Frank Deford passed away earlier this week at the age of 78. Primarily known as a sportswriter (although he wrote and commented on many subjects and topics, including writing a novel taking place in both Japan and Hawaii which culminates in the attack on Pearl Harbor), he was incredibly talented. If there were a Mt. Rushmore of sportswriters, he would definitely be on it. He was the sportswriters' equivalent of Vin Scully--both had the ability to paint pictures with words and tell stories which were more than just a recounting of events. The articles he penned during his first tenure at Sports Illustrated from the 60's--80's are particular favorites of mine. A number of those articles were collected in a book entitled The World's Tallest Midget which was published in 1987. When I heard of his passing, I took out my copy and began rereading it. Not just great sportswriting but great writing period.
Dan Jenkins, one of the great sportswriters of all-time, died last week at the age of 90.
He became nationally known when he joined Sports Illustrated in the early 60's. Later, he went on to write a string of comic novels which blended sports, culture, and society into a riotous, decidedly non-P.C. mix. But it was the hundreds of articles he wrote covering sports--mostly college football and golf--that he should be remembered for.
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