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Monday, May 21st, 2001


The Best American Sports Writing of the Century

by David Halberstam

A review by Dave Weich

I first intended to give this book to a friend for his birthday, but after bringing it home for a night I realized I wanted it for myself, too. For starters, Roger Angell (in my opinion, the best baseball writer alive) is here, writing an essay I hadn't read about troubled pitcher Steve Blass. John Updike, also, writing about Ted Williams, and Gay Talese on Joe DiMaggio. But there's so much more than baseball in these nearly eight hundred pages. John McPhee on tennis. Norman Mailer on Muhammad Ali. Golf, football, hockey, fly-fishing, chess, mountaineering, horse racing, and more. No single collection could hope to provide a comprehensive picture of 100 years of sports and this one fails to honor the role of the century's many pioneering female athletes but taken piece by piece, you're unlikely to find more great sports writing under any one cover, anywhere.

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