July 22, 2012

Robert W. Creamer, Biographer of Babe Ruth, Dies at 90 (DOUGLAS MARTIN, July 19, 2012, NY Times)

Mr. Creamer's book on Ruth, "Babe: The Legend Comes to Life" -- which came out in 1974, the year Hank Aaron broke Ruth's career home run record -- was infused with details, including Ruth's pregame meal: three hot dogs. Roger Angell, writing in The New Yorker, said Ruth had "at last found the biographer he deserves in Robert Creamer," describing his writing as "swift and clear and stamped with a confirming intelligence."

In 1984, Mr. Creamer (pronounced kreemer) followed up with "Stengel: His Life and Times," a comprehensive look at the baseball legend who played for or managed all four major league teams from New York City. Mr. Creamer presented Stengel, who was often portrayed as an idiot savant, as a nuanced personality of wit and intelligence. But he did not neglect the "old perfessor's" knack for squeezing new possibilities out of the English language in a personalized dialect called Stengelese. One gem Mr. Creamer chose: "There comes a time in every man's life at least once, and I've had plenty of them."

Jonathan Yardley, writing in The Washington Post Book World, said the Stengel book was the second-best American sports biography. The best, he said, was the Ruth book.

-ARCHIVES: Robert W. Creamer (Sports Ullustrated Vault)
-TRIBUTE: BOB CREAMER (1922-2012): A GENTLE GIANT OF JOURNALISM (Jack McCallum, July 19th, 2012)
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Posted by at July 22, 2012 11:15 AM

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