Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I’m nursing a hangover.

Once you start reading Red Smith, you can’t stop.

I awoke to stacks of books around my bed: Out of the Red, The Best of Red Smith, No Cheering in the Press Box, To Absent Friends, The Red Smith Reader, Press Box: Red Smith's Favorite Sports Stories and Red Smith on Baseball: The Game’s Greatest Writer on the Game’s Greatest Years.

Tangled in the sheets was my favorite: Strawberries in the Wintertime. The perfect title for a cold night.

Smith covers: Enos Slaughter’s mad dash, Bill Bevens’ near no-hitter and Bobby Thomson’s home run.

He captures: Jackie, Stan The Man, Teddy Ballgame, Joe D., Campy, Yogi, Willie, Mickey and The Duke.

He paints: the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium in classic black and white.

He teaches: what you should take from the game.

"Sports is the real world," Smith writes. "The people we cover, they're suffering, living and dying, loving and trying to make their way through life just as bricklayers and politicians are."

Back to the stacks.

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