The Jim Murray Reader


The Jim Murray Reader

Jim Murray
Introduction by Vin Scully

288 pages


July 2011


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Jim Murray, the dean of American sportswriters, entertained readers with writing that is so good and so funny that even people who don’t like sports read him. The Jim Murray Reader gathers some of Murray’s best columns from the height of his career and showcases the wit and the style that won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1990.
His inexhaustible talent and limitless range are on full display here: from the perplexities of tennis scoring (“a game in which love counts for nothing, deuces are wild, and the scoring system was invented by Lewis Carroll”) and baseball rules (“The infield fly rule is about as simple as calligraphy. It might as well be a Japanese naval code”) to Murray’s Laws (“The way to make a line move faster is to join the other one”) and many of his colorful profiles (“Richard Petty has climbed in more windows than 50 car thieves. . . . He wasn’t born, he was assembled and modified”).
His striking images, evocative prose, and hyperbolic one-liners have made Murray one of the most quotable and most celebrated sports columnists of the twentieth century.

Author Bio

Jim Murray (1919–98) was one of the founders of Sports Illustrated and a writer for Time magazine before his tenure as sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times from 1961 until 1998. Murray won the Red Smith Award, America’s most prestigious sportswriting honor, and the Pulitzer Prize. Vin Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers since 1950, which is the longest consecutive service of any current Major League broadcaster for one team.


"It's easy to bash sportswriters at newspapers, a section sometimes called The Toy Shop. Every fan thinks it would be a great life—all those games for free! But the travel and covering bad teams can take its toll. From this collection, you get the sense that Jim Murray never minded any of that. It is nice to read the work of a true professional who loved his job." —Kathleen Hennrikus, New York Journal of Books

Table of Contents

Personally Speaking
As White as the Ku Klux Klan
It's Business as Usual
"Marring" the Races
Thankful, But . . .
Don't Blame Little League
Missing: An Ocean of Joy
Of Human Bondage
Blasting a Golf Trail
Weird Site for a Fight
The Terror of Indy
Score It Nonsense
A Matter of Blind Faith
The Hall of What?
Laws of Murray
The Same Old Song
The Joy of Seeing
Translating the Quotes
If You're Expecting One-Liners
Recruiting Sales Talk
One Man's Opinion
Instant Celebrity
A Car to Remember
All-Time Greatest Name
It Wasn't Too Bad
Bo, You Have Company
We Just Have It Too Good
It's Seen and Not Heard
It Doesn't Suit Them
Some Nights I Stay Up through the News
Let's Be Honest about the Masters
Breeding Counts but Doesn't Add Up
The Sport That Time Leaves Alone
Just Once, I'd Like to See . . .
Who Let Lawyers in the Ballpark?
No Bosox Tea Party
Red-Blooded Runners
Tribute to Abe
Golf Is to Football as Palm Springs Is to Pittsburgh
No Grundges in the Kumquat Bowl
A Transient Business
From Russia with Love or . . . I'll Never Smile Again
Man without a Funnybone
Idol Whose Time Is Past
Catchin' Up with Satch
A Woman of the Century
He Earned His Way
He Dared Stand Alone
Dr. J Came to Play
Baseball's Showboat
The Pirate Has Heart
Baby-Face Bomber
That's Shoe Biz
Comaneci Olympics
Who Is This Guy?
A Rejected Landmark
The Cowboy's Lament
Alzado Is Razor Sharp
Fame but No Hall
A Salute to Gilliam
The People's Champ
Trouble Hits Tape
Lieutenant Fair-and-Square
A College Graduate
A Tough Little Lady
First Test-Tube Linebacker
Making of a Man
The One and Only
Perfect Timing
World Class Leprechaun
The One That Counts
Another Rocky Story
Master of the City Game
An American Legend
Track and Field's Hottest Double Feature
You'd Never Think She Is One of Them
Coach of the Living Dead
Patching an Image
He Needn't Take Number; It's His
An Actor on Canvas
The Eternal Cowboy
Fond Farewells
Life Finally Caught Marciano with a Sucker Punch
Last of the Victorians
He Never Grew Up
Death of an Heirloom
A Portrait in Courage
The Call of a Siren
He Made a Name of Red Smith

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