“The Twins”
A Journey of a Lifetime Book Reviews

Grady Harp
‘Who says, “There is no crying in baseball?” – history on both sides of the plate
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Illinois authors Carl and Tony Ruzicka are twins, born in 1949 to middle-class blue-collar parents in Cicero, Illinois, a small town west of Chicago’s downtown. Why is it important to know that background? Because the timeframe that makes this book so memorable to read is such a contrast to the current status of contemporary times. Best to let the authors set the tone of this warmly rendered collection of sports facts – and cultural differences in time – with their opening words – ‘Hello! We are twin brothers, Tony and Carl Ruzicka. Growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb just west of Chicago, we were sports fans. Life seemed much simpler back then. Sports, while important, did not serve as the huge, moneymaking industry it is today. Each town seemed like a true community…Using our uniqueness of being twins, some courage, and our knowledge of Chicago sports, we managed to become lifelong friends with many of our heroes. These friendship, and what would appear to be pure chance, took us on a serendipitous lifetime journey that would have been impossible to predict or even comprehend.’ In addition to the plethora of facts and records and people and sports figures that bounce off these pages, the twins offer insights into their family life, and in doing so share some fine moments of philosophy and psychology for reflecting on the progression of the culture of the last mid-century period and forward as a canvas over which contemporary times are being painted. Nostalgia reigns as surely as does the memory jogs that all the information about the Chicago teams – Cubs, Bears – and the men who made it happen. Plentiful photographs accompany this journey, allowing the reader to follow the growth of the twins as well as the teams and heroes they love. As they say in closing, ‘The Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, breaking the longest championship draught in professional sports history...Our lives have been like a fairy tale…After our first encounters with our heroes, they became our friends, and these friendships mirror those of our childhood playmates, high school teammates, and classmates at Yale’ – and that tale creates a splendid book for sports fans – and for everyone who enjoys a nod to reminiscence. Grady Harp, October 20
Susan Peterson
Every story is so rich and varied
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Every story is so rich and varied, even covering Billy Jean King, Raquel Welch, and the Pope!”
Memorable Memoir
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The Twins is a memorable memoir written by twin brothers about their life growing up and meeting the various sports legends. The number of names that sprout in the book is surprising and its amazing that the twin brothers met and developed deep relationships with so many legends on their own merit and even introduced them to their parents. Besides the sports personalities we get insight into the city in its formative years and know about the culture and values of a past era. There are many charming pictures that add to the attraction to the book and give it an added appeal. On the whole, greatly enjoyed the book.
Rick Czerniejewski
The twins are part of Chicago’s sports history
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“We’ve come to realize that the twins are part of Chicago’s sports history. Really loved that the guys knew all the players’ addresses. Fascinated by how the twins live their lives!”
Ann Fisher
A must-read for any Chicago sports fan
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Carl and Tony are identical twins who made the most of twinship, starting as boys looking up the names of hockey players in the local phone book and then biking over to their homes and introducing themselves. They went from there to becoming ball boys for the Chicago Bears, then academic and track stars at Yale, and then to a lifetime of engagement with the Chicago Cubs. I found myself reading story after story out loud to my husband. Nicely illustrated as well.
Elizabeth Purdy and David Schalk
We are really enjoying the book!
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Mitch Amino
You guys are amazing
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“I really enjoyed the book. Can’t believe how much you just showed up at the players’ houses. Chico Maki was one of my favorite Hawks when I watched on TV. I was hoping for more Yosh stories, perhaps saved for another book? You guys are amazing. I would’ve liked to see you playing football and running!”
Shad D
Can’t put it down! Match today. Will try to finish this weekend.
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Tim Terry
An unforgettable memoir of two extraordinary lives.
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Tony and Carl, “the twins,” have written an inspiring and poignant book of their lives during a period in history which will probably never be repeated again. Technology and other innovations after the great war had begun to improve the lives of most people, and the world would experience some of the most extraordinary changes. Although the twins have related their story primarily from the reference of their love of sports, their story is also compelling as they appeared to have had an infectious overall enthusiasm for life. This spirit is reflected in the style of writing which makes this book fascinating and compelling to read. The authors appeared to be able to identify and embrace incidents which changed their lives and allowed them opportunities to meet celebrities, from sports stars, to astronauts and wealthy businessmen. Apart from being crammed with photographs and descriptions of events that will bring back memories to anyone who also formed a part of that generation, this book will also be an inspiration to younger readers who are just beginning their lives. It is not necessary to be a lover of sport to enjoy reading this, as it also provides a glimpse of a period in time where celebrities were not motivated purely by money and when, quite honestly, I feel that most people were far more humane, and celebrities such as sports stars valued their fans. The world of the period that these authors lived through, and have described so eloquently, also had many serious challenges and I believe that reading their story will inspire today's generation to overcome present difficulties and create a world, and individuals that will be just as fascinating as these two author's, and the people that they knew.
Sports Fans Journey!
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The book is a journey of twins Tony and Carl Ruzicka, sports fan written in a way that is sure to touch the heart of sports lovers. The two grew up in Chicago and reflects their experiences and passion for sports. It’s a fun collection for sports lovers as well as memories of sports legends. It helps us also draws the contrast between past and present sports world that can be a treat for any sports lover.
Lorenza Seldner
Take me out to the ball game!
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The twins is a fantastic memoir filled with sports and nostalgia about the good old days. Narrated by the most enthusiastic twins, the narrative revolves around Chicago, back in the day when the Dodgers were from Brooklyn and when sports were more about excitement than money. Without sounding pessimistic, these brothers tell their stories as young kids, devouring any book that had to do with sports, writing letters to head coaches to switch players, mischievously unwrapping their Christmas gifts to discover the gloves they had asked for. There's nothing ambitious about the writing, nor the book per se. Just a couple of brothers telling the readers about their experience living an All American life through the many sports that lift the spirits of millions of Americans. If you love sports, games, and anecdotes, I highly recommend this book.
