The "Average Professional Baseball Player" Who Changed Sportswriting

Jim Brosnan, the pitcher whose book about his 1959 season offered an uncommonly candid look at life within baseball, died last month at the age of 84. In 2007, Brosnan was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals. Writer John Schulian gave the following speech on Brosnan's behalf. » 7/07/14 5:55pm 7/07/14 5:55pm

Legendary Shark Puncher Louis Zamperini Dies

Louis Zamperini died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 97. You may remember Zamperini from Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling biography of him, Unbroken, which everyone read and then yelled at you to go read. There are many completely insane things that happen in Unbroken. Zamperini becomes a famous collegiate track star… » 7/03/14 3:25pm 7/03/14 3:25pm

L.C. Greenwood: The Smiling Badass Of The NFL's Baddest Front Four

The Steelers of the 1970s had the scowl of Mean Joe Greene and the gap where Jack Lambert's four front teeth should've been. But there was nothing quite like the menace presented by the smiling L.C. Greenwood, who died Sunday of kidney failure at the age of 67. A smile on that front line was like a fresh rose on a… » 10/01/13 4:26pm 10/01/13 4:26pm

Nostalgia Done Right: The Family Ties Creator Who Gave Me A Shot

In the summer of 1991, I was sitting next to my sister in the back seat of my parents' Toyota Previa, reading a book about Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World." We were driving across country because my parents were afraid to fly, Hopewell Junction, N.Y., to Los Angeles, California, where I was going to… » 6/29/13 4:33pm 6/29/13 4:33pm

Fare Thee Well, Carlos Marmol And Your Extreme Aversion To Contact

Every baseball team has its pitcher—generally a reliever—who could really be something if he someday put it all together. He invariably has a big fastball, and a secondary pitch that toggles between "unhittable" and "so hittable it might as well have been tossed underhand by Coach Fred at little-league practice." He… » 6/25/13 2:25pm 6/25/13 2:25pm

Pat Summerall: The Last Of The Hard Voices

At my gym the other day, half of the television screens were showing an episode of Dr. Phil. You don't need me to tell you that Dr. Phil sucks, so I grabbed a magazine and went about the business of not looking at his big stupid head. But then I saw Pat Summerall in the studio with him and suddenly I couldn't look… » 4/17/13 12:30pm 4/17/13 12:30pm

Jerry Buss, Surrounded By Boobs: A Tribute To The Greatest NBA Owner…

Jerry Buss died today. The 80-year-old was arguably the greatest NBA owner in the history of the league. He was also a world-class Playmate aficionado who frequently dated teenage girls and used to host his birthday party at a brothel. To put it in more appropriate obituary terms, the man was "known for his eye for… » 2/18/13 5:35pm 2/18/13 5:35pm

This Guy Died In 2012: Lonesome George, The Last Of His Kind

What's your greatest fear? There's a very good chance you said "dying alone," because that's pretty much the worst way to end a life. No legacy, no testament to the things you've accomplished, no hope that anything you've done will outlive you. Very few of us die as alone as Lonesome George, who passed away this… » 12/31/12 4:35pm 12/31/12 4:35pm

This Guy Died In 2012: Norman Sas, The Brains (Bzzz) Behind (Bzzz)…

Before fantasy football, before Madden NFL, before even Tecmo Bowl, there was Electric Football, the wonderfully aggravating tabletop game that sent players scurrying aimlessly (so it seemed) about a miniature metal field. Powered by a small motor—and subject only to the whims of metallic vibration—this pastime was an… » 12/28/12 3:55pm 12/28/12 3:55pm

Marvin Miller, The Man Who Beat Some Sense Into Baseball

He was in the phone book. That's the thing that always got me about Marvin Miller, the former head of the MLB players association and the man who pulled baseball out of its crude prehistory. You expect your heroes to be unlisted. You don't expect to find one of them in the white pages, right there between a Marva and… » 11/28/12 5:45pm 11/28/12 5:45pm

Remembering Hector 'Macho' Camacho, Boxing's Original Showman

There is a simple rule to predicting boxing stardom: knockouts equal success. A quick look at the biggest draws in boxing's recent years confirms this: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Arturo Gatti, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Ricky Hatton, and Felix Trinidad all won a preponderance of… » 11/25/12 2:00pm 11/25/12 2:00pm

"That's What Friends Are For": A Tribute To Jack Twyman

If the Jack Twyman story were simply about basketball, it would be extraordinary enough: a six-time all-star in 11 NBA seasons. A Hall of Famer who was the first NBA player to average 30 points per game for an entire season, who retired in 1966 as the league's second all-time leading scorer. A broadcaster best… » 6/01/12 3:35pm 6/01/12 3:35pm

"We Talkin' ’Bout Practice": Allen Iverson's Famous Rant Was 10 Years…

The video above—and any other existing clip that happens to be floating around on YouTube—can't do justice to Allen Iverson's press conference of May 7, 2002. The Practice Rant has come down through the years as a scattering of hilariously defiant, repetitious sound bites. But what made it a masterpiece was the… » 5/07/12 3:25pm 5/07/12 3:25pm

The D Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore: Farewell, Dontrelle Willis,…

The pitchers who wow us these days don't remind us of anything familiar. Most of MLB's sharpest aces—Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, and C.C. Sabathia—were first-round picks, blessed with a freakish ability to throw much harder than their competitors, and groomed for many years by the… » 3/19/12 12:45pm 3/19/12 12:45pm

20 Years Ago, Tim Wakefield Had A Fast Rise And Fall In Pittsburgh

In May 1992, Pittsburgh's two daily newspapers at the time—the Press and the Post-Gazette—went on strike. The walkout left the city without a paper of record for eight months, an unremarkable footnote of Yinzer history that happened to coincide with a most remarkable moment for the city's sports teams. On June 1, the… » 2/17/12 5:45pm 2/17/12 5:45pm