The Best American Sports Writing 1994

Tom Boswell, Editor, Glenn Stout, Editor, Thomas Boswell, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $11.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-63325-0
In his introduction, Boswell ranks Bruce Buschel's article ``Lips Get Smacked'' his favorite piece of sports writing this year. As with many of the selections, Buschel's intelligent, masterful, devastating profile of the Philadelphia Phillies' Lenny Dykstra at a Las Vegas baccarat table is simply brilliant writing that happens to be about an athlete. Fourth in a series, the 25 ``best'' selections range widely, covering fishing as well as horse racing; Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and late great tennis star Arthur Ashe. Although many of the pieces come from Sports Illustrated and the New Yorker, others, like Davis Miller's profile of Muhammad Ali, which appeared in Tropic magazine, are from smaller publications. (Ali says of his Parkinson's syndrome, ``God gives people trials. It's His way of keepin' me humble.'') Other intriguing entries include Mark Kram Jr.'s ``The World Is Her Cloister'' about Villanova basketball all-American Shelly Pennefather, who entered a convent of Poor Clares, and ``Get a Load of Me!,'' John Ed Bradley's piece about the seemingly forgotten James Buster Douglas, ``the only person on this planet ever to beat Mike Tyson as a professional.'' Boswell's nimble and nostalgic introduction recalls when ``Nobody thought sports writing was a steppingstone toward a TV career,'' but whatever the writers' ultimate purpose, readers will enjoy what they have accomplished in this collection. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-395-63326-7
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