We are not out to gain success with little work at Sporting Chance Press. In fact, work has been a passion for Sporting Chance Press since it’s existence and our line up of books keeps increasing each year. But the truth is that we need some help to succeed. Like any small business, we hope our customers return to us and we hope they lead others our way.

If you have a church-going sports fan on  your Christmas list we have our Sports and Faith Series by Patrick McCaskey. Our latest book in the series is Sportsmanship. On the cover of Sportsmanship we include a famous photo of Papa Bear George Halas and Vince Lombardi. It hard to imagine two men who to better represent the struggle and hard work that went into the successful Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers football clubs. George Halas was also there in the early days of the NFL, helping to make it all work for generations to follow. It’s not coincidental that both men were strong men of faith and they lived that way as well.

Sportsmanship is the most ambitious book in Patrick McCaskey’s popular Sports and Faith (Christian) Series. First, readers are treated to a wonderful Chicago Bears Calendar of historical events that celebrate one piece of Bears’ history for each day of the year. Facts surrounding many Bears’ players and their achievements are found here reflecting the hundred year history of the team.

Next, individual chapters feature interesting stories, sports segments, personal reminiscences, faith experiences, and the author’s humorous musings. Reflecting the practice of classic sports journalist memoirs, McCaskey has frequently written about his favorite athletes and coaches. In Sportsmanship, the author adds a new twist to this practice by including a chapter on favorite writers who have inspired him.  Perhaps a surprise for some readers will be the author’s chapter on biblical poems based on the four Gospels.  Towards the end of the volume are McCaskey’s speeches that have been used at social and civil events, motivational presentations to churches and schools, and all types of occasions relating to his passion, the Chicago Bears.

As a Bears’ Vice President who is immersed in community outreach and personal charitable pursuits, McCaskey writes about many exceptional people that he has known along the way. Writing and speaking for many decades, the author is an athlete in his own right whose tastes in literature have influenced his career. McCaskey has always followed his grandfather George Halas’s advice to maintain a positive outlook.  At the same time, readers will recognize his own enthusiasm for respecting those around him and taking time to smile and enjoy himself in his efforts.

For younger readers, we have a couple excellent books for kids: Baseball’s Winning Ways for teens and Papa Bear and the Chicago Bears’ Winning Ways for kids in the middle grades. We built in some self-help and educational features in these books, but these books are interesting reading for sports-minded youth.

I have been a power library user over the years as my kids were growing up and as a “book person” spent some time looking at the books that have become library discards. One thing I always found with the discards that have barely any wear to them, is that they often covered a “feel-good topic” for adults, but would have been punishing to read for kids.

Baseball’s Winning Ways and the Papa Bear and the Chicago Bears’ Winning Ways books appeal to young readers. With the Papa Bear book, the flow follows the life of George Halas. Little bits of history, some of the great players, and highlights of Halas’s career take up the first half of the book in about 40 pages with a handful of pictures that make it accessible to readers. We move on to a simple self-help system created by Ben Franklin, but one that uses George Halas’s “sayings” or winning ways. We load up the back end of the book with a glossary and learning aids to make sure readers get a good amount of education relatively “painlessly.”

Baseball’s Winning Ways starts out with brief biographies of current players and past greats which takes the reader 60 pages into the book with photographs that help bring them along. The center of the book is all about baseball history and American history that was taking place as the sport progressed. And then we get into winning ways which were developed by baseball’s winningest manager, Joe McCarthy. These winning ways are taught by the best coaches and are also life lessons. The last third of the book is a glossary and learning aids.