Novelist Rita Mae Brown's newest novel "Sudden Death" is set in the world of women's professional tennis. Brown herself was a tennis player before becoming a writer. The novel also deals with the issue of lesbian athletes in the sport. Brown joins the show to discuss the novel and the sport.
76ers general manager Pat Williams and sportswriter Bill Lyon have co-authored a book about the Philadelphia basketball team's history and recent success. Fresh Air listeners call in with their questions.
Former Major League Baseball Umpire Ron Luciano was known for his flamboyant style. His book "The Umpire Strikes Back," was a hot, and Luciano has written a follow-up "Strike Two." He shares humorous stories about his career in MLB and discusses some of the colorful characters working in the sport today.
David Halberstam is a journalist and author who won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Vietnam War for The New York Times. Two of his recent books examine American values as expressed through sports: "The Breaks of the Game," about basketball, and his latest "The Amateurs," about rowing.
Sportswriter and HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant. He discusses the world of boxing, the disintegration of neighborhood boxing clubs in the big cities and how television has changed the image of the boxer and the audience response.
Bob Ryan, basketball writer for The Boston Globe. Together with Terry Pluto, basketball writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, Ryan has written a book that takes a microscopic look at one night in the National Basketball Association by reporting on the Jan 14, 1987 game between The Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The book is titled Forty-Eight Minutes: A Night in the Life of the N.B.A., and follows every shot, every pass, and all the pre- and post-game developments. (Interview by Faith Middleton)
Baseball writer Roger Angell. His new book, Season Ticket: A Baseball Companion, is a compilation of essays published in The New Yorker magazine over the last five seasons. The essays cover subjects from spring training, Astroturf versus grass and drug abuse. Angell's previous books include The Summer Game, Five Seasons and Late Innings. Angell is the senior fiction editor of The New Yorker.
Sports writer Mike Sowell (rhymes with "powell"). Sowell's book, "The Pitch that Killed," is the true-life account of the death of Ray Chapman. Chapman was the Cleveland Indians shortstop who died after being hit in the head by a pitch thrown by New York Yankee Carl Mays. The incident occurred in late August, 1920, as the Yankees and Indians were battling for the American League pennant.
Investigative sportswriter John Feinstein (FINE-steen) His new book is "Hard Courts: Real Life on the Professional Tennis Tours," looks at the inner workings of professional tennis. He traveled the circuit during 1990 and 1991. Feinstein has written for "The Washington Post," "Sports Illustrated," and other publications and he's also a commentator for NPR. (published by Villard Books). (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Sportswriter Mark Bowden. He covered the Philadelphia Eagles for "The Philadelphia Inquirer" for three seasons, and now has a book about the team, "Bringing the Heat." It follows the team through the 1992 season, after their coach was fired and after the death of their star defensive lineman, Jerome Brown.
Fox sports commentator Tim McCarver talks to Marty Moss-Coane about his new book "Baseball for Brain Surgeon and Other Fans". (Villard Books) McCarver is also a commentator during the New York Mets season for WWOR. He played major league baseball from 1959-1980 for the St Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox. He also wrote "O, Baby, I Love It!".