Sports Biblio

The Imagination Of Sports In Books, History And Culture

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Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 4: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 4 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports.

Sports in American Life, Richard O. Davies, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 4Included in this post are books about the 1967 World Series, a female Olympian’s memoir,  the birth of the Notre Dame-USC rivalry and a lavishly illustrated history of the art of the early years of gridiron football.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, the 1947 World Series and New Zealand’s rugby All-Blacks during World War I. Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 3: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 3 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports.

Ice Bowl '67, Fall 2017 Sports Books 3Included in this post are books about track and field legend Stella Walsh, Ken Dryden’s perspective on the present-day and future NHL, pioneering black golfers, pedaling around the Great Lakes and the 50th anniversary of the Ice Bowl.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, the 1947 World Series and New Zealand’s rugby All-Blacks during World War I. Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports (see Part 1 here).

Chicago Cubs Story of a Curse, Rich Cohen, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2In this post, we’ll examine new baseball books, the memoir of an iconic NFL writer debilitated by multiple strokes, the latest college football exposé, a biography of a Brazilian soccer legend, a year in the life of a cricket photographer and the inaugural season of the National Hockey League.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, Ken Dryden and the future of the NHL and the rise of Major League Soccer. Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 1: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

An authoritative new book on Muhammad Ali—the first full-scale biography of the boxing legend published since his death last year—and sportswriting anthologies above and below the U.S.-Canada border headline fall 2017 sports books Part 1, the first installment in a five-part overview of books published since August and continuing into early November.

Ali A Life, Jonathan Eig, fall 2017 sports books Part 1A total of 50 books are included in this guide, which will cover 10 titles in each post. Among the book subjects examined in this series are Ken Dryden’s look at the NHL in the wake of deadly brain trauma, histories of women in the Olympics, a season with a cricket photographer, the Left Coast of the NBA and the rise of Major League Soccer.

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Revisiting ‘Battle of the Sexes:’ Sports Biblio Digest, 9.24.17

On Friday the heavily anticipated “Battle of the Sexes” film was released, starring Emma Jones and Steven Carell, and is getting generally positive reviews (here, here and here). But most of the treatment of the film is tied to the current American political atmosphere, which is becoming a default media position for just about any subject.

Battle of the SexesFor those of us who remember the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs match in 1973, the cultural dynamics of that evening in Houston (and more importantly, in the weeks leading up to it) cannot be properly treated in a film.

Selena Roberts’ “A Necessary Spectacle,” published in in 2005, is a solid account that puts the political and cultural contexts in a largely proper perspective. Continue reading

The Sensational Rebirth of the Cleveland Indians: Sports Biblio Digest 9.17.17

One of the pleasures of growing up listening to baseball on the radio—rather than watching on television—was constantly thumbing the tuner on my transistor late at night to pick up clear signal stations beaming games from the West Coast.

A Summer to Remember, Cleveland Indians, Lew FreedmanI was supposed to be asleep, of course, as it was lights out at 10 o’clock for me, even in high school, and even in the summers. But the night owl in me improvised an occasional doubleheader that I suspected my mother may have known about, but never mentioned to me once.

After listening to Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson Sr. call an Atlanta Braves game, it was off to the late-night races, depending on who was playing in California: most often, it was the St. Louis Cardinals on KMOX, the Chicago Cubs on WGN and the Cleveland Indians on WWWE. Continue reading

American Football’s Cultural Crossroads: Sports Biblio Digest 9.10.17

The prelude to a new NFL season and its college counterpart has been a familiar one, laced with constant media treatment of American football’s cultural crossroads: Concussions, sexual violence and black activism. Will this be the year public consciousness about them changes?

Violated, Mark Schlach, Paula LavigneSome football books published ahead of the season also drive home these topics, again not a surprising development. Some of these books have become increasingly strident as the football-loving fandom seemingly ignores them.

But are they?

More damning studies of brain disease in retired NFL players, criminal acts by players against women and social protests by African-American stars have become routine (and quite often overdone) storylines. Continue reading

Some Great, Late Summer Sports Reads: Sports Biblio Digest, 8.27.17

It’s very deep into August, with the Labor Day weekend and the kickoff to a new American football season approaching. The stretch run of the baseball season is about to begin, and I find that a hell of a lot more intriguing than just about anything else in sports these days.

Electric October, Kevin CookThe Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing the 100-win mark and Aaron Judge, a big, rangy rookie for the New York Yankees, has a real shot to win the American League MVP.

It was 70 years ago that the Dodgers, then playing in Brooklyn, met the Yankees in a sizzling World Series that’s been recaptured by Kevin Cook in “Electric October,” published Aug. 15. Continue reading

The glory and the tragedy of high school football

In examining high school football in the wake of concerns about concussions and brain trauma in the NFL, sportswriter Kostya Kennedy noted in his 2016 book “Lasting Impact” that while the level of violence on the prep gridiron isn’t the same as it is in the pros—”not by a long shot”—the object of the game is the same:

Lasting Impact, Kostya Kennedy, high school football“Hit and be hit.”

More than a million boys hit, and are hit, in any given season in the United States, still the highest participation rate for any high school sport.

Other sports have concussion rates that rival football—girls soccer is noteworthy among them, given its popularity and perception of being relatively safe to play—and have injury concerns of their own. Continue reading

Boston’s Disquieting History of Baseball and Race: Sports Biblio Digest 8.20.17

Boston’s checkered history involving baseball and race cropped up again this week, just as the Red Sox were poised to pull away in their American League divisional race in a home series against the New York Yankees.

Shut Out, Howard Bryant, Boston, Race and Baseball In the wake of last week’s racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Va., current Red Sox owner John Henry publicly stated he wanted to change the name of Yawkey Way, a short street adjoining Fenway Park, and named after the man whose stewardship of the franchise was known as much for his racist attitudes as its futility on the field.

The issue of race is never far from the surface in Boston. Earlier this year, an ugly fan incident at Fenway Park involving Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles, prompted familiar calls that Boston is “a racist city.”

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