The Old Ball Game

      Frank Deford

The Old Ball Game

In The Old Ball Game, Frank Deford, NPR sports commentator and Sports Illustrated journalist retells the story of an unusual friendship between two towering figures in baseball history.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Christy Mathewson was one of baseball's first superstars. Over six feet tall, clean cut, and college educated, he didn't pitch on the Sabbath and rarely spoke an ill word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. The pugnacious tough guy was already a star infielder who, with the Baltimore Orioles, helped develop a new, scrappy style of baseball, with plays like the hit-and-run, the Baltimore chop, and the squeeze play. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the Giants were coming off their worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City's first World Series for McGraw's team by throwing three straight shutouts...
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    Bliss, Remembered: A Novel

      Frank Deford

Bliss, Remembered: A Novel

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. When American swimmer Sydney Stringfellow arrives at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, she never expects to fall in love with a handsome young German, but she does. When politics separate them, she goes home to nurse her broken heart and meets Jimmy, a kind young American who restores her faith in love and marries her before being shipped off to the Pacific theater of WWII. When Horst shows up on her doorstep, though, Sydney is torn and must decide what she is willing to do for love. Told as a memoir, Deford's newest is entertaining and thought provoking. He has a superb sense of character and period, and readers will at once feel drawn into the turbulent times. The memoir device, while overused in many books, is put to excellent effect, allowing readers to easily identify with Sydney's son and interviewer, Teddy. The surprising twist will catch readers off guard but not leave them feeling cheated. This is a poignant story, utterly charming and enjoyable.
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From Booklist

This book sounds so simple: Sydney Stringfellow, nearing death, sits her son down and tells him about a special, long-ago time of her life. But Deford’s beautifully written novel is a bit more complex than that. It introduces us to two Sydneys, the elderly-but-sprightly woman dying of cancer and the teenage girl, graceful and naive, who decided, against pretty tall odds, that she would swim for her country in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This is one of those novels that defies categorization. There’s romance in it, but it’s not a love story. It’s set, partly, against the backdrop of a world war, but it’s not a war story. There is heartrending tragedy, but it’s not a tragedy. The story doesn’t fully reveal itself until the end, when Deford ties all the threads together, showing us finally what he’s been building before our eyes. This multilayered, finely crafted, and elegantly constructed novel will appeal both to readers of historical fiction and to those who crave any kind of writing that is genuinely inspiring. --David Pitt

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