These are some of my all-time favorite stories and are must-reads for any sports journalist. This will, of course, be a running list.
Her Blue Haven, Bill Plaschke, L.A. Times
Courageous people make me jealous. They make me cry. But at some point, they have also made me numb.
Then I read the part about her working 55 hours a week. Goodness. This woman didn’t only follow the Dodgers, she covered them like a newspaper reporter.
But for whom? Sarah called her Web site “Dodger Place.” I searched for it, and found nothing. I checked all the Dodger search links, and found nothing.
Death of a Racehorse, W.C. Heinz, The Sun
“Air Lift,” Jim Roach said. “Full brother of Assault.”
King of the Sports Page by Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated
The thing about Jim Murray is that he lived “happily,” but somebody ran off with his “ever after.” It’s like the guy who’s ahead all night at poker and then ends up bumming cab money home. Or the champ who’s untouched for 14 rounds and then gets KO’d by a pool-hall left you could see coming from Toledo.
Murray is a 750-word column, and 600 of those are laughs and toasts. How many sportswriters do you know who once tossed them back with Bogie? Wined and dined Marilyn Monroe? Got mail from Brando? How many ever got mentioned in a governor’s state of the state address? Flew in Air Force One?
How big is Murray? One time he couldn’t make an awards dinner so he had a sub—Bob Hope.
Chasing Jose by Pat Jordan
Today, Jose is not only less interesting, but also broke. Which is why his second tome, “Vindicated,” is so important to him. It is his last chance in life to forestall, for a few more years anyway, that looming downward spiral of his life when he will be forced to confront his future as an official greeter at that San Fernando Valley Strip Club.
New Life at the Plate by Dave Sheinin, Washington Post
The Devil and the Son of God are waging war from opposite corners of Josh Hamilton’s body.
As he guides his Chevy Tahoe out of the driveway of his rental house and onto Interstate 75, for a 45-minute drive that just so happens to weave through a minefield of ugly memories, Hamilton, the Cincinnati Reds’ newest outfielder, rests his once-prized left arm on the door, and suddenly the Devil’s menacing face appears, etched in dark ink into the skin in the crook of Hamilton’s elbow.
Making Up for Lost Time by Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated
I should have nominated him for being a three-time state qualifier and holding most all individual scoring records at his high school.
I should have sent in many of his wrestling accomplishments … but I’m having trouble remembering everything.
This young man was my very best friend. We were golfing partners for 16 years. You see, this young man was my son.
He was killed in a motorcycle accident.