Long before journalist George Plimpton donned shoulder pads for Paper Lion, sportswriters were stepping onto the field, arena, track and ring. This first-of-its-kind anthology of participatory sports writing collects 38 essays from the Gilded and Golden Age greats. Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Frances Elizabeth Willard, John Muir, Jack London, Zane Grey, Ernest Hemingway, Ring Lardner, Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones, Helen Mills, Paul Gallico, and many more prowled America's sporting grounds with pen in hand in a time when, as Grantland Rice put it, 'a flame...lit up the sporting skies and covered the world'.
Former newspaper sports editor Zachary Michael Jack has written or edited many books on sport, outdoor life, and rural living, including Inside the Ropes and Love of the Land. Jack teaches courses in literary journalism and creative writing at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Jack's work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Des Moines Register, and on Chicago Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio, among many others.