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The Best American Series®First, Best, and Best-SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. The Best American Sports Writing 2011 includesPaul Solotaroff, Sally Jenkins, Wells Tower, John McPhee, David Dobbs, Wright Thompson, P. J. O'Rourke, Selena Roberts, and others
Jane Leavy, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, returns with a biography of an American original-number 7, Mickey Mantle. Drawing on more than five hundred interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents, she delivers the definitive account of Mantle's life, mining the mythology of The Mick for the true story of a luminous and illustrious talent with an achingly damaged soul. Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author's weekend with The Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983, after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences from friends and family of the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League's Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth's home run crown in the summer of 1961-the same boy who would never grow up. As she did so memorably in her biography of Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy transcends the hyperbole of hero worship to reveal the man behind the coast-to-coast smile, who grappled with a wrenching childhood, crippling injuries, and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. In The Last Boy she chronicles her search to find out more about the person he was and, given what she discovers, to explain his mystifying hold on a generation of baseball fans, who were seduced by that lopsided, gap-toothed grin. It is an uncommon biography, with literary overtones: not only a portrait of an icon, but an investigation of memory itself. How long was the Tape Measure Home Run? Did Mantle swing the same way right-handed and left-handed? What really happened to his knee in the 1951 World Series? What happened to the red-haired, freckle-faced boy known back home as Mickey Charles? "I believe in memory, not memorabilia," Leavy writes in her preface. But in The Last Boy, she discovers that what we remember of our heroes-and even what they remember of themselves-is only where the story begins.
In an era when too many heroes have been toppled from too many pedestals, Sandy Koufax stands apart and alone, a legend who declined his own celebrity.
Inspired by the author's career as a sportswriter for the Washington Post, Squeeze Play tells the story of female reporter A. B. Berkowitz, who is assigned to cover the men of the Washington Senators -- the worst team in major league baseball. Life in the locker room shows her not just the players'...um...assets but also their all-too-human frailties. Love for the game and love for the newspaper business are the stars in this hilarious and heartbreaking novel that "will have you singing a rousing chorus of 'Take Me Out to the Locker Room'"(People).
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