Jim Bouton’s impact reached far beyond the baseball diamond

The Ball Four author was a significant social activist, speaking out about apartheid, and exposing small-town government and media corruption

Jim Bouton’s impact reached far beyond the baseball diamondJim Bouton died this month at age 80. The plethora of Bouton obituaries and tributes since have focused on his pitching career, which included winning a couple World Series games with the New York Yankees, and the blockbuster book Ball Four he wrote about his 1969 season. But Jim Bouton was also an influential sports…

U.S. college basketball title game an example of sport at its best

True competition means the pursuit of excellence in partnership with your opponent

U.S. college basketball title game an example of sport at its bestAs a member of a sports reform organization, I usually write about problems and issues in sports, and how to address them. But today I’m celebrating the beauty of sport at its best. Monday’s men’s U.S. college basketball championship game was a terrific example of passion, hard work, sportsmanship, teamwork, resilience, family and true competition.…

America’s first ethnic working-class hero

An Irish-American Catholic, champion boxer John L. Sullivan rose to popularity from modest roots

America’s first ethnic working-class heroBefore inclusiveness became a social mantra, newly arrived immigrant groups invariably went through a period of being viewed warily by society’s established mainstream. Irish-American Catholics were no exception to this probationary process. Indeed, it wasn’t until John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential victory that acceptance was fully sealed. Along the way, the process got a boost…