, 1970. Williams hit his 40th home run of the season in the first inning of the Cubs’ 3-2 victory at Parc Jarry. Jenkins upped his record to 20-15, allowing only five hits and striking out seven in hurling a complete game. For more, go to and find the article in the Games Project. The games are listed by decade.
The Iowa Genealogical Society has published my story about W.G. Dunn of Clarinda, Iowa, in its spring edition of Hawkeye Heritage. W.G. was my paternal grandfather who was an inventor, manufacturer and civic leader. Two of his more well known inventions were wind chargers, which provided power in rural areas before the Tennessee Valley Authority was established, and training rifles, which were used by thousands of recruits in World War II. At the time of his death in 1968, W.G. had 45 patents, including his last one in 1961 for a camel saddle seat. He also had a design patent for a combined golf course sign and rack and two registered trade marks for a luggage carrier and an awning.
Although Bill Faul had a modest six-year major-league career with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants, he gave the country’s baseball scribes plenty to write about with his use of self-hypnosis. For more, see his story under BioProject on the Society for American Baseball Research website (
Hitting cleanup for the first time in 1929, Chicago Cubs slugger Hack Wilson sparked his team’s 13-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals with two home runs, including a grand slam in the fifth inning, on June 18, 1929. Wilson also had 27- and 20-game hitting streaks that season as the Cubs captured their first National League pennant since 1918. For more about the game and Wilson, go to the Games Project on the SABR website at
Once described as a “a stocky mild-mannered man who cut his teeth on a baseball bat,” John Holland spent 30 years in professional baseball as a front office executive for the Chicago Cubs at the minor- and major-league levels. He worked for the Des Moines Bruins from November 1947 to October 11, 1956. For more on Holland’s life and career in professional baseball, go to the BioProject on the SABR website at
The Johnston Public Library displayed about 20 of my best photos last month (January 2023). It was the second photo exhibition I’ve had. The photos were taken in central Iowa; many along bike trails.
My photo of the Iowa Capitol on a cold winter’s night received honorable mention in the Keep Iowa Beautiful photo contest. Nearly 700 entries were submitted from throughout the state. There were five categories. My Iowa Capitol entry was in the “Iowa Cities” category.
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