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Masters of the Games: Essays and Stories on Sport

Masters of the Games: Essays and Stories on Sport

by Joseph Epstein


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In this collection, his twenty-fifth book, Joseph Epstein departs from writing about literature and culture to indulge his fondness for the world of sport in all its forms. In these essays and stories on such subjects as saving Joe DiMaggio’s reputation from the clutches of an iconoclastic biographer, marveling at the skills of Michael Jordan, shaking free of an addiction to radio sports talk shows, or contemplating the changing nature of the games he grew up with and played as a boy, Epstein turns writing about sports into an art at once penetrating and highly amusing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442236530
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 01/09/2015
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Joseph Epstein is the former editor of The American Scholar. For thirty years he taught English at Northwestern University. His essays, short stories, and reviews have appeared in many magazines, both in America and abroad, among them The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Commentary, and the London Times Literary Supplement. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Obsessed with Sport 1


A Boy's Favorite Author 15

This Sporting Life 31

Confessions of a Low Roller 47

Balls-Up 63

Ep, the Bulls Are Six-Point Dogs 75

The Thrill of Defeat 83

Open Another Can of Quarterback 97

The Old Ball Game 103

Wrigley Field 111

Red Smith 117


Joe DiMaggio: Where'd He Go? 127

Michael Jordan: He Flies through the Air 139

Hank Greenberg: Designated Mensch 149

Bob Love: The Unknown Superstar 155


The Goldin Boys 171

Danny Montoya 195

Out of Action 211

Short Takes

Hats Off 229

A Sartorial Double Fault 233

The Running of the Bulls 237

Best Seat in the House 241

A Super (Yawn) Sunday 245

A Secret Vice 249

Sport Magazine 253

The Agony of Da Feet 257


The Sports Leninist 263

Aren't We Grand? 267

Bored with Baseball? 271

March Sanity 275

The Joy of Not Being There 279

Leave the Kids Alone 283

Don't Hide Your Eyes, Unionize 287

Summing Up

Trivial Pursuits 293

Still Hooked 307

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