Ol' Diz: A Biography of Dizzy Dean

Vince Staten, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.5 (326p) ISBN 978-0-06-016514-7
It is curious that after decades of neglect, Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean (1910-1974) should be the subject of two biographies in the same month. Robert Gregory's Diz (Nonfiction Forecasts, Nov. 29), although it does not neglect the colorful side of the athlete and broadcaster, takes a more conventional approach, while the book in hand is anecdotal. Staten ( Unauthorized America ) tries to identify the apocryphal stories, many the result of sportswriters' imaginations, but he relates them nevertheless. The result is a singularly readable account which includes Dizzy's accurate prophetic boast that he and brother Paul would win at least 45 games for the Cardinals in 1934 as well as his response to criticism of his grammar by English teachers: ``Lots of people who ain't sayin' `ain't' ain't eatin'.'' Never a dull moment. Appendixes include a glossary of Dean's unique usages and neologisms. Photos not seen by PW . (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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