Dispatches from the Sporting Life
- List Price: $24.95
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Lyons Press
- Publish date: 06/01/2002
- ISBN: 9781585743230
- ISBN10: 1585743232
Richler has spent time with Pete Rose, Wayne Gretsky, and Gordie Howe (when a reporter asked Gordie's then eighty-year-old father if he was still interested in sex, Howe pere replied, "You'll have to ask somebody older than me".) He has traveled with Guy LaFleur's Montreal Canadiens, and with the Trail Smoke-Eaters to Stockholm, for the world hockey championships; when a Swedish reporter confronted the Smoke-Eaters' coach and accused him of encouraging violence on ice, the enraged coach replied, "But I condone it absolutely".
There are shrewdly perceptive pieces here about Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, and lady umpires, and a marvelous essay on his unlimited enthusiasm for the all-inclusive Encyclopedia of Jews in Sports, which includes among its champions one Steve Allan Hertz, an infielder who played five total games in Houston in 1964 and had a batting average of .000.
This then is a superb novelist writing unforgettably about his obsession for sports -- and the work sparkles with Richler's hallmark irony and wit and shrewd perception. This is a book no sports -- or Richler -- fan will want to miss.