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September 2002
304 pages  

6 x 9
9780822957737
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Pittsburgh Sports
Stories from the Steel City
Roberts, Randy
Pittsburgh Sports mixes the personal experiences of fans and athletes with team histories to capture the full range of what it means to be a sports fan--in Pittsburgh, or, by extension, anywhere.

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Randy Roberts was born in Pittsburgh and is the author of seven books including biographies of Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, and John Wayne. He has also written books on the Mike Tyson rape trial, recent American sports, and the war in Vietnam. He has won the Ray and Pat Brown National Book Award and been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals as well as the New York Times, National Review, and Ring Magazine. He is professor of history at Purdue University.
"I’ve always been fond of Pittsburgh, and the sports essays collected by Randy Roberts wonderfully illustrate the charm and idiosyncrasy that make Pittsburgh’s sports such a sweet reflection of the whole city."—Frank Deford

"What a wonderful potpourri of memories and research about Pittsburgh sports! This is a page turner, difficult to put down even by those of us who have no ties to Pittsburgh."—Benjamin G. Rader, author of American Sports: From the Age of Folk Games to the Age of Televised Sports

"Certain traits add to a city’s character . . . neighborhood bars, ethnic enclaves, and sports teams. First love usually fades and eventually disappears but not a first love of sports teams, a love that usually remains even after moving away from that area. This book tells the reader about Pittsburgh teams with feeling. If you grew up in New York, you will enjoy reading this book. If you grew up in western Pennsylvania, you will love it."—Beano Cook, ESPN

"Having been born and raised in Pittsburgh, and having lived 71 years, I thought I knew a lot about the city’s sports history. This book tells me I had barely scratched the surface. Good stuff—revealing and entertaining."—Myron Cope

“Finally, a collection of stories from a sports-obsessed town that isn’t adolescent boosterism. It’s a wisely edited offering of memories from our ballfields and grandstands.”—Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 29, 2000

Pittsburgh Sports is about what it means to be a fan, about sporting, loyalties handed down from parent to child. It is about a shared experience of thes events, our memories of them and the stories they provide.”---Bob Edmonds, McCormick Messenger, November 30, 2000

“if you’re looking for a considered, meticulous history of Pittsburgh sports, extracted from the familiar treatments it might get from recovering jocks and the unrecovering sports press, this volume is the suitable quencher for that . . . highly specialized thirst.”---Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 10, 2000

“If you are Pittsburgh sports fan, this is a book you can’t put down.”---Jim Riggs, The Post-Journal, March 24, 2001

Finally, a collection of stories from a sports obsessed town that isn’t adolecent boisteriam. It’s a wisely edited offering of memories from our ballfields and grandstands. ---Bob Hoover, www.post-gazette.com/books/200011229bbooks5.asp January 2001

After reading the collection of essays in Pittsburgh Sports, comlpiled by Randy Roberts, I felt the pain of fans reminiscing about the ugly years- the Pirates of the ‘50s and the Steelers of any year before 1972. Highlights of the collection include a piece on the most ill-fated of the pro franchises, the Pipers, which won the upstart American Basketball Association’s inaugural crown and disbanded two years later. The news isn’t all bad in Pittsburgh Sports, ..but the message is clear: Enjoy your winning seasons, sports fans, because they don’t come along all the time. ---Christopher Fletcher Pittsburgh PA, Feb. 2001

“The collected stories reflect some of the triumphs and defeats of teams and players, but more than that they suggest what it is about the city's sports that command an undeniable passion—and why what happens at a ballpark, stadium, gym, rink, or locker room has the power to make spectators laugh, cheer, swear, and cry.”—Pennsylvania Heritage

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Summer afternoons at Forbes Field, playoff Sundays with the Steelers, winter nights at the Igloo cheering for Mario and the Penguins: Pittsburgh Sports captures all that and more. With stories from sports fans, historians, and former athletes, Pittsburgh Sports mixes personal experiences with team histories to capture the full range of what it means to be a sports fan—in Pittsburgh, or, by extension, anywhere. A book that can be read cover-to-cover, or in bits and pieces, Pittsburgh Sports includes chapters on the ill-fated Pittsburgh Pipers, who won the American Basketball Association’s first championship, then folded four years later; the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays, perennial Negro League powerhouses; Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and other legends of western Pennsylvania high school football; boxing’s illustrious past in the Iron City; football reminiscences by a former Steelers punter; and the ups and downs of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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