Triumph Books is known for crashing full-color souvenir books on major sports events. This past week, however, was more than business as usual for the Chicago-based sports publisher: The house is publishing, not one, but two souvenir books commemorating the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.
Won for the Ages: How the Chicago Cubs Won the 2016 World Series, produced in collaboration with the Chicago Tribune, was published in Triumph’s traditional 128-page, 8-1/2 x 11 paperback format. The initial print run of 175,000 copies was shipped to retailers throughout Chicagoland on Saturday morning, a little over 48 hours after the game ended.
Fly the W: The Chicago Cubs’ Historic Championship Season, produced in collaboration with the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, is shipping to retailers later this month. It is a 160-page, 9 x 11 hardcover with an initial 60,000-copy print run. Triumph prreviously collaborated with the Daily Herald on a September release, Let’s Go Cubs!: A New Era on the North Shore.
Of course Triumph, no stranger to crashing commemorative sports books, isn’t the only publisher rushing Cubs titles to maret.
KCI Sports released on November 1, in collaboration with the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, Believe It!: Chicago Cubs World Series Champions; Amazon, as of this writing, lists the book as its #1 bestseller in the baseball category. Major League Baseball released, on November 7, what it called the “only official publication licensed” by the franchise, 2016 World Series Champions--Chicago Cubs. The LIFE Chicago Cubs: Champions At Last will be available next week and A Season for the Ages: How the 20216 Chicago Cubs Brought a World Series Championship to the North Side (Sports Publishing) by Al Yellon, the founder and editor-in-chief of a fan website, Bleed Cubbie Blue, will be released in early December.
Acknowledging the intense competition, Triumph publisher Mitch Rogatz emphasized Triumph's long-term relationships with reliable distribution channels. “If you don’t have shelf space at the right time at the right retailers, nothing else matters,” he said. “[Retailers] trust us to get the best product out there the fastest."
The two November releases are not all that Triumph is doing to milk the Cubs’ World Series win, either. In March 2017 it's publishing an updated edition of 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Jim Greenfield with a 15,000-copy initial print run. Greenfield's book, originally released by Triumph in 2012 and reissued in May 2016, has sold 20,000 copies to date.
Then, in April 2017, Triumph is releasing Lovable Winners: Bryant, Rizzo, and the Rise of the Cubs by ESPN sports radio personality David Kaplan; the house is planning a 25,000-copy initial printing. And, in May 2017, an updated edition of For the Love of the Cubs: An A-Z Primer for Cubs Fans of All Ages will be released; its four previous editions have sold 30,000 copies to date.
Triumph publicity manager Bill Ames, recalling that Triumph published a commemorative book called Believe It! after the Chicago White Sox's 2005 World Series win said: “When your hometown team wins, it makes the experience [of publishing one of these books] even more enjoyable.”