Guys, Dolls, and Curveballs

Damon Runyon on Baseball

By Jim Reisler (Editor)
(Da Capo Press, Paperback, 9780786715404, 336pp.)

Publication Date: February 2005

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Guys, Dolls, and Curveballs is a delightful collection of ballpark dispatches from one of the game's most unique chroniclers—Damon Runyon, the legendary reporter and creator of such mythic gangster icons as Nathan Detroit and the Lemon Drop Kid. Best known as the bard of Broadway for turning two-bit hustlers and deadbeat horseplayers of Jazz Age New York City into literary legend, Runyon was first and foremost a newspaperman. After arriving in New York from Colorado in 1911, Runyon went to work for Hearst News Service as a baseball beat writer. It was at the ballpark that he honed his legendary skills for finding the story where no one else bothered to look. A master wordsmith, Runyon covered giants of the era such as Ty Cobb, and a Boston Red Sox pitcher named Babe Ruth. In addition, he brought an influential style to observing the rituals and rhythms of the ballpark, wryly commenting on everything from the gamblers and bookies doing business to the particular style of hat worn by a woman in the crowd. Editor Jim Reisler collects Runyon's writings on every facet of the game, making this a unique and indispensable look at our beloved pastime.

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