Baseball's Best Short Stories (Sporting's Best Short Stories Series)

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Overview

This anthology brings together twenty-eight exceptional short stories about the great game of baseball. Written over several decades by some of America's favorite writers, including Zane Grey, James Thurber, Robert Penn Warren, T. Coraghessan Boyle, and Chet Williamson, many of the stories are about the game itself; others use baseball as a backdrop for timeless themes, such as morality, greed, and love.

In this collection of 25 baseball stories, good yarns slide in...

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Overview

This anthology brings together twenty-eight exceptional short stories about the great game of baseball. Written over several decades by some of America's favorite writers, including Zane Grey, James Thurber, Robert Penn Warren, T. Coraghessan Boyle, and Chet Williamson, many of the stories are about the game itself; others use baseball as a backdrop for timeless themes, such as morality, greed, and love.

In this collection of 25 baseball stories, good yarns slide in between nostalgic reveries on the lore of the game and thoughtful reflections on American culture. Among the contributors are T. Coraghessan Boyle, Michael Chabon, Zane Grey, Garrison Keillor, James Thurber, P.G. Wodehouse, and Ring Lardner.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the current malaise surrounding the sport, the time is ripe for this excellent collection chronicling more than a century of America's love affair with baseball. With an all-star cast of writers drawn from various eras and genres, Staudohar (Labor Relations in Professional Sports) demonstrates how thoroughly the game permeates American life-its psychology, sense of drama, mythology and moral code provide archetypes familiar even to those who have never set foot in a ballpark. The tales dramatize the conflicts between youth and experience, pride and humility, skill and luck, team loyalty and personal ambition. Master storytellers like Ring Lardner (author of three entries here), Zane Grey, Damon Runyon, P.G. Wodehouse, Robert Penn Warren, James Thurber, Garrison Keillor and T. Coraghessan Boyle celebrate the national pastime in 27 memorable tales and one poem, some poignant, some uproarious, each introduced by a brief editor's note. Baseball and literary fans may debate whether these are indeed the ``best'' baseball stories (where's George Plimpton's ``The Curious Case of Sydd Finch''?). So many good writers have felt the need to write about baseball that compiling a good anthology of baseball fiction isn't the hardest of tasks. Still, even if this project is a bit of a hanging curveball, Staudohar has hit it out of the park. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Any collection of baseball stories that fails to include examples from W.P. Kinsella's work is leaving out some of the finest short stories ever written; at the very least, "K-Mart" and "The Thrill of the Grass" should have been included here. So should one or two of the short stories in Jerry Klinkowitz's Short Season and Other Stories (Johns Hopkins, 1988). This said, editor Staudohar (coauthor of Labor Relations in Professional Sports, Greenwood, 1986) includes some of the classics from Ring Lardner (The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring Lardner, LJ 4/1/95), James Thurber, and Damon Runyon, as well as a few unexpected treats from P.G. Wodehouse and Garrison Keillor. But there's a lot of dreck here, too, stories that were born in men's magazines and should have been allowed to rest in peace there. Only comprehensive collections need consider.-Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556523199
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/16/1997
  • Series: Sporting's Best Short Stories series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Casey at the Bat 1
Casey at the Bat 5
The Rube's Waterloo 35
Alibi Ike 49
Three New Twins Join Club in Spring 69
Goodwood Comes Back 73
The Rookie 85
The Crab 101
You Could Look It Up 117
Smoke 133
One Throw 143
My Roomy 149
A Pitcher Grows Tired 173
Baseball Hattie 179
The Master's Touch 193
What Did We Do Wrong? 211
Horseshoes 221
Fielder's Choice 247
Brooklyns Lose 253
The Pitcher and the Plutocrat 263
Gandhi at the Bat 277
Jamesie 283
Joe, the Great McWhiff 303
The Crambury Tiger 311
Who's on First? 323
Death of a Right Fielder 355
The Umpire Was a Rookie 359
The Hector Quesadilla Story 375
Permissions Acknowledgments 389
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Batter Up! This is a fun book for baseball fans!

    Originally published in 1995, this new, expanded edition of Baseball's Best Short Stories includes eight new short stories for a total of 34 tales centered around America's Favorite Pastime. So popular was the original edition, that is sprouted a series of "Best Short Stories" books from all areas of the sports world. After reading this fun, entertaining book, it will be quite apparent why the series has been so popular to sports fans. The various stories in Baseball's Best Short Stories, written between 1888 to 2008, were all first published in other publications, from Sports Illustrated to The New Yorker. Authors range from those recognizable by sports efficiandos such as George Plimpton to others famous for other writings such as Garrison Keillor and Zane Grey. The editor has done an excellent job of selecting a well-rounded variety of stories to highlight in this book and you'll find everything from inspiring, to funny, to goofy and yes, even sad tales within its pages. Bullet in the Brain by Tobia Wolff is one of the new stories added to this expanded collection. It's the tale of not baseball, but rather a bank robbery. A very cranky book critic, Anders, is stuck in a long line at the bank when two robbers come in to make their fortune. Anders and one of the robbers come to blows and yes, baseball does seep into the story, in a very tragic, yet beautiful way where one can smell the freshly mowed grass and see the sun slowly setting on several boys playing ball. One of my favorite stories in this collection was Who's On First by Lloyd Biggle Jr. and no, it's not based on the Abbott and Costello routine. It is a very funny, slightly bizarre tale of Muko Zilo, an escapee from the Juvenile Rehabilitation Center on the planet of Philoy, Raff III, Sector 1311 (at least I think it's a planet!). Zilo is about as wide as he is tall (although he isn't very tall) and he just happens to LOVE baseball and is a pretty good player to boot. Of course, there are also plenty of realistic stories such as Smoke by Michael Chabon about Matt Magee, an aging pitcher who attends the team's catcher's funeral. Attending the funeral causes Magee to re-examine his own life, much of it in the context of baseball. Like Smoke, many of the stories in this anthology trigger a wide range of emotions and will undoubetedly bring back fond memories for the reader. Quill says: Lots of baseball talk, lots of baseball action - this book is the perfect leisurely read for the baseball fan. As the editor noted in the Preface, "Batter Up!" and enjoy.

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