Many think that W C Heinz stands right alongside the legendary New York Times columnist Red Smith as the greatest sports writer of the 1940s and '50s Paving the way for the New Journalism of Gay Talese Tom Wolfe and Jimmy Breslin Heinz was the first sports writer to make his living exclusively by writing for magazines Whether describing mobbed up boxers crippled jockeys lame horses aspiring ballplayers or driven football coaches Heinz's finely etched indelible portraits recall a sports era less influenced by money image and self indulgence He collaborated with Vince Lombardi on the book Run to Daylight cowrote the novel MASH with Dr H Richard Hornberger under the pseudonym Richard Hooker and wrote what Hemingway considered to be the only good novel about a fighter I've ever read The Professional In this collection of Heinz's finest writing we meet the immortal Red Grange the injury riddled purest baseball player of his era Pistol Pete Reiser the greatest pound for pound fighter of all time Sugar Ray Robinson and the Brownsville Bum Bummy Davis in a story that Jimmy Breslin calls the best magazine sports story of all time Here is a long overdue homage to a vastly underappreciated writer

10 thoughts on “What A Time It Was

  1. says:

    If nonfiction is what it says it is then good nonfiction should appeal to me even if the subject doesn't What better test for me than sports writing So far it holds up Heinz had me at the first paragraph It's a funny thing about people People will hate a guy all his life for what he is but the minute he dies for it they make him out a hero and they go around saying that maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all because he sure was willing to go the distance for whatever he believed or whatever he was We'll see if I can make it through an entitre sports writing anthology kidsUpdate Well it's going slowly but I'm still enjoying it The author died on Thursday and reading up on him in the NYT gave me a renewed enthusiasm He wrote MASHFinal update this gets a 4 and not a 5 only because of my own limitations with the subject matter The essay The Ghost of the Gridiron is one of the most incredible personality profiles I have ever read ever Read it fools