Starting out as a cub sports reporter in Colorado, Damon Runyon found the dusty sandlots of western semi-pro baseball an inadequate field for his major-league writing talent. Moving to New York City in 1910, he landed a beat at William Randolph Hearst’s New York American, where he regaled readers with detailed, behind-the scenes tales of famous sportsmen such as Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth. Runyon later moved on to short stories and Broadway plays, with his literary focus on the gamblers, swindlers, down-and-outers and larger-than-lifes populating New York’s sidewalks, bars, and burrows. The classic “Runyonesque” was a slangy and wordly-wise city dweller, but real fascination in Runyon’s writing can also be found in his newspaper sketching of talented and sympathetic men, climbing into the boxing ring or simply trying to pitch, hit and catch a small white ball.
This short collection of Runyon’s sports articles, written with clever literary flair, has been gleaned from the pages of the Washington Herald, El Paso Herald, Omaha Daily Bee, Richmond Times-Dispatch and other papers. The articles are set out in chronological order, taking the reader through a dramatic year of baseball, boxing, college football, and wrestling from the Classical era of American sports.
Archive LLC, 2019