This week, get your peanuts and Cracker Jack ready because we’re chatting with essayist Joe Bonomo and sportswriter Rick Telander about their favorite baseball writing. This program took place and was recorded in June when Major League Baseball was still on hiatus.
We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer.
“Baseball especially encourages that, that feeling of connection to other games you’ve been to. And I think that engages imagination and engages memory and it maybe engages, for certain writers, a literary impulse to explore the game in its slowness, its kind of slow-baked quality. Which is what we love about the game.”
“What I like most in baseball writing is a skepticism, a resistance to writing about baseball as this maudlin, sort of grand ole game that is America’s pastime. It is, of course, but it’s also full of scoundrels and fascinating people and a lot of coarse humor.”
“As a sportswriter you have fandom kind of beaten out of you on a daily basis because you have to do your work. You might want to sometimes just stop and watch the game but you gotta keep typing…I would love to just watch the games, but can’t do it.”
“Baseball writing has to be more lyrical than football or basketball or hockey writing, those are different entirely. With baseball, the best writing I think captures the ambience around the game and the people at the game. The game is so different. There’s nothing happening most of the time…but it’s beautiful.”
“I don’t like people who worship at the church of baseball, but it does take place in the sunshine and there’s something to be said for that.”