Smith's stories have appeared in the annual "Best American Sports Writing" anthology series nine times over the course of the 16-edition series, the most of any contributor. Now comes "Sports Illustrated: Going Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories" by Gary Smith, a collection of Smith's most powerful pieces. Handpicked by the author, these 20 stories showcase the richness of his reporting and the compassion of his craft. In "Shadow of a Nation" Smith depicts the struggle of Jonathan Takes Enemy, a young Crow Indian basketball player hoping to escape the reservation.In "Damned Yankee" Smith details the saga of John Malangone, the player who might have replaced Yogi Berra as the New York Yankees catcher until a terrible secret from his childhood unravelled his career. In "Blindsided by History" Smith tells the tale of the racial grenade flung in the laps of America's best schoolboy team in 1957 and the absurd solution that segregationists cobbled together to preserve two Arkansas traditions: Friday night football and racial separation. This 384 page anthology - highlighted by four national Magazine Award winners and a foreword by the author - is rich with heart and humanity.
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* For a quarter century, Gary Smith has left the readers of Sports Illustrated spellbound and speechless with his compelling long-form storytelling, A four-time winner and nine-time nominee of the national Magazine Award (magazine equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), Smith writes just a handful of pieces a year for the sports weekly. Each is more than worth the wait: with his unparalleled ability to go both inside and outside
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