The Boston Herald’s op-ed page features a piece by Cornelius Chapman today that serves as a perfect segue to post-season baseball in Boston.
Sports scribe put literary hat in Ring
Of all the newspaper reporters ever to tap a typewriter in Boston, only one has had his work collected by The Library of America, a recognition that it rose to the level of literature.
That man was Ring Lardner, who worked for this paper’s predecessor, The Boston American.
This year is the centennial of Lardner’s last season as a full-time sportswriter. While he lived here he covered the Boston Rustlers, who would become the Boston Braves, for $45 a week.
Chapman – who wrote The Year of the Gerbil, a history of the 1978 Red Sox- Yankees pennant race – hits some of the high points of Lardner’s career: “Alibi Ike,” “Haircut,” “shut up, he explained” (a famous line from The Young Immigrunts, one of the hardreading staff’s favorites). He also notes Lardner’s “profound” impact on our language and quotes British novelist Virginia Woolf, who said Lardner wrote “the best prose that has come our way.” Hey – we love Lardner, but Ginny went a bit overboard there.
Unfortunately, Chapman forgot Lardner’s most timely work: A World’s Serious.
Just a taste:
And etc. as Lardner would say.
You can find the rest in The Portable Ring Lardner (but not, sadly, in the Library of America volume).
Or you could send us a really nice note and we’ll send you a PDF.
See you at the Serious.
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