Fall classics: the best writing about the World Series' first 100 years
Long before there was the Super Bowl, the NBA Championship, the Final Four, or the World Cup, there was the World Series. In the beginning, men in derbies sat in the outfield and marveled at Mathewson and McGraw. Today, fans congregate in sports bars, staring at screens big enough to see which players have shaved that day. For a century, the World Series has captured the nationís imagination. The drama has included Willie Maysís catch, of course, and Reggie Jacksonís home runs, and the gratifying day when Walter Johnson finally won. But the plot lines have also featured the audacious fixing of the 1919 Series and the unlikely heroics of various journeymen never much heard of before the span of a few brilliant autumn days, and never much heard of since. There has been one perfect game. There have been any number of perfectly inexplicable managerial decisions, not all of them made by managers of the Red Sox. There has been drama, comedy, and pathos. Fall Classics is a collection of the best writing about the World Series in its first hundred years. Certainly it is a kind of history of the event. It is also a catalog of the work of some of the most accomplished and entertaining writers of the past century, since the World Series has drawn to itself not only our best sports scribblers, but many writers who wouldnít have dreamed of writing about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Final Four, or even the Super Bowl. Here youíll find Jimmy Breslin telling Damon Runyonís fantastic story of how he got the scoop on where Grover Cleveland Alexander spent the first innings of a seventh game he eventually won. (Hint: It wasnít the bullpen.) Satchel Paige recalls his experience of finally getting to pitch in the Series in 1948. Red Smith writes about Willie Maysís last hurrah with the Mets in 1973 against the Aís. And Peter Gammons and Roger Angell give their takes on the two most famous game sixes of all, Gammons on 1975 and Angell on 1986. The games and the memories go on. For every fan whose heart yearns for a bleacher seat, a ballpark frank, and a slice of October Americana, Fall Classics is a treasure.
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1919 World Series American League Athletics Babe Babe Ruth base base on balls baseball baseman batter beat bench Biancalana Bill bleachers Boston Brooklyn Buck Leonard bunt Cardinals Casey Stengel catch catcher championship Christy Mathewson Clemens club clubhouse Collins crowd Cubs Dodgers dugout eighth fans fastball Felsch fielder final foul Frisch Gandil Giants Gibson going Groh grounder guys Heinie hitter home run homer infield Irish Meusel Jack Sanford Jackson Johnson Josh left field looked Mathewson Matty McGraw Medwick Mets Meusel National League never ninth outfield park pitch pitcher plate players Red Sox Reprinted by permission right field runner Ruth Sal Maglie Satchel score season single sixth game Snodgrass strike thing third threw throw Tigers Tommy took umpire victory walked wanted Weaver White Sox Willie Yankee Stadium yelled York York Yankees Young