Reliving Sports through the Words of Red Smith in American Pastimes

American PastimesSports legends and stories have been passed down through time, and Red Smith was there and wrote about many of the important events and people in sports. Smith won a Pulitzer Prize for his sports writing and is known for his observations and dry humor. American Pastimes: The Very Best of Red Smith edited by Daniel Okrent is a collection of Smith’s commentaries from early in his career beginning in the 1930’s to his last column on January 11, 1982.

The articles are short, only two to three pages long, and cover a wide range of sports from Joe DiMaggio’s retirement to the death of racing great Seabiscuit. Also included are the opening ceremonies of the 1948 Olympics in London and the Westminster Kennel Club’s Best in Breeds and Breeders from 1954. This collection with its varied topics gives readers a chance to enjoy great sports moments captured in Smith’s classic commentary with his unapologetic style and sharp prose.


Christina Callison has been blogging about books for the library’s website since 2006. She has read hundreds of books that include mysteries, fantasies, horror, thrillers, non-fiction, general fiction, and some science fiction. She continues with her goal of finding new books and authors to recommend.