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Baseball's Best Short Stories
     

Baseball's Best Short Stories

5.0 1
by Paul D. Staudohar (Editor)
 

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This expanded edition features the best-loved short stories from the 20th century as well as new tales from some of the 21st century’s most iconic names in fiction.

No other sport has inspired as many great writers as baseball has, and this exceptional anthology brings together 34 short stories about the nation’s favorite pastime. The stories span

Overview

This expanded edition features the best-loved short stories from the 20th century as well as new tales from some of the 21st century’s most iconic names in fiction.

No other sport has inspired as many great writers as baseball has, and this exceptional anthology brings together 34 short stories about the nation’s favorite pastime. The stories span several decades and are written by some of America’s favorite writers, including Zane Grey, James Thurber, Robert Penn Warren, T. Coraghessan Boyle, and Michael Chabon, among others. Many of the stories are about the game itself, while others use baseball as a backdrop for timeless themes, such as morality, greed, and love. Eight new stories have been added to this expanded edition and include “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff, in which baseball is the surprising last memory of a dying man; George Plimpton’s “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” a fictional story about a baseball player who throws a 150-mph fastball that was a notorious April Fools’ Day hoax in Sports Illustrated; and Leslie Pietrzyk’s “What We All Want,” about a pitcher’s wife’s concern for her aging husband. This collection is for all baseball lovers—long after the season is over.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"You needn't be a sports fan to enjoy these 34 hugely entertaining tales."  —Reader's Digest

"A thoroughly enjoyable addition to any library, whether or not the original is still on the shelves."  —Booklist

“An exciting collection of some of the best 20th-century writers venturing into some unexpected venues.”  —Arizona Daily Star

"This delightful collection, running from photographic realism to fantasy, is baseball at its best. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but these stories demonstrate that fiction can be truer than fact. If you like baseball, you owe yourself this treat."  —Leonard Koppett, Hall of Fame Sportswriter

“Staudohar has hit it out of the park.”  —Publishers Weekly

"[Baseball's Best Short Stories] brings back a lot of good memories of my playing days. Also, great stories of old-time players."  —Stan Musial, former player for the St. Louis Cardinals

"Baseball fans and those who appreciate its cultural impact will welcome this. Highly recommended."  —Library Journal

"The classic collection for the 21st century . . . Every American home needs a bookcase devoted to baseball literature, from Bernard Malamud's The Natural to Elliot Asinof's Eight Men Out. Make a little more room for this one."  —Creative Loafing Tampa

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781613743768
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2012
Series:
Sporting's Best Short Stories series Series
Edition description:
Expanded edition
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
230,275
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.88(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"You needn't be a sports fan to enjoy these 34 hugely entertaining tales."—Reader's Digest

"A thoroughly enjoyable addition to any library, whether or not the original is still on the shelves." —Booklist

“An exciting collection of some of the best 20th-century writers venturing into some unexpected venues.”  —Arizona Daily Star

"This delightful collection, running from photographic realism to fantasy, is baseball at its best. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but these stories demonstrate that fiction can be truer than fact. If you like baseball, you owe yourself this treat."  —Leonard Koppett, Hall of Fame Sportswriter

“Staudohar has hit it out of the park.”  —Publishers Weekly

"[Baseball's Best Short Stories] brings back a lot of good memories of my playing days. Also, great stories of old-time players."  —Stan Musial

"Baseball fans and those who appreciate its cultural impact will welcome this. Highly recommended."—Library Journal Xpress

"The classic collection for the 21st century...Every American home needs a bookcase devoted to baseball literature, from Bernard Malamud's The Natural to Elliot Asinof's Eight Men Out. Make a little more room for this one."  —Creative Loafing Tampa

Meet the Author


Paul D. Staudohar is the editor of 10 anthologies of short stories including Golf’s Best Short Stories, Hunting’s Best Short Stories, Fishing’s Best Short Stories, Football’s Best Short StoriesMurder Short & Sweet, and The Best Dog Stories.

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Baseball's Best Short Stories (Sporting's Best Short Stories Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
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.