Home Run by George Plimpton
(Harvest Original)

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Synopsis

An all-star collection of the best fiction and nonfiction writing about baseball's most exciting moment

The game of baseball is full of moments of greatness. But no moment during a game elicits the roar of the crowd as does the hitting of a home run. And, as witnessed during the past few seasons, home-run fever has swept the fans and the players. Now George Plimpton, famed sports amateur and chronicler of the game of baseball-among many other sports-collects the best writing about the moment a home run is hit. From a memoir of Ted Williams's 1946 All-Star game homer to a fictional visit Babe Ruth made to Lake Wobegon, from Mark McGwire's 69th and 70th home runs to Hank Aaron's pursuit of the Babe's record to Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World," we see the effects on the athletes and the fans of that ineffable moment when wood hits leather and the ball sails out over the stands.

This delightful and absorbing collection is the most complete, most authoritative, and most compelling assemblage of home-run writing ever put together.

Includes glorious prose by John Updike, Don DeLillo, Roger Angell, Paul Gallico, Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Robert Creamer, Garrison Keillor, Donald Hall, Rick Reilly, and Rick Telander, among others.

 

About George Plimpton

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George Ames Plimpton was born March 18, 1927. He was educated first at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and then spent four years at Harvard majoring in English and editing the Harvard Lampoon, followed by two at King's College, Cambridge. Before he left for Cambridge, he served as a tank driver in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1948. After graduation, at about 27 years of age, Plimpton went with his friends to Paris. There they founded the Paris Review in 1953 and published poetry and short story writers and did interviews. In the '50s, Plimpton and staff came to New York, where they kept the Review going for half a century. The Review has published over 150 issues. Plimpton also served as a volunteer for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential run and was walking in front of him as the candidate was assassinated in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. Plimpton was known as a "participatory journalist". In order to research his books and articles, he quarterbacked in a pre-season NFL game, pitched to several all-stars (retiring Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn) in an exhibition prior to Baseball's 1959 All-Star game, performed as a trapeze artist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, and fought boxers Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson. Plimpton was alson known by the nickname the Prince of Cameos for the amount of work he did in films, playing small parts and screenwriting. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002. Within a month of the academy induction, the French made him a Chevalier, the Legion of Honor's highest rank. The Guild, an arts organization based on Long Island, gave him a lifetime achievement award. Plimpton was also a member of PEN; the Pyrotechnics Guild International; the National Football League Alumni Association; and the Mayflower Descendants Society. In 2003, Plimpton decided to write his memoirs, signing a $750,000 deal with Little, Brown and Co. Before he could finish, George Plimpton died, on September 26, 2003 of natural causes at the age of 76.
 
Published June 1, 2001 by Mariner Books. 278 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Home Run

Kirkus Reviews

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Still, these are minor flaws, for which Plimpton more than atones by tossing in some pleasant surprises—including Gregory Corso’s poem “Dream of a Baseball Star” and a wonderfully curious memoir by Sadaharu Oh (possibly the greatest player in Japanese baseball history), who writes: “As the ball m...

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Publishers Weekly

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From the late poet Gregory Corso's Dream of a Baseball Star to pitcher Sadaharu Oh's A Zen Way of Baseball, New York's honorary commissioner of fireworks, George Plimpton (who has also written

Jun 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Home Run (Harvest Original)

Publishers Weekly

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From the late poet Gregory Corso's ""Dream of a Baseball Star"" to pitcher Sadaharu Oh's ""A Zen Way of Baseball,"" New York's honorary commissioner of fireworks, George Plimpton (who has also written a score of books and cofounded the Paris Review), has assembled the full-swinging Home Run, with...

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Book Reporter

The home run is the most dramatic way to send fans into fits of ecstasy or agony.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Home Run (Harvest Original)

At Home Plate

Kahn takes the reader through Thomson’s fateful day and leaves us with the third baseman on top of the world, at a loss for words other than “Gee, whiz.” No baseball book would be complete without some sort of story written about the legendary Bill Veeck.

Aug 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Home Run (Harvest Original)

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