Thursday, January 22, 2015

Great sports stories - by Branch, Jenkins, and Castrovince

Three great pieces of sports writing I've seen recently included a pair of stories about an amazing climb done in Yosemite, a piece about an incredibly free-spirited and whimsical NBA player and one about an MLB umpire that's a tale of loss and moving forward.

The climbing pieces were by John Branch for the New York Times with first "Abduction. Lost Finger. Now a Rock Climber's Tallest Hurdle." and a week later "Pursuing the Impossible, and Coming Out on Top" with both on Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen and their epic first ascent of El Capitan's Dawn Wall.

The NBA player story was "The Man Behind The Swag: Nick Young" by Lee Jenkins for Sports Illustrated and an amusing and interesting tale on Young, perhaps better known for dating pop star Iggy Azalea than being a Los Angeles Laker.

On almost the complete opposite end of the profoundness spectrum was a piece by Anthony Castrovince for Sports on Earth with "John Hirschbeck's Survival Guide" on the man who had two children die from the rare genetic disease Adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, just over 20 years apart. It's a solid piece that brought to mind Lisa Pollak's 1997 Pulitzer Prize winning story "The Umpire's Son" on Hirschbeck.