Baseball and Lesser Sports

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9780060165314: Baseball and Lesser Sports

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From Publishers Weekly:

Sheed's collection of essays on sport, although mostly, passionately, on baseball, is yet another happily obsessive contribution to the game's literary pedigree. Born in England, Sheed arrived in this country in 1941 at the age of 10, just in time to become a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and have his heart broken as the team lost the World Series to the Yankees. He has since recovered and his writing is a tonic for the heartbreaks that baseball and other sports serve up regularly. Lucid, funny and keenly perceptive, these essays (originally written for the New York Review of Books as well as for the sporting press) range wide, discussing not only the state of baseball but the allure of the minor leagues, Sheed's new status as a Mets fan, profiles of Hall of Famers like Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson, and the lifetime banishment of Shoeless Joe Jackson--well-trod topics but rendered fresh by briskly intelligent writing. The author carries on a lively discussion of baseball books, dissecting the works of such fellow intellectual baseball nuts as David Halberstam and George Will as well as memoirs by retired players, including Dick Allen and Hank Greenberg. Sheed writes just as memorably on boxing, football, tennis--even cricket--but baseball is clearly his hangup of choice.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Thirty years' worth of Sheed's shining sports essays, harvested from sources as diverse as The New York Review of Books and TV Guide. As the title indicates, about half of the nearly 40 pieces here deal with the author's first love, baseball, with several more devoted to sportswriting and a few covering football, cricket, golf, tennis, soccer, and boxing--including ``The Anti- Boxer Revolution,'' Sheed's reasoned defense of that sport (``Danger and beauty are not incompatible''). Throughout--in essays on the baseball strike of 1980, Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson, the Hall of Fame (put in Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose, Sheed argues), Howard Cosell (this roasting subtitled ``A Riddle Wrapped Up in a So-Called, Self-Appointed Enigma''), violence in football- -the author's good-humored, critically astute caring for sports persuades you of the truth of his introductory comment: ``Baseball and other sports are alternatives to life, stories we tell ourselves to take our minds off life but also to add something to it, as art does.'' And as Sheed's artful sportswriting does, too. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Sheed, Wilfrid
Published by Harpercollins (1991)
ISBN 10: 0060165316 ISBN 13: 9780060165314
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