Rex Beach wrote many popular novels and plays, including the spectacularly successful The Spoilers (1906). This work alone has been adapted for film five times. He also won a silver medal at the 1904 Olympics. Event: Men’s (Team Competition) Water Polo. He committed suicide in 1949.
Title: The Big Bam The Life and Times of Babe Ruth
Author: Leigh Montville
Year Published: 2006 (Doubleday)
Year Purchased: 2010
Source: History Book Club
About: A first-rate biography of Babe Ruth, written by a first-rate sports writer, Leigh Montville (‘Ted Williams’). A good biography is easy enough to find. If you can manage to locate one that combines in-depth research with a nuanced understanding of human psychology, all blended together with sports knowledge and the ability to tell a damn fine story, then you are likely in the presence of greatness.
Motivation: I grew up watching baseball with my Grandpa (the Indians, not the Yankees). It remains one of my favorite past-times, evoking fond memories whilst simultaneously creating new ones. I love a good character study and, wow, is Babe Ruth’s life perfect fodder for that!
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Times Read: 1
Random Excerpt/Page 122: “The Los Angeles Times reported that this was the biggest national rumor since the famous “Fake Armistice” story of November 7, 1918, which at first sent people into the streets in celebration of the end of the world war, then resulted in a number of riots when the news turned out to be false. The Babe rumor, while it did flash through poolrooms and boardrooms everywhere in the country, had a much quieter finish as baseball officials immediately denied it.”