Down Great Purple Valleys

By John Lardner True, May 1954   Stanley Ketchel was twenty-four years old when he was fatally shot in the back by the common-law husband of the lady who was cooking his breakfast. That was in 1910. Up to 1907 the world at large had never heard of Ketchel. In the...

The Making of a Golden Boy

By Vic Ziegel Playboy, June 1996 Somehow I was not surprised when Oscar De La Hoya’s public relations rep called to reschedule our meeting in East Los Angeles. After all, this boxer is an important person. Some people call De La Hoya the finest fighter in the world,...

The Stacks Chat: Bill Nack

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter, December 15, 2008 Looking for that ideal last-minute holiday gift for the sports fan in your life? Look no further than The Best American Sportswriting of 2008, edited by Bill Nack, who is one of the finest sportswriters we have. Nack is a...

Hunter In Zaire

By George Plimpton From Shadow Box, 1977 I had a number of people to see the next day. I dropped in to see Hunter Thompson. I found him in his room. “I got everything stashed behind the pipes,” he said, after he had peeked out a crack in the door to make sure who I...

The Challenger and the Muslims

By Dick Schaap The New York Herald Tribune, January 23, 1964 When he was 18 years old, just an amateur fighter with almost no reputation outside his native Louisville, Cassius Marcellus Clay came to New York and, on the corner of 125th St. and Seventh Ave, by the...

Get a LOAD of Me!

By John Ed Bradley Sports Illustrated, May 17, 1993 Yet another fine yellow noon on Marco Island, Fla., and, miracle of miracles, Buster Douglas is already out of bed. He’s wearing what he always seems to wear these days: white canvas boating shoes, loose-fitting gym...