Johnny Kling

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.

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Johnny Kling

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