Issue #34, 2008

Anatomy of Baseball

This all-star collection of essays about the great American pastime dissects the game one element at a time to try to get at why we find ourselves in the stands or on the field, season after season. Matt Wood recalls his career at first base, "a position for aging veterans with bad backs and gimpy knees, the place to hide the worst fielders, the slowest runners, and the weakest arms. ... the place for guys with enough offensive skills to command a place in the batting order but no place on the field." The boundaries of J.D. Scrimgeour's outfield are "inexact, and infinite--a state of mind." Susan Perabo contemplates retiring from her imaginary career at second base and assesses the chances for a female major-leaguer. And John Thorn explains how "baseball in America is a sort of faith for the faithless, and its seven virtues are the same as those of religion."

Plus, in "Keeping It Real," we learn about the "Paul on the road to Damascus" moment that made Elizabeth Bobrick become a writer; talk with Michelle Wildgen, senior editor of Tin House, about food writing, developing story ideas, and working with editors; and take a quick tour of the lyric essay with Dinty W. Moore.

Table of Contents

FROM THE EDITOR: Baseball: The Universal Connection Lee Gutkind ... read more
Foreword Yogi Berra
At the Park Kevin Baker ... read more
Oriole Magic Elizabeth Bobrick
My Outfield J.D. Scrimgeour
First Base of Last Resort Matt Wood ... read more
The Southworths Michael Shapiro
An Ode to Baseball Caps Frank Deford
Pesäpallo: Playing at the Edge of the World Caitlin Horrocks ... read more
Ya Gotta Believe John Thorn
Freddy the Fan Sean Wilentz
Nostalgia: The 1950s and My Mitts Christopher Buckley
Spring Training Lights Jake Young
The Baseball Pastoral Jeff Greenfield
KEEPING IT REAL: Thoughts about the Art, Craft, and Business of Writing Creative Nonfiction


Kevin Baker

Kevin Baker is the author of four novels, including City of Fire trilogy: Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Strivers Row. He is currently at... read more

Elizabeth Bobrick

Elizabeth Bobrick's work has appeared in Fiction, Salon, The Hartford Courant, and other publications. She has taught Classical Studies at... read more

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley is the author of fourteen books of poetry and editor of several anthologies. He has published two books of creative... read more

Philip F. Deaver

Philip F. Deaver is the thirteenth winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts... read more

Frank Deford

Frank Deford is the author of fifteen books and two screenplays. He is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a commentator for National... read more

Jeff Greenfield

Jeff Greenfield is a senior political correspondent at CBS, host of PBS's CEO Exchange, and the author of a dozen books. read more

Caitlin Horrocks

Caitlin Horrocks is author of the novel The Vexationsand the story collections Life Among the Terranauts(forthcoming 2021) and This Is Not... read more

Dinty W. Moore

Dinty W. Moore is author of the memoir Between Panic & Desire and many other books. He has published essays and stories in the Southern... read more

Katherine A. Powers

Katherine A. Powers was born in Minnesota and lives in Massachusetts. She writes a literary column for the Boston Sunday Globe. read more

J.D. Scrimgeour

J.D. Scrimgeour's book Themes for English B: A Professor's Education In and Out of Class won the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2005... read more

Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro is the author of five nonfiction books, most recently The Last Good Season. His work appears in such publications as The... read more

John Thorn

John Thorn wrote his first book thirty-three years ago and has since produced dozens more. His next book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden,... read more

Sean Wilentz

Sean Wilentz is the author of several books, including The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, which won the Bancroft Prize... read more

Matt Wood

Matt Wood is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Creative Writing program at Northwestern University, where his final thesis, "Through an... read more

Jake Young

Jake Young is from Los Angeles, California, and has studied writing at Princeton and Arizona State Universities. He is currently at work on... read more


Baseball's new literary companion

May 5, 2008

When Lee Gutkind wrote a book about Major League umpires in the 1970s, he threw a curveball of controversy into the game and saw how... read more


Publishers Weekly

March 31, 2008

The love connection shows clearly in these sweet, sometimes sentimental essays, penned by more than enough authors to field a team.... read more

Baseball Legends, and a Beloved Song

New York Times, Reading New York

May 11, 2008

There’s nothing clinical about “Anatomy of Baseball.” Edited by Lee Gutkind, founding editor of the journal Creative... read more