Red Smith on Baseball: The Game's Greatest Writer on the Game's Greatest Years

Red Smith, Author, Ira Berkow, Foreword by Ivan R. Dee Publisher $24.95 (363p) ISBN 978-1-56663-289-8
The Trojan War had Homer. Baseball had Red Smith. Through his unmatched diction, allusions and irony, through his penetrating observations and well-considered opinions, through a style verging on poetic--Smith turned the everyday drama that is the game into beautiful, enduring art. This magnificent collection of selected columns showcases some of baseball's mythic figures, revealing that it was Red Smith who helped give them their legendary status. Standouts include pieces on Joe DiMaggio, Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel (whom Smith clearly enjoyed listening to) and Bill Veeck Jr., baseball's greatest promoter. Smith's essays on Bobby Thomson's ""shot heard 'round the world,"" Mickey Mantle's first game and Don Larsen's no-hit pitching in the 1956 World Series are all worthy of memorization, and his trenchant views on the reserve clause and the night World Series games are strikes down the middle. As a bonus, the collection offers readers a fascinating look at how baseball writing has changed over the years, as have American attitudes. By the end, for example, women are no longer referred to as ""tomatoes,"" and ""coloreds"" have become ""blacks."" A majority of the essays deal with the three great New York teams and the St. Louis Cardinals, but this should in no way prevent any baseball fan from enjoying this book. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Paperback - 363 pages - 978-1-56663-415-1
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