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Jim Brosnan Gone

from The New York Times

Jim Brosnan, Who Threw Literature a Curve, Dies at 84

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Jim Brosnan in Chicago in 1964. “The Long Season,” his groundbreaking 1960 book, began as a diary. Credit Associated Press

Jim Brosnan, who achieved modest baseball success as a relief pitcher but gained greater fame and consequence in the game by writing about it, died on June 29 in Park Ridge, Ill. He was 84.In 1959, Brosnan, who played nine years in the major leagues, kept a diary of his experience as a pitcher, first with the St. Louis Cardinals and later, after a trade, with the Cincinnati Reds. Published the next year as “The Long Season,” it was a new kind of sportswriting — candid, shrewd and highly literate, more interested in presenting the day-to-day lives and the actual personalities of the men who played the game than in maintaining the fiction of ballplayers as all-American heroes and role models.

Written with a slightly jaundiced eye — but only slightly — the book is often given credit for changing the nature of baseball writing, anticipating the literary reporting of Roger Angell, Roger Kahn and others; setting the stage for “Veeck — as in Wreck,” the vibrant memoir of Bill Veeck, the maverick owner of several teams; and predating by a decade Jim Bouton’s more celebrated, more rambunctious (and more salacious) pitcher’s diary, “Ball Four.”

[ click to read full obit at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on July 5, 2014 by Editor

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