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Showing posts from August, 2011

No One Died in the Press Box

Once in a while when the subject comes up, I inform the inquisitive that the most formative period in my life so far was my twenties and thirties,when I was raised by itinerant prizefighters, baseball players and the sportswriters who covered them: those who did well and neer-do-wells, trainers of champions and their opponents, and ball players who sometimes made foolish errors on and off the field. Like a sticky-fingered thief, I slipped into rooms of their souls to steal their stories and repurpose them into my own.From Willie Randolph of the New York Yankees, I learned about the helplessness of fumbling baseballs, game after game in front of millions, so that a wrongly colored tablecloth at a dinner for thirty seemed so less important. Hank Steinbrenner, younger and slimmer (and so was I) spoke of the expectations of his father and I looked at the expectations of my own. Boxing trainer Ray Arcel and his quiet dignity, humanity and humility taught me that the bum in the ring is stil…