Fidel Castro’s impact on Cuban sports was among the topics of discussion in the wake of his death Friday at the age of 90, as retrospectives poured in about “The Last Cold Warrior,” and his legacy on his country and global affairs.
Injecting sports into his country’s Communist identity was one of Castro’s initial and enduring actions, affecting far more than his beloved béisbol.
In his 2015 book “The Domino Diaries” (Sports Biblio review here), author Brin-Jonathan Butler wrote:
“Sport wasn’t an opium for those people; their culture was an opium for sport.” Continue reading
One of the great joys of doing this blog and newsletter is hearing from authors as well as readers. As another Thanksgiving holiday approaches in the United States, I want to thank all of you for reading, subscribing and getting in touch.
This is a passion project, and I’m grateful I get to do this every week. Lately I’ve been limited with my Sports Biblio project, as I’ve taken on several freelance assignments. I have a number of blog posts lined up that I will be publishing soon, an assortment of book reviews and book-related topics that are long overdue.
I’ve been very thankful to hear from authors offering to send me copies of their book, and recently I got a couple of very nice surprises. Continue reading
There’s no over-arching theme to this week’s newsletter, but so many great longform and magazine pieces to share—a few good autumn reads, to repeat the headline. Some are seasonal and topical, fitting the rhythms of the fall that’s finally arrived here in North America; others are not.
I think of this as a dip into serendipity, and if you see anything that you’d like to share here, please let me know. Reader contributions are always welcome! Several books I’ve been reading will be reviewed here soon, and some meatier topics I’ve wanted to explore are also on the horizon.
My friend Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News wrote of his nephew, who’s winding down his final season of Division III—non-scholarship—football at Ferrum College in Michigan:
When Arnold Palmer died last month, the finishing touches were being made for what had long been planned to be his final book.
In “A Life Well Played,” published Tuesday by St. Martin’s Press, Palmer admits he never cared for the nickname “The King,” long bestowed on him by fans, writers and his legions of gallery admirers, “Arnie’s Army.”
In a statement issued by St. Martin’s upon the release of the audiobook version, Palmer said his final book was difficult for several reasons: Continue reading
Sportswriters take center stage in this proudly Trump-free issue of the digest, along with other great reads about sports books, history and culture:
- a novelist, Richard Ford, who wrote a book about a sportswriter that is about so much more;
- a nonagenarian baseball writer, Roger Angell, with a wondrous gift for the language that puts far younger sportswriters to shame;
- a tribute to George Plimpton, and occasional sportswriter;
- a sportswriter who invented a newspaper to write for;
- sportswriters who labored during the golden age of their craft, when baseball was triumphant;
- sportswriters who are gathering for a festival of their own in Australia;
- and an acclaimed sportswriter in his prime, with a fond remembrance of a friend he believes ought to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
When Kevin Garnett jumped from high school straight to the National Basketball Association in 1995, he was the first prep star to be drafted directly into the league in 20 years.
At the time, basketball officials, educators and journalists were having a serious debate about what such a trend might portend, given the salary riches of a league made bountiful by Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson and others who didn’t finish their college careers.
But at least they had college careers, a little seasoning before entering the unforgiving world of the pros. Continue reading