Games We Used to Play CL

Roger Kahn, Author
Roger Kahn, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $21.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-395-59351-6
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In these essays, written between 1954 and 1990, the author of The Boys of Summer reinforces his reputation as a master with the pen and a generous-hearted observer of athletes and their games. He pays warm tribute to his special heroes, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris and Carl Furillo, along with those he particularly admired in the press box, John Lardner and Red Smith. Kahn esteems as well football lineman Merlin Olsen, hockey goalie Glenn Hall, cager Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, outfielder Mickey Mantle and boxing promoter Don King, anathema to many. The last piece, ``Story Without a Hero,'' about Pete Rose, lacks the elegiac tone of the other essays and suggests that, although the ballplayer was a flawed person, so was his adversary, baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti, who presided over the Rose gambling investigation in 1989 that banned the player from the game for life. Kahn also makes scathing remarks about the handling of the book Rose and he wrote together, My Story , by its publisher, Macmillan. A fine anthology. (Feb.)
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