Sports Illustrated: Fifty Years of Great Writing: 50th Anniversary 1954-2004

Overview

In the half-century since its birth, as Sports Illustrated grew from a struggling start-up to America's preeminent sports magazine, one thing has remained constant: the commitment to great storytelling. That part of the magazine's mission has always been easy to define: Identify the most compelling sports stories of our time and get the best writers in the business to tell them.

This book brings together a lineup of writing talent worthy of the Hall of Fame and the classic ...

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Sports Illustrated 50 Years of Great Writing: 1954-2004 50th Anniversary

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Overview

In the half-century since its birth, as Sports Illustrated grew from a struggling start-up to America's preeminent sports magazine, one thing has remained constant: the commitment to great storytelling. That part of the magazine's mission has always been easy to define: Identify the most compelling sports stories of our time and get the best writers in the business to tell them.

This book brings together a lineup of writing talent worthy of the Hall of Fame and the classic stories they produced for Sports Illustrated over the past 50 years. Many of the writers whose work is collected here are longtime favorites of SI readers (Frank Deford, Rick Reilly, Steve Rushin, Gary Smith). Others are former SI staffers or contributors who left the fold, but not before making an indelible mark on SI's history (Dan Jenkins, Rick Telander, Mark Kram, Roy Blount Jr., William Mack). There are celebrated journalists (A. J. Liebling, Jimmy Breslin, George Plimpton), screenwriters (Budd Schulberg and Kenny Moore), renowned novelists (Thomas McGuane, Pete Dexter, Wallace Stegner, Don DeLillo), and even a couple of Nobel Prize winners in literature (William Faulkner and John Steinbeck).

The stories themselves are a mirror of our times. Included in this volume are accounts of some of the most memorable athletic feats of our era (Secretariat's Belmont victory, the Thrilla in Manila, and Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World). Profiles of the towering athletic figures of our time (Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, Ted Williams and Johnny Unitas). Good guys (Yogi Berra and Harry Caray) and bad guys (Sonny Liston and Mike Tyson). The fast (Roger Bannister) and the faurious (Dick Butkus). The ridiculous (Howard Cosell) and the sublime (Josh Gibson). And the stories that simply touch our hearts and inspire us (Frank Deford's masterpiece on light-heavyweight champ Billy Conn).

This is the very best of the world's best sports magazine -- and it just doesn't get any better than that.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This spirited volume offers more than 50 of the finest selections from America's preeminent sports publication of the past half-century. Frank Deford makes three offerings, including a retrospective look at Billy Conn, who nearly took the heavyweight crown away from Joe Louis, and a tribute to the recently departed Johnny Unitas, "The Best There Ever Was." Among the sharpest essays is one of the magazine's first, Paul O'Neil's gripping look at the dueling sub-four-minute milers, Roger Bannister and John Landy. Also noteworthy are Robert Creamer's exploration of young southpaw Johnny Podres, whose seventh game shutout in the 1955 World Series enabled the Brooklyn Dodgers to best finally their interborough rivals, the New York Yankees. Dan Jenkins provides a captivating look back at the 1960 U.S. Open championship, when an aging Ben Hogan, younger Arnold Palmer, and a still-too-young Jack Nicklaus engaged in a riveting battle down the stretch. This collection also includes literary luminaries such as Schulberg, Liebling, Stegner, DeLillo, Steinbeck, and Faulkner. Leigh Montville delivers a moving farewell to Boston slugger Ted Williams, while George Plimpton presents his notorious article, "The Curious Case of Sid Finch," the story of the greatest major league prospect who never existed. For public libraries.-R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932273069
  • Publisher: Time Home Entertainment, Inc
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 338,283
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
The Boxer and the Blonde 10
Yogi 34
The Last Angry Men 51
The Year, The Moment and Johnny Podres 58
Gifts That God Didn't Give 63
All the Rage 73
The Ring Leader 82
'Lawdy, Lawdy, He's Great' 98
There's Never Been an Open Like It 103
The Day Bobby Hit the Home Run 110
A Pay Night for Old Archie 118
Duel of the Four-Minute Men 121
Finally, Just Me and My Bike 128
You'll Not Do That Here, Laddie 134
The University of Eighth Avenue 151
Sons of the Wind 163
Road Swing 178
Mirror of My Mood 192
Snakes Alive! 201
Pure Heart 210
Grim Reapers of the Land's Bounty 224
We Are Destroying Our National Parks 232
There Ain't No Others Like Me 238
Master of the Joyful Illusion 246
The Coach and His Champion 256
'I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad' 268
Baseball's Babbling Brook 275
Absolutely, Positively the Best Article Ever 286
Ring Tossed 298
We All Had a Ball 308
The Curious Case of Sidd Finch 323
Lake Wobegon Games 335
The Worst Baseball Team Ever 343
On the Winter Tour 352
The Case Against Brian Spencer 362
Total Loss Weekend 372
The Game of the Name 383
Crime and Punishment 387
Broken Promise 409
O Unlucky Man 419
King of the Sports Page 434
Then My Arm Glassed Up 445
The Heavyweight Champion of the Word 451
Would You Let This Man Interview You? 466
Big Wind in Chicago 478
Kentucky: May: Saturday 487
Farewell, Teddy Ballgame 494
The Ripples From Little Lake Nellie 501
The Best Years of His Life 519
He's Burning To Be a Success 530
Laughing on the Outside 542
The Best There Ever Was 554
Acknowledgments 559
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    Wonderful Sports Writing

    This compilation offers its readers a chance to see great, often historic, sports writing by many well-known authors all in one place. It eliminates the need to sift through ten poorly written articles to find one worth reading. You finish one and can't wait to start the next. Truly enjoyable.

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