Fall Classics by Bill Littlefield
The Best Writing About the World Series' First 100 Years

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


Long before there was the Super Bowl, the NBA Championship, the Final Four, or the World Cup, there was the World Series. In the beginning, men in derbies sat in the outfield and marveled at Mathewson and McGraw. Today, fans congregate in sports bars, staring at screens big enough to see which players have shaved that day.

For a century, the World Series has captured the nation’s imagination. The drama has included Willie Mays’s catch, of course, and Reggie Jackson’s home runs, and the gratifying day when Walter Johnson finally won. But the plot lines have also featured the audacious fixing of the 1919 Series and the unlikely heroics of various journeymen never much heard of before the span of a few brilliant autumn days, and never much heard of since. There has been one perfect game. There have been any number of perfectly inexplicable managerial decisions, not all of them made by managers of the Red Sox. There has been drama, comedy, and pathos.

Fall Classics is a collection of the best writing about the World Series in its first hundred years. Certainly it is a kind of history of the event. It is also a catalog of the work of some of the most accomplished and entertaining writers of the past century, since the World Series has drawn to itself not only our best sports scribblers, but many writers who wouldn’t have dreamed of writing about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Final Four, or even the Super Bowl.

Here you’ll find Jimmy Breslin telling Damon Runyon’s fantastic story of how he got the scoop on where Grover Cleveland Alexander spent the first innings of a seventh game he eventually won. (Hint: It wasn’t the bullpen.) Satchel Paige recalls his experience of finally getting to pitch in the Series in 1948. Red Smith writes about Willie Mays’s last hurrah with the Mets in 1973 against the A’s. And Peter Gammons and Roger Angell give their takes on the two most famous game sixes of all, Gammons on 1975 and Angell on 1986.

The games and the memories go on. For every fan whose heart yearns for a bleacher seat, a ballpark frank, and a slice of October Americana, Fall Classics is a treasure.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Bill Littlefield

See more books from this Author
Bill Littlefield has been the host of the syndicated National Public Radio sports show "Only a Game" since 1993. He teaches a course in the Humanities Division at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, where he also serves as writer-in-residence. Littlefield is the author of several books, including "Baseball Days" and "Champions: Stories of Ten Remarkable Athletes. Bernie Fuchs was born in O'Fallon, Illinois on October 19, 1932. After high school, he worked in a machine shop. While there, he lost three fingers from his right hand in an accident, which ended his ambition of playing jazz trumpet. He received art training at Washington University in St. Louis and graduated in 1954. After college, he worked for a commercial art studio in Detroit and found success drawing the latest car models for magazines, brochures and billboards. He went on to work for businesses such as Coca-Cola and Seagram's as well as magazines including TV Guide, Look, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and McCall's. Starting in the mid-1970's, he also had contracts to illustrate postage stamps and children's books. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators' Hall of Fame in 1975. He died of esophageal cancer on September 17, 2009 at the age of 76.
Published August 24, 2004 by Broadway Books. 320 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Rate this book!

Add Review