Awesome sports stories!!
October 2, 2011 2:39 PM   Subscribe

What are some great articles or stories that would be appropriate to read out loud to a 99-year old sports fan?

I recently started to volunteer at a nursing home and would like to read aloud to some residents. One in particular is a 99-year old sports fan. He loves the Red Sox and Patriots. Last time I read a sports article from the Boston Globe, but I was wondering if there are any other famous stories that would be great to read out loud.

Note: Cognitively, he is pretty with it, so I think the stories could be moderately complex, as long as they are suitable for reading aloud. I really know nothing about sports, so if you think there's something else I should be dong, like just reading Sports Illustrated, let me know!
posted by leedly to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

He might enjoy a Ted Williams biography. You can get one basically for the cost of shipping.
posted by jwhite1979 at 3:04 PM on October 2, 2011

Oh, and New Englanders who remember the 70s really love Carl Yaztrzemski.
posted by jwhite1979 at 3:08 PM on October 2, 2011

If he was a fan while growing up, The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It is a classic. After the death of Ty Cobb in 1961, the author realized baseball stars of the early 1900s were dying without a record of their life, and drove thousands of miles to locate and record interviews with them. I've read and re-read it and it never gets old.
posted by davcoo at 3:27 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, John Updike's classic on Ted Williams. Pretty much as close to "any other famous stories that would be great to read out loud" as you can get for a Red Sox fan.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:31 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding The Glory of Their Times.
posted by dfan at 3:37 PM on October 2, 2011

Please find a copy of "Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship". The stories themselves are great and, iirc, they are mostly transcripts of conversations between Red Barber and now-former NPR host Bob Edwards.

From the editorial reviews: "Red Barber, who made his reputation as a baseball broadcaster in Cincinnati, Brooklyn and the Bronx, spent the years from 1980 until his death in 1992 at age 84 doing five-minute spots on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" with Edwards. This affecting reminiscence is a chronicle of those years, with excerpts from tapes of the show about sports, flowers, cats (Barber was an unregenerate ailurophile) and religion (he was a lay reader in the Episcopal Church, authorized to preach sermons). It is also the account of the friendship that developed between the two men and of a mentor who taught his protege by example. The author includes tales of Barber's glory days and his association with figures from Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese to Ethel Merman and Ethel Barrymore, and goes on to his battles against deafness, blindness and the progression of his beloved wife's Alzheimer's disease. "
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:37 PM on October 2, 2011

Stephen King reads his own non-fiction baseball essay (about his son's trip to the Little League State Championship) called "Head Down" on the Nightmares and Dreamscapes audiobook. Finding the original source text and reading it to him or playing it from the audiobook would be great. It is really gripping stuff.
posted by dgeiser13 at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2011

There is a yearly anthology series: Best American Sports Writing.
posted by maurreen at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2011

I think you should help him keep up to date. The Rays journey to the playoffs is pretty awesome!
posted by Ideefixe at 5:48 PM on October 2, 2011

Just about anything by the great Roger Angell, but two with special appeal to Sox fans:

A New Yorker piece, The Web of the Game. Angell visits the legendary Red Sox ace Smokey Joe Wood near the end of his life. They sat in the stands to watch a college game that itself turned into a legend. Ron Darling of Yale pitched 11 no-hit innings, but lost 1-0 to Frank Viola.

The chapter on the 1975 season in Five Seasons is excellent. This piece is also anthologized here, where you'll find many other stories you may wish to consider as well.
posted by Right On Red at 5:54 PM on October 2, 2011

I seem to remember hall of fame speeches being available to stream online for free. He might enjoy those.
posted by 4ster at 6:01 PM on October 2, 2011

Sports illustrated does often have some really good articles, so you could for sure check out some back issues from the library. Grant land also has some good stuff. Actually, check the blue for lots of good stuff.
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2011

Every issue of Sports Illustrated seems to have one good long historical sports article toward the back. (I occasionally record this magazine for broadcast for the blind/visually impaired; with only 56 minutes I can never fit the historical article in, which is a shame because they often look pretty interesting.) I would start there.
posted by tomboko at 6:29 PM on October 2, 2011

I read Wodehouse to my father. A big win if he is with it and likes golf, or just hilarity. Also, Thurber, if you are willing to push it beyond sports.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:38 PM on October 2, 2011 is a site that has tons of sports writing on it, handpicked by their editors. Most of them are current but there are also lots of older stories. The articles range in length and you if you use Read It Later or Instapaper it works with those.
posted by scrubbles at 6:38 PM on October 2, 2011

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