Farewell to Sport


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For fourteen years during the golden age of sports, Paul Gallico was one of America’s ace sportswriters. He saw them all-the stars and the hams, the immortals and the phonies in boxing, wrestling, baseball, football, golf, tennis, and every other field of muscular endeavor in which men and women try to break hearts and necks for cash or glory. Then in 1937, at the height of his game (and the height of the payroll), Gallico suddenly and famously called it quits and left the New York Daily News. But before he departed the world of sports, he left his legions of fans one last hurrah: a collection of his best sports essays called, appropriately, Farewell to Sport. Here, in twenty-six chapters, every major and minor sport is covered. Included are sketches of Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Tex Rickard, and Jack Sharkey, written in an accessible, conversational style. Often credited with creating “participatory journalism,” Gallico would play golf with Bobby Jones, catch Major League pitcher Dizzy Dean’s fastball, swim with Johnny Weissmuller, play tennis with Helen Wills, catch passes from quarterback Benny Friedman, and box with Jack Dempsey (he lasted one minute, thirty-seven seconds). Paul Gallico (1897-1976) is best known now as the author of The Poseidon Adventure, which was made into a movie along with several other works of his. His first novel, Snow Goose, has been in print continuously since 1941. Zachary Michael Jack is the editor of Inside the Ropes: Sportswriters Get Their Game On (Nebraska 2008).


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