Elliott Becker
Congratulations on your Journey of a Lifetime
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Hi guys! Just finished the book! Tremendous! Learned a lot I didn’t know. I laughed and even teared up a few times.
Rashad E. Dabaghi
An engaging story--revolving around great sport figures and heroes from a bygone era
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This book is unique as it is written by two twins, Carl and Tony Ruzicka, who have been inseparable and have had remarkable lives which they unabashedly share with us. I found the book engaging and could not put it down. I grew up in the American middle class at a similar time but not in Chicago, especially Cicero. I did enjoy reading about some of my sports heroes of that time —from a different perspective. They describe their upbringing and subsequent lives vividly and with their special, sometimes self-effacing humor. One of the notable gifts of this book is the their relationship with Yosh Kwano, legendary Chicago Cubs clubhouse manager and trainer. This relationship, like the book, reflected the twins’ character, compassion, and passion for life and sports. They came from an humble background, have excelled at every stage of their lives, and obviously remain humble and grateful for their “journey of a lifetime.”
Nancy Reid
Chicago Sports Journey through the decades
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A fun and inspiring journey that Carl and Tony experienced as young boys and young men. It helped shaped who they became and who they are today. A must read for all the Sports Fans out there. You don't have to be a Chicago Sports Fan to enjoy! Check it out!! Nancy Reid
Jimmy ray
Amazing history of Chicago sports through the eyes of real fans
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This book is a great collection of stories experienced by twins Tony and Carl Ruzicka growing up in Chicago as sports fans. From the start of the journey, these two fans met and idolized many of the legends of the times while collecting autograph and phots along the way. If you love sports, this is a great collection of stories about some of the greats in sports history along with an amazing learning experience of these two avid fans. Check this one out folks, the life and times in sports back in the 60’s was so much different that it is today.
J Armstrong
Great book about Sports and humanity
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Sports Biographies are always a pleasure to read when done well, and this book is no exception. The Twins: A Journey of a Lifetime dives deep into the world of professional Sports in the Chicago area. From the Chicago Bears to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Authors bring us well known facts, but also lesser known tidbits about your favorite players. Behind the scene information about some famous plays and how the friendships between themselves and athletes they met over their lives have shaped their own lives, relationships and friendships. This was a great book in that it reminded us that the famous athletes are simply human too. They err and they can make mistakes, but they can also triumph, and they can bring meaning to peoples lives by breaking barriers and being good human beings. The book was really well written and drew me in quickly. I would certainly recommend it if you like sports, but also if you like to read about inspiring human stories.
Mitch Amino
You guys are amazing
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“I really enjoyed the book. Can’t believe how much you just showed up at the players’ houses. Chico Maki was one of my favorite Hawks when I watched on TV. I was hoping for more Yosh stories, perhaps saved for another book? You guys are amazing. I would’ve liked to see you playing football and running!”
Paul Palandri
The photo montage is unreal
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The book is incredible! The photo montage is unreal. I am predicting a NY Times bestseller.
Patrick Bales
A great story about two amazing brothers!
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I know the Ruzicka brothers and they are fantastic people with an amazing story. A wonderful book. Highly recommended!
Chicago Sports Experts
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This is my favorite book to share with my Chicago sports enthusiastic friends. Every person whom I have given the book to (15 copies), come back with a wonderful and appreciative response. The twins were not just viewing the sports scene, they were part of it. Their appreciation for the athletes and sports figures as real people, and not just heroes, comes across on every page. Their respect and love for Yosh Kawano is the perfect example. 5 Stars is not enough.
Thomas R.
Great picture of what it was like growing up in the city in the 50s.
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This was a time of enjoying the outdoors safely in the heart of the city where young boys played sports all day long. It was a time when young people could travel the city without any fear of personal safety. It as you can read is a time when a young person could get close to our professional athletes and truly build relationships with their heroes.
Susan Buchanan
Very Entertaining!
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Great book!
christopher w. nugent
Great memory lane excursion
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A great trip down memory lane with two men (twins) who from an early age were great sports fans in Chicago but reached out to many to enjoy all the games of sport in the US.
fern Josephs
Twin adventures in life
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It’s about life and friendships, and oh yes about sports!
A captivating and enthralling book that you will love
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This book tells enthralling stories that tell so many stories- about brotherly love, about the generosity of strangers, about bridging racial and class boundaries, and most of all, about the tenacity of two captivating twins, who against all odds, become civic leaders and life-long friends with some of the most legendary figures in Chicago history. Written in a fast-paced and generous voice, this is a book that you read and never want to put down!
What a Delightful Read!
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This is a delightful, very personal, romp through Chicago sports as seen through the eyes/experiences of two born-and-bred sports fans. Wonderful personal stories of growing up - and getting to know and work with! - many Chicago professional sports "heroes", whether owners, managers or players. And in ALL the main sports. Remarkable, really. It's a tribute to the people in the professional sports industry as well as to both Carl and Tony as they provide this fascinating history for all of us to enjoy!
john oboikowitch
Unique and Kind!
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Great read A fun reflection on sixty years of sports history by two active participants in this incredible period A must read for sports fans
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It was interesting learning about Carl and Tony’s life and their love of sports. Their creativity in meeting the Chicago sports stars was impressive and becoming the ball boys for the Chicago Bears. Their lives and how it was shaped by family and the Chicago sports scene of the 1960’s. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any fan of the Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks.

BUY NOW! “The Twins” A Journey of a Lifetime

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