cover image The Best American Sports Writing 2020

The Best American Sports Writing 2020

Edited by Jackie MacMullan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-35819-699-0

This, the final planned entry to the Best American Sports Writing series, sends the lauded annual anthologies out on a high note after a 25-year run. “The most compelling stories are ones we can feel and touch and imagine, without much difficulty, that we are there,” MacMullan writes. Three particularly memorable stories mark this installment: In “For People Suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Baseball Brings Back Fun Memories” by Bill Plaschke, elderly Alzheimer’s patients trade baseball tales as therapy; “As the Border Bled, Juárez Watched the Game It Waited Nine Years For” by Roberto José Andrade Franco relates a soccer club’s revival in one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities; and “Shooting a Tiger” by Bryan Burrough follows the bloody hunt for a man-eating tiger in India. Along with well-detailed accounts of sports concussions and heatstroke, there is “Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?” by Elizabeth Weil, a revealing profile of the tennis great, and “Patriot Act” by May Jeong, a blistering exposé of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. This final, sparkling outing is a must-read for all sports lovers. (Nov.)