Happy 80th Birthday, Pelé

By David Hirshey Eight by Eight October, 2020 Greatness takes a physical toll on all those who achieve it. So it is a testament to Pelé’s courage and indomitable will that this month he will mark eight decades on the world stage after years of being battered by the...

Yogi

By Alex Belth SI.com September 23, 2015 Yogi. It’s hard not to smile when you hear his name. You might think of his goofy mug, with the crooked smile that looked as if it had been ripped from the funny pages. Then there’s the oddly-shaped wrestler’s body—squat torso,...

A Place to Heal

By Marilyn Johnson Life June, 1995 Justin Simpson is six years old and playing with a long plastic bat when two strangers pull up to the curb in front of his grandparents’ house. He scowls. Who are these guys? It’s the photographer and his assistant. They get out of...

Terry Cannon: The Great Enthusiast

By John Schulian The Stacks Reader August 4, 2020 By its name alone, the Baseball Reliquary was unique, for who besides those taught by knuckle-rapping nuns knew what a reliquary was? (Answer: a receptacle for storing religious artifacts.) Right there you have your...

A Hollow Venue

By Steve Oney New York July 29, 1996 The most telling news to come out of Atlanta during the days leading up to the opening ceremonies of the centennial Olympic Games had nothing to do with the erection of a 165-foot-tall statue of a Coca-Cola bottle—in a city of...

Damn Black Sox

By Bruce Buschel GQ June 1988 It is World Series weather in Indianapolis. Thirty-five degrees. Charlie Sheen is dancing around center field, trying to warm up. He is worried about his arm tightening up before the big throw. He worries whenever he can. He worries about...

Nice Guys Finish First

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader June 18, 2020 The spotlight never seemed to find Bill Gildea, but he was one of the best whether it was in sports or Style at the Washington Post. He was quiet, slyly funny and as good a guy as  you could hope to meet. On a staff full...

Steve Dalkowski

By Ron Shelton From Cult Baseball Players 1990 It was a groundskeeper in Stockton who first told me about Steve Dalkowski, the fastest pitcher of all time. Dalko once threw the ball through the wooden boards of the right-field fence, he said. The groundskeeper studied...

Seven Scenes From The Life of A Quiet Champ

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports June, 1980 “I don’t ever want to fight Ali. Ali’s a legend, I’m hoping he retires. It would be a lot of money [for an Ali fight], but money isn’t everything. When Ali dies, people going to remember him being more than a fighter…”  ...

Dumb Broad at a Dumb Fight

By Shana Alexander Life June 4, 1965 Although until last week I had never personally attended a prize fight, I knew what I expected to see. The boxers’ glistening, circling bodies and the hoarse roar of the crowd had become familiar to me through years of exposure to...

Where Have You Gone, Mickey Mantle?

By Bruce Buschel Atlantic City Magazine April, 1984 You smell hot dogs and beer. You feel the anticipation. Men sport bright caps with fancy insignias. Women wear shiny team jackets two sizes too large. Kids struggle with long leather mitts. They hand over their...

Down and Out in the Minor Leagues

By J. Anthony Lukas Harper’s June 1968 “Ladies and gentlemen, we regret there will be no national anthem tonight,” the public address system announced to 159 ladies and gentlemen and about 9,841 empty seats in Knoxville’s Billy Meyer (pronounced Billa Maahr) Stadium...