In the early 1970s, an ex-professional pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves named Pat Jordan emerged as one of the leading young sportswriters of his generation. He was unique because unlike the other scribes he had played the game and knew it from the inside. Now another former minor league pitcher and author of over 300 books named Steven Travers, who grew up reading Jordan, has compiled a list of the greatest sports articles and books of all time.
These feature along with several books and articles by Jordan some of the greatest scribes in the pantheon, including but not limited to Ernest Thayer, Jack London, Heywood Broun, H.L. Mencken, Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner, Paul Gallico, Jimmy Cannon, Red Smith, A.J. Liebling, Jimmy Breslin, John Updike, Al Stump, James Baldwin, Leonard Koppett, George Plimpton, Gay Talese, John Underwood, Roger Angell, Jim Murray, Hunter S. Thompson, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Tom Boswell, Budd Schulberg, Frank Deford, Richard Ben Cramer, Rick Reilly, Mike Royko, Maury Allen, Willian Nack, Michael Lewis, Bruce Jenkins, Bernard Malamud, Lawrence S. Ritter, Dick Schaap, Jim Bouton, Roger Kahn, Dan Jenkins, Peter Gent, W.P. Kinsella, John Feinstein, Buzz Bissinger, David Halberstam, Tom Wolfe, and David Maraniss, among many others; including his friend Bill “Spaceman” Lee, who wrote the foreword and whose book The Wrong Stuff as well as Tom Bonk’s L.A. Times feature about the Spaceman, are featured.
This book includes boxing articles in the golden age of the sport, and of course baseball poetry when the game reigned supreme, as well as great football writing plus other sports and human interest features, both funny and sad. The author also includes personal anecdotes when appropriate; writers or subjects he personally knew or had association with, much of which adds to the in-depth experience of the writer’s life.
Read about the racism experienced by Jack Johnson; the formation of Notre Dame’s football legend; larger than life portraits of Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Tom Seaver; the minor league life; the tell-all of Jim Bouton’s Ball Four; the Louvre quality of Lawrence Ritter’s The Glory of Their Times; the pathos of Roger Kahn’s Brooklyn Dodgers’ saga; the hilarity of Bill Lee; the magic of W.P. Kinsella; even the world of college football from Tom Wolfe’s perspective.
It’s all here. Enjoy.