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...

I Was a Champion

By Floyd Patterson The American Weekly May 15, 1960 (as told to W.C. Heinz) For almost a whole year I’ve seen it day and night, maybe a thousand times. Me and Ingemar Johansson boxing and Johansson sticking out that left jab and me ducking under it, and then I’m down...

R.I.P. The Best American Sports Writing

By Kevin Koczwara The Stacks Reader February 2, 2020 The calm and quiet of upstate Vermont—past Burlington and Winooski, almost to the border of sleepy Canada, but before Montreal—is where Glenn Stout calls home. The world stops there. Or so it seems. The pace of life...

The Education of Jim Craig

By Pete Dexter Playboy February 1983 In the afternoon, the wind changes and the color of the water changes with it, darkens and takes a bigger bite. In the afternoon, it could be a different ocean. Above that, the moon and the gulls are floating, pale and timeless...