Charles N. Billington is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30 years of experience in mental health. After graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota he received his Master's Degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. He has worked as an administrator, psychotherapist, and consultant, most recently specializing in work with the elderly.
A three-sport athlete in high school who played baseball at the collegiate level, he combined his background in sports and his interest in history with his work with senior citizens to write about Wrigley Field's last World Series, World War II–era baseball, and the 1945 Cubs. The fascinating recollections of two elderly baseball players who came to Mr. Billington for assistance and became the inspiration for Wrigley Field's Last World Series.
Charles grew up in the Chicago area and lives in the northern suburbs with his wife of 25 years and two children. His hobbies include boating, playing the piano, and playing outfield in the Chicago North Men's Senior Baseball League.
Charles Billington is available for print, radio, and television interviews. Suggested topics include:
• The history of the Cubs prior to World War II
• The effects of World War II on Major League Baseball
• An overview of National League teams during the 1945 season
• Inning-by-inning accounts of key games in the 1945 pennant race and World Series
• Analysis of baseball today in contrast to baseball of 1945
• Comparing current efforts of the Chicago Cubs with their 1945 counterparts
• The inspiration for this true and heart-breaking account of the 1945 Chicago Cubs season
"I went to my first Cubs game in 1945. Your presentation brought it all
back to life . . . I feel like it just occurred yesterday!"
—comment to author after a presentation at the Acorn Public Library, April 14, 2005
• Do you remember how much World War II affected everyone's life?
• Do you remember how good the Chicago Cubs were back then?
• Does anyone know why they have done so poorly since that time?
Charles Billington's one-hour program recreates the Chicago Cubs' last year of glory from a range of interesting perspectives. More than just a chronicle of a baseball season, Billington's work analyzes the social fabric of the United States during World War II, the important role FDR felt recreation and diversions played in the home front, the effects World War II had not just on baseball but on all of America's entertainment industries, and of course the 1945 season, which marked the end of a half-century of baseball success for Chicago's North Siders.
The presentation is flexible to meet the needs of your venue and your group. It includes the following topics:
Baseball's place in the American culture of the 1940s
The devastating effects of World War II on organized baseball
A slide presentation/biographical sketch of the 1945 Chicago Cubs
A contrasting look at the game and its players differed: then vs. now
Why the team's half-century of success was followed by a half-century of failure
Rare film footage of 1940s Cubs baseball, including the 1945 World Series, is available if your facility has a television monitor and VCR player.
Author and baseball historian Charles Billington has spoken to groups of all sizes at many public and private venues. He is willing to travel anywhere in the Chicagoland area and beyond.