Pitchers and Poets was unknown to me back in 2009, when I came across a beautiful, haunting piece of writing about a dead young pitcher and a family’s tribute on the baseball field, The Death of a Pitcher. The piece’s author, a heady young upstart named Eric Nusbaum, was taking the game of baseball in his hands like a wet glob of clay, slapping it onto the wheel and forming it into something dense and glowing, and I knew it.
Well, I wasn’t the only one to take notice. Others out there, the taste-makers of the sports writing establishment, found Nusbaum’s blip on the radar as I did. They felt the same chill when they read about Jaime Irogoyen’s passing, and about a community’s need for the game. And the taste-makers acted.
Now, I am proud as hell to announce the coolest thing ever:
Glenn Stout, series editor of The Best American Sports Writing anthology, and this year’s guest editor, Peter Gammons (!), have selected Eric Nusbaum’s piece, “The Death of a Pitcher,” to appear in this year’s edition, The Best American Sports Writing 2010.
Eric works his tail off for this blog. He works his tail off to create engaging stories, and he’s a pleasure to work with. I couldn’t be happier that he’s been picked for such a substantial collection of writers and writing. He deserves it.