Your Brain on Cubs: Inside the Heads of Players and Fans
With their frustrating ups and downs, and nearly 100 years without a World Series win, the Chicago Cubs have been messing with the minds of their loyal fans for a long time, making that club the perfect topic for a book about the relationship between baseball and the human brain. Each of the essays in this off-beat collection explores a different aspect of baseball through the prism of neurology, and each piece relates, at least tangentially, back to the Cubs. There's a chapter on the use of ""neurotropic substances"" as performance enhancers, and another on how to become an All Star ballplayer the traditional way: ""All expertise comes from practice, and lots of it."" The book also routes out the answers to some quirky questions. Why are the majority of baseball's best hitters lefties? Because left-handed people are more ambidextrous than righties, argues one contributor, making them adept at skills that require both hands. How can a diehard Cubs fan stay loyal despite years of heartbreak? He becomes ""an expert in delaying gratification."" Although necessarily technical (this must be the only baseball book to reference the brain's ""limbic structures""), the essays are straightforward, entertaining and likely to provoke many barroom debates.