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ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-499-1
ISBN 10: 1-55017-499-1
b&w photographs
6 x 9 - 288 pp
September 2010
CAD$22.95 • USD$22.95

And to Think I Got in Free!

Highlights from Fifty Years on the Sports Beat

Book Description

In this fascinating collection Canada’s most entertaining sportswriter revisits the glories of a career following sporting events and personalities that spanned five decades. Name any memorable event—from Canada-Russia 1972 to Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour—or any famous name from Wayne Gretzky to Muhammad Ali to the San Diego Chicken, and Jim Taylor was there giving his insightful, witty and often sceptical take on the subject.

As Taylor writes, “when sport makes instant millionaires out of kids who can hit a ball or a puck with a stick or stuff a leather balloon through a fishnet, what’s not to laugh?”

Here are tales of good guys and jerks, journeymen and giants playing games for a living with the world peering into the fishbowl and bigger, stronger, faster challengers coming at them every year.

Here too are the true originals, such as boxing legend Archie “The Mongoose” Moore, whose storied career defied age and logic; Sam Snead, the barefoot hillbilly who learned to play golf by hitting rocks with a stick and went on to win 135 tournaments; Willie O’Ree, the black New Brunswicker who broke the NHL’s colour bar; tragic Percy Williams, the pint-sized sprinter who won double gold at the Amsterdam Olympics and later shot himself; and plenty of lesser-known heroes like the local legend Joe Johnson, who introduced a generation of BC kids to the love of soccer.

Both a retrospective of memorable goings-on in the sports world of the last fifty years and a first-rate read, And to Think I Got in Free! stands as proof that in the right hands sports writing can be great writing.

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