Merkle's Curse

During the summer of 2003, two life-long fans of the Chicago Cubs realize that their favorite team is really cursed.

They become obsessed with undoing this curse, lest it undermine their team’s march to its first World Series in almost sixty years and its first Major League Championship since 1908. Unbeknownst to them, the curse had its origins in an Old Testament prophesy that has had a profound effect on both the history of the world and the game of baseball. In the process, it traces a dark, forbidding path from the Holy Land, through the Roman Empire, medieval Europe, West Africa, and pre-Columbian America, before leaving an imprint on the United States and its national pastime.
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About the Author


Jerry Jacover is a patent attorney who has been a member of the Intellectual Property law firm of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione for over thirty years. He and his wife, Judi, have lived in Evanston, Illinois since 1973. Their three sons—a lawyer, a software engineer, and a doctor—live in Chicago. All of the Jacovers are life-long Cub fans.

Praise for Merkle’s Curse:

Like W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, Jerry Jacover’s Merkle’s Curse fashions fanciful fiction from hardball ignominy. In this effort, he enlists everyone from Sir Francis Drake, the brilliant pirate, to Willie McGee, the brilliant stealer of merely bases. Jacover takes the reader on a thrilling romp through the Cubs’ long stretch in the desert—150 percent longer than the Israelites’—and gives us a North Side version of 100 Years of Solitude.
Jeremy Schaap — Best-selling author of Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History, and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics
Jacover’s story shows, in fascinating and sometimes funny detail, how the cause of an event may lie in the far past, to be understood in the final reckoning only after wide-ranging study. Here’s history without the footnotes—a great read.
Theron Raines — Author and literary agent
Where else can you find a cast that includes the Roman general Trajan, Simon Bar Kochba, Christopher Columbus, A.G. Spalding, William Howard Taft, Babe Ruth, Arnold Rothstein, Jackie Robinson, William Tecumsah Sherman, and Ernie Banks? Merkle’s Curse is a terrific read that gives new meaning to the term “fantasy baseball.” You don’t have to necessarily be a fan though to enjoy a wonderful book that craftily blends history, sports and whimsy.
Mike Leiderman — Award-winning Chicago sportscaster and producer
This is a fascinating tapestry to enthrall both baseball fans and readers who loved The DaVinci Code. The author embeds a treasure trove of little known baseball lore and historic play-by-plays in his tale of a 100 year curse on the Cubs. But the dazzling origins of the curse take readers back to the court of Constantine and then to Dracula’s Transylvania. There a band of heroic orphans originates the bloodlines that carry the power to bless and curse, and whose families’ separate and rejoin and eventually include Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. A great read for baseball fans, history buffs, and lovers of great big yarns.
Jean Ward — Online magazine editor; former book reviewer, Pioneer Press