Lips Get Smacked

By Bruce Buschel Philadelphia Magazine January 1993 You don’t often see a contortionist wearing a black leather Red skins cap in the baccarat pit playing around with $20,000 at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. You stop and watch. Though seated, his body is arced like a...

Heaven is a (Minor League) Hockey Town

By Scott Raab GQ April 1995 My dad began taking me with him to hockey games in 1958, when I was 6. Our team was the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, and they played in the Cleveland Arena, where my dad had gone to see boxing in the 1940s. He became a...

The Doc Will See You Now, Mr. Perez

By Peter Richmond The National Sports Daily April 8, 1990 The day Pascual Perez has finally reached the New York Yankees spring training camp, a clubhouse man entrusted with Perez’s jewelry bag is unable to resist the temptation to put it on the scale on which the New...

Jimmy the Greek: The Living Dead

By Peter Richmond The National Sports Daily April 13, 1990 His words break the silence of a breakfast conversation that has wound down to nothing. They are as soft and insubstantial as rust flaking away, so soft that at first you think you might have heard him wrong,...

The Almighty Bob Baffert

By William Nack GQ May 2003 By the late morning of last year’s Kentucky Derby, after watching War Emblem go through his final stretching exercises at Churchill Downs—his black coat looking sleek as mink as he jogged off the racetrack in the silver light—Robert Anthony...

Dubai’s Dream Team

By William Nack GQ October 2002 It was a moment that joined two worlds, one in which the very old really began to understand the very new. It was 5:40 P.M. on Saturday, May 1, 1999, ten minutes after a horse named Charismatic—yet another male-line descendant of the...

The Old Man and the Mule

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Here is a good story from Second Wind: Memoirs of an Opinonated Man by Bill Russell with the historian Taylor Branch (1979, Random House; currently out-of-print). It’s about Russell’s grandfather and his mule, Kate. Russell’s family was...

Big Shot

By Peter Richmond GQ August 2002 He steers the van over the rolling folds of county Route 579, a two-lane road flanked by fields once neatly tilled and sown, now increasingly given over to development. But the landscape still carries the flavor of open country in the...

Down and Out in Fat City

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader “Sometimes you only get to win one championship.”—Leonard Gardner In 1969, Leonard Gardner’s novel Fat City was published. It a story about boxing and drinking in Stockton, California, about losers losing. “I have a strong sense of...

No Tresspassing

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports September 1981 “The old lion is still a bad mother,” he said. “He just wants to roam. Leave him alone. He’s fading, but he’s still a lion.” St. Simons Island lies four miles off the coast of southern Georgia, connected to the mainland by a...

Manchild in the Promised Land

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports April 1980 Early February. Frank Dawkins is sitting in a second-floor office made of cement and insulated against the noise downstairs in the plant. Exactly what is manufactured in the plant is hard to say, but it has something to do with...

Top of the Heap

By William Nack From Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories 2000 On a balmy afternoon in February, 1999, as old Yankee Stadium was getting her face lifted and nails polished for the spring opener, I visited the grand old yard to peer into the nooks and corners of her...