History So Interesting
It's Criminal

From DNA testing to the Dixie Mafia, we bring you new stories of true crime in American history. Join writer & host Benjamin Morris for exclusive interviews with authors from Arcadia Publishing, writing the hottest books on the most chilling stories of our country’s past.

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The Chicago Cub Shot For Love: An Interview with Jack Bales Part 1

The Chicago Cub Shot For Love: An Interview with Jack Bales Part 1

In the summer of 1932, with the Cubs in the thick of the pennant race, Billy Jurges broke off his relationship with Violet Popovich to focus on baseball. The famously beautiful showgirl took it poorly, marching into his hotel room with a revolver in her purse. Both were wounded in the ensuing struggle, but Jurges refused to press charges. Even without their star shortstop, Chicago made it to the World Series, only to be on the wrong end of Babe Ruth’s legendary Called Shot. Using hundreds of original sources, Jack Bales profiles the lives of the ill-fated couple and traces the ripple effects of the shooting on the Cubs’ tumultuous season.

Jack Bales was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up in Aurora, Illinois. His lengthy career in librarianship included more than forty years at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has published books as well as numerous articles and essays for books, journals, magazines, literary encyclopedias and newspapers. He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, and his initial research on the 1932 shooting of Chicago Cub Billy Jurges appeared in the fall 2016 issue of the Baseball Research Journal. “The Show Girl and the Shortstop: The Strange Saga of Violet Popovich and Her Shooting of Cub Billy Jurges” won the McFarland–SABR Baseball Research Award in 2017. His in-depth history of the early Chicago Cubs, titled Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team, was published in 2019 by McFarland. Bales retired in 2020 as Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus at UMW. He lives in Fredericksburg and is the father of two children, Patrick and Laura. When not researching and writing, he enjoys hiking with them, particularly in the Shenandoah Mountains.

The Chicago Cub Shot For Love: A Showgirl’s Crime of Passion and the 1932 World Series

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