Monday, June 24, 2013

Well done and interesting sports stories - by Davis, Sneed, Knapp & Adelson

There's a few recent sports stories to mention here that struck me for different reasons.

From SB Nation Longform came two excellent features with "The Prospect" by Brandon Sneed and "She Is Gone" by David Davis.

The feature by Sneed was about Montaous Walton, a 29 year old from Milwaukee who has consistently over the past decade fabricated stories of his baseball career, seemingly for the purpose of hoping to wish it into becoming true. It's a tremendously interesting read that walks through the details of Walton's life and lies and the piece inspired more than anything else a sense of pity for Walton and his never given up on dream of playing baseball for a career. Also interesting to me about the piece was both Walton's appearance in the comments attached to it and the note from Sneed about how he happened across Walton while doing research for an intended story on obscure baseball prospects.

The Davis feature for SB Nation also stood as a lengthy and compelling one that's really about two different topics, Dodgers baseball and the author and his family. A fascinating story in and of itself is detailed with how the home run ball hit by Kirk Gibson to win game one of the 1988 World Series hasn't been conclusively found. Beyond this, Davis writes about living in Los Angeles as a Dodger fan and his sister's mental illness and suicide two years prior to Gibson's famous home run. It's highly personal writing that would seem to be unrelated to the game of baseball, but Davis puts together two stories into a really great narrative.

Two other pieces of sports writing I saw about a month ago, but haven't yet linked to here weren't as long as the SB Nation ones, but each interesting. "Baseball's most entertaining fans" was by Gwen Knapp for Sports On Earth and about Oakland A's fans in the rightfield bleachers section 149 of the stadium. It's just a very nice look that contains some memorable stuff about positive interactions with opposing players like Jeff Francoeur of the Kansas City Royals. The final story to mention here was an update by Eric Adelson titled "Devon Walker shows strength in face of paralysis" for Yahoo Sports. It's uplifting writing about Walker and support received since his injury suffered last September while playing football for Tulane University.