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The Best American Sports Writing 1994 Hardcover – November 3, 1994

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his introduction, Boswell ranks Bruce Buschel's article "Lips Get Smacked" his favorite piece of sports writing this year. As with many of the selections, Buschel's intelligent, masterful, devastating profile of the Philadelphia Phillies' Lenny Dykstra at a Las Vegas baccarat table is simply brilliant writing that happens to be about an athlete. Fourth in a series, the 25 "best" selections range widely, covering fishing as well as horse racing; Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and late great tennis star Arthur Ashe. Although many of the pieces come from Sports Illustrated and the New Yorker, others, like Davis Miller's profile of Muhammad Ali, which appeared in Tropic magazine, are from smaller publications. (Ali says of his Parkinson's syndrome, "God gives people trials. It's His way of keepin' me humble.") Other intriguing entries include Mark Kram Jr.'s "The World Is Her Cloister" about Villanova basketball all-American Shelly Pennefather, who entered a convent of Poor Clares, and "Get a Load of Me!," John Ed Bradley's piece about the seemingly forgotten James Buster Douglas, "the only person on this planet ever to beat Mike Tyson as a professional." Boswell's nimble and nostalgic introduction recalls when "Nobody thought sports writing was a steppingstone toward a TV career," but whatever the writers' ultimate purpose, readers will enjoy what they have accomplished in this collection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Remember those halcyon days of sports, way back in 1993? There was a complete baseball season; Tonya and Nancy were known only by figure-skating aficionados; Michael Jordan was on the court, and O. J. Simpson was nowhere near one. Perhaps 1993's sports world lacked the tabloid punch of this year's version, but as Tom Boswell's new entry in this four-year-old series shows, good sports writing doesn't require bad soap opera. The 25 entries collected here, all of which appeared in print during 1993, cover everything from surfing in Alaska to a college basketball all-American who renounced the world to become a cloistered nun. Along the way, we get a wistful look at the current life of Muhammad Ali, a devastating profile of baseball player and gambler Len Dykstra, George Plimpton's look at fishing along the FDR Highway in Manhattan, and an appreciation of Chuck Bednarik, the last 60-minute man in the NFL. None of the entries, though, is quite as interesting as Boswell's introduction, which discusses the changes in sports writing over the past quarter century. This is an excellent anthology, and it should find a home in all popular collections. George Needham

Product Details

  • Series: Best American Sports Writing
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1St Edition edition (November 3, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395633265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395633267
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After making his mark in sportswriting and Hollywood, John Schulian has shifted gears and written his first novel, the noirish "A Better Goodbye." It's the tale of lost souls in rarely-seen precincts of Los Angeles, a melting pot stirred by a tragedy-haunted boxer, a college girl moonlighting as a sensual masseuse, a failed actor turned pimp, and a prison-hardened sociopath. "Goodbye" marks the latest turn in the career of the L.A.-born and Salt Lake City-reared Schulian. Before establishing himself as a nationally-syndicated sports columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, he was a copy editor at the Salt Lake Tribune, a cityside reporter and pop music columnist at the Baltimore Evening Sun, and a sports writer at the Washington Post. He moved to Chicago in 1977 as a sports columnist at that city's Daily News. When the paper folded 13 months later, he shifted to the Sun-Times, where he won a National Headliner Award in 1979, was regularly in included in E.P. Dutton's annual "Best Sports Stories" anthology, and published a highly-regarded collection of his boxing writing, "Writers' Fighters and Other Sweet Scientists." Rupert Murdoch purchased the Sun-Times in 1984 and Schulian left less than six months later after a dust-up with one of Murdoch's editors. He landed at the Philadelphia Daily News long enough to win the 1985 Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism, and then took off for Hollywood at the invitation of Steven Bochco, creator of "Hill Street Blues." Schulian broke into TV with an "L.A. Law" script and moved on to work on the writing staffs of "Miami Vice," "The 'Slap' Maxwell Story," and "Wiseguy." He was a writer-producer on "Midnight Caller," "Reasonable Doubts," and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" before he struck gold as a co-creator of "Xena: Warrior Princess," which became, for a while, the world's foremost syndicated TV series. Schulian later wrote and produced such series as "JAG," "Outer Limits," and "Tremors" while keeping his hand in the printed word. A collection of his baseball writing, "Twilight of the Long-ball Gods," was published in 2005, followed six years later by "Sometimes They Even Shook Your Hand," a gathering of his best work on all sports. He has written for Sports Illustrated, GQ, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American, Inside Sports, Sport, Playboy, Deadspin, and msnbc.com. His journalism has been anthologized in "The Best American Sports Writing," "Reading the Fights," "Sports Classics," "Sports Illustrated's 50 Years of Great Writing," and "Sports Illustrated's Great Football Writing." He has also had short stories published in the Prague Revue and on the websites Thuglit and The Classical. Schulian is the editor of "The John Lardner Reader" and co-editor, with George Kimball, of two anthologies, "At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing" and "The Fighter Still Remains: A Celebration of Boxing in Poetry and Song from Ali to Zevon." His novel, "A Better Goodbye," was published in December 2015. He is presently at work on another one. You can keep track of how he's doing at www.johnschulian.com.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I recently (in 1997) read the 1993 and 1994 books of this series, and am anxious to get copies of the others.

A problem with putting a year in the title of a book is that it makes the book seem dated and maybe no longer of interest. Don't be misled by that notion. This is good stuff and just as intersting now as when it was published.

Also, I find myself recommending many of the pieces to people who are not necessarily interested in sports. Appreciation of the material is independent of whether you care about sports. It's all very good writing about interesting people.
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