Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  George Castle  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: 1932 in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Castle is an American freelance sports journalist and author, based in Chicago. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and makes his home in Morton Grove, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lifelong Chicagoan George Castle has turned an avocation into a vocation. Growing up in Wrigley Field's right-field bleachers and upper-deck grandstand, Castle followed the Cubs as a fan in the 1960s and 1970s before entering the sports media in 1980. He has worked for a variety of newspapers and magazines in covering baseball. Starting in 1994, he covered all Cubs home games, spring training, and postseason runs for The Times of Northwest Indiana, the Chicago- area's fourth-largest daily newspaper. In 1994, Castle also began his syndicated weekly baseball radio show, Diamond Gems, which top baseball newsmakers and often-rare vintage baseball broadcast highlights. In 1998, Castle ventured into baseball book authorship. He penned books on Harry Caray, Sammy Sosa, and the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. In 2000, he published the previously most comprehensive book on Cubs ownership and management, The Million-To-One Team. Following that work were books on throwback old-school players, baseball's relationship to the media, and a "where are they now" look at former Cubs. In 1994, Castle also began his syndicated weekly radio show, Diamond Gems, which broadcasts top baseball newsmakers and often-rare vintage baseball highlights.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Sammy Sosa: Clearing the Vines
ISBN: 158261024X

Sports Publishing. 1998

Sosa helped put the spotlight back on major league baseball in the summer of '98. His record-setting season made him a media magnet and charm has made him a celebrity. Clearing the Vines is a paperback biography that takes sports fans from the Dominican streets where Sosa grew up, to his days in Wrigley Field where he has developed into a national hero.

Sammy Sosa Slammin' Sammy (Baseball Superstar)
ISBN: 1582610290

Sports Publishing LLC. 1999

Covers Sosa's baseball career, his pursuit of the home-run record, and his humanitarian work in his homeland

I Remember Harry Caray
ISBN: 1582610401

Sports Publishing LLC. 1999

Harry Caray broadcast over 8,000 regular season games. His first game was on opening day in 1945. Harry packed 883 years of living into an 83-year life and lived by a simple credo: "The meter is running, so you'd better live it up." He did... and in the process enriched the lives of countless baseball fans across the globe. I Remember Harry Caray is a firsthand account of what the broadcasting legend was like from broadcasters Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Paul Harvey and Chick Hearn

players Stan Musial, Sammy Sosa, and Mark Grace

newspaper reporters Irv Cupcinet and Jerome Holtzman

and others including Dan Devine, Bing Devine, Bill Bidwell, Cubs manager Jim Riggleman, Dutchie Caray, and Chip Caray.

The I-55 Series Cubs Vs. Cardinals
ISBN: 1582610320

Sports Publishing LLC. 1999

Between the baseball-rich cities of Chicago and St. Louis lies a stretch of highway, known as Interstate 55, that has been the battleground for the hearts and minds of baseball fans for generations. 1-55 bridges the 294-mile gap between these two great midwestern hubs. The 1-55 Series offers baseball fans the opportunity to recall one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, the Cubs vs. the Cardinals. From Hornsby vs. Tinkers to Evers to Chance, to Musial vs. Banks, to Gibson vs. Jenkins, to McGwire vs. Sosa, many of baseball's greatest players have served as catalysts to spark this intense rivalry.

Throwbacks: Old-School Baseball Players in Today's Game
ISBN: 1574886371

Potomac Books. 2005

Millionaires complaining to billionaires about more millions - too often that’s how the general public perceives baseball players. When discussions of strikes don’t involve a box from the knees to the shoulders, the game has strayed too far from its roots.Throwbacks: Old-School Baseball Players in Today's Game celebrates those roots and highlights those players today who play the game the same way our parents and grandparents watched it played. It’s an ode to those who play hurt, who play smart, who go all out, who get blood and sweat and dirt on their uniforms and still treat their teammates and fans―and the game―with respect. To the hurlers, the hitters, the scrappers, and even the role players, you don’t have to be a star to be “old-school”

you just have to know how to play the game right.George Castle focuses on a dozen current players who best personify the spirit of baseball’s past. These players take their original talent―be it smarts, hustle, firepower, or muscle―and give it all for their team. While Kerry Wood blows people away with his fastball, Mike Morgan does whatever he’s asked to stay in the game he loves. As Jim Thome muscles balls over the fence, Ellis Burks happily contributes the little things that can mean the difference between winning and losing.In addition to talking to the throwbacks themselves, Castle interviewed past and current teammates, opponents, and even announcers to get an insider’s view of what drives them. It’s one thing for Castle to call them old-school and quite another when the compliment comes from contemporaries. Come read about some of the best of what baseball has to offer―both on and off the field.

Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today's Coverage of the Game
ISBN: 0803264690

Bison Books. 2007

What sports fans read, watch, and listen to at home often isn’t the real story coming out of the locker room or the front office. George Castle should know: he’s covered baseball in Chicago for decades and witnessed the widening gulf between the media and the teams they’re supposed to cover—and the resulting widespread misinformation about the inner workings of the game. In this book, Castle chronicles from the inside the decline of baseball reporting and shows in clear and practical terms how ill-served today’s sports followers are by those they trust for the straight story.

Charting the path of a veteran sports reporter’s career, Baseball and the Media traces the changes in baseball coverage from the days of the old-time players and scribes to the no-holds-barred (and no facts checked) sports-talk radio of our time. Along the way, Castle introduces readers to the politics of baseball media (does sports journalism actually have its red and blue states?), documents the transformation of athletes from role models to sports-media celebrities, including emblematic characters such as LaTroy Hawkins and Carl Everett, and illuminates the profound changes in the way sports in general—and baseball in particular—are conveyed to its avid consumers, who are the losers in the end.

The Million-to-One Team: Why the Chicago Cubs Haven't Won a Pennant Since 1945
ISBN: 1888698314

Taylor Trade Publishing. 2000

In The Million-to-One Team, author George Castle traces all the management actions and strategies that kept the Cubs on the golf course in October while every other team in existence in 1945 has been in at least one World Series, and a goodly number in far more than that. Castle also looks at the proverbial glimmer of hope that could end the unparalleled championship drought.

Where Have All Our Cubs Gone?
ISBN: 1589791983

Taylor Trade Publishing. 2005

A journey throughout the world to track down former Cubs to update fans on their present-day lives and look back on their playing or managing careers. Once a Cub, always a Cub, and these former inhabitants of Wrigley Field won't soon forget their days in the Friendly Confines.

Entangled in Ivy
ISBN: 1596701897

Sports Publishing. 2007

The ultimate misdirection play, responsibility for the Cubs' near- century-long championship drought is placed on curses, hexes, billy goats, black cats, and other perceived supernatural forces. Yet, the team's crazy, quirky history is far from unexplainable. Management decisions and on-field strategies have resulted in Wrigley Field's incessant October silence since 1945--the season of the team's last National League pennant. The Cubs' status is unlike any other team in baseball, and the team itself operates like no other team in the game--especially a big-market team with such abundant financial resources at its disposal. Author George Castle takes the reader behind the management philosophies and inside the Cubs clubhouse in a unique manner rarely employed by the media. This book details the Cubs' unbelievable situation in the words of the front office, the many managers, and the players themselves. Incorporating Castle's coverage of the Cubs over the past 25 years, Entangled in Ivy emphasizes the flow of the franchise since the turn of the millennium. The author has developed a wealth of relationships, past and present, at all levels of the organization, and he uses that access to deliver a one-of-a-kind perspective. From 95-loss seasons to the seminal moment of Cubs history--The Bartman Incident--and back again, Castle weaves the story of one of the country's most popular sports franchises and analyzes why its history of shortfalls has continued despite its efforts to succeed. Fresh interviews from Cubs personnel past and present--including former team president Andy MacPhail, current GM Jim Hendry, former manager Dusty Baker, former Cubs great Mark Grace, and several others at all levels of the organization--provide remarkable insight into the greatest mystery in baseball. Entangled in Ivy is a must-read for any fan who desires to go beyond the stereotypes and simple play-by-play, who wants to look at the Cubs from the inside out, who needs to understand why this beloved team has not been able to drink from baseball's holy grail for nearly 100 years.

Sweet Lou and the Cubs: A Year Inside The Dugout
ISBN: 1599215268

Lyons Press. 2009

Sweet Lou and the Cubs chronicles from the inside-out Lou Piniella's stirring and celebrated quest to reverse the team's fortunes after a record 100 years without a World Series championship. Drawing on the story of Piniella's Cubs debut in 2007 and his history as baseball's ultimate firebrand, veteran Cubs reporter George Castle gives fans the real story behind the building of the best Cubs team in decades. In riveting detail he traces how the Cubs swept into the 2008 playoffs as the favorite to represent the National League in the World Series, but then went down in shocking defeat―leaving millions of fans to pin their wounded hopes on the prospects of their remade team finally turning the tide in 2009. . . .

This is sports writing at its best, focusing on Piniella's old-school style and baseball scientist's mind

wild swings in the Cubs' win-loss fortunes

the inside scoop on a Cubs' front office that has been dramatically more aggressive than its predecessors

the byplay of daily clubhouse life and profiles of key players

and Piniella's colorful proclamations and homespun philosophy, along with his interactions with his coaches, the team, ball-club executives, media, fans, and celebrity hangers-on.


Awards

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