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Steve Sabol and the Success of NFL Films.

Steve Sabol, co-founder of the production company NFL Films, explains how to make engaging football movies, and how to train an award-winning staff with no prior film experience.


A Boxer on Being "Somebody"

Italian-American boxer Rocky Graziano fame extends beyond his middleweight career. He appears regularly on television and has a new memoir called Somebody Down Here Likes Me, Too.


An "Umpire Strikes Back"

Ron Luciano worked as a baseball umpire before joining NBC as a sportscaster. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the ins and outs of the game, what makes a great player, and his switch to television broadcasting.


Sportswriter Roger Angell

A new collection of the journalist's columns, originally published in his New Yorker column "The Sporting Scene," is called Late Innings. Angell talks about how professional baseball has shifted in recent years toward a greater emphasis on entertainment.


Rita Mae Brown's New Novel Explores Women, Athletes, and Lesbians.

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.


Philadelphia-based Umpire Eric Gregg

Gregg is one of the first and few African American in MLB's National League. He's also famous for his dramatic weight loss and appearance in television commercials.


Sportscaster Red Barber

The baseball radio broadcaster began his career in the 1940s. He was informed in advance of Jackie Robinson's recruitment by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Initially against baseball's desegregation, Barber grew to admire and support Robinson.


The Rise of the 76ers

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.


Luciano Hits a Home Run.

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.


Baseball and Pitching with Bill Lee.

Bill Lee pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1969-1979. He was later traded to the Montreal Exos where he played until 1982. Lee, known as "Space Man," was known for hid antics and sarcastic quotes. He currently plays baseball in Canada and South America and does commentary and book reviews for the CBC. Lee has written a new memoir called "The Wrong Stuff."

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