What a delightful book as we weave our way through the sportswriting career of Roger Kahn. He has written so much in the previous sixty years and now he is sharing his work with those of us that never got to read it. He has over 55 articles included that go back to the 1950’s. This collection of stories have been in the New York Times, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated among other top journalistic publications.
He interviewed so many people involved in sports including Don King in boxing, Walter O’Malley the baseball executive, and a host of many different sports. Stories and interviews with Ted Williams, Guy Lefleur, and Clem Labine. He discusses issues of money, organizational failures, racism, and stories that stir the imagination.
Since we can’t tell you all of them in this review, let me share a few about Stan Musial since I am a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. Back in the early days of Stan’s career, he was a good player but people raved about what a fantastic person he was. The story tells hos Musial and others would try to go to lunch before a game. Stan would try to read a newspaper which was in front of his face. Despite that, people would stop by and ask for an autograph and he would never say no. He would, at times. have to put his eating utensils and sign for fans. Others asked for a picture and from time to time fans just wanted to converse. All the while it was his lunch and he tried to eat. Always Stan Musial allowed it to happen.
The stories go on and on. This was a wonderful book and is highly recommended as it should be on every sports fans bookshelf for easy reading.
I would like to thank the University of Nebraska Press for sending the book in exchange for a fair and honest book review.