Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The 'Signature' Story

I'm currently reading Joe Posnanski's The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America, where the author recounts a year he spent traveling around the country with baseball legend Buck O'Neil.

Now, anyone who saw O'Neil in Ken Burns's Baseball, or read interviews with him knows that the man had a gift for storytelling as prodigious as his gift for baseball. And an entire book devoted to a combination of the two is beyond wonderful.

Many of the stories that appear in the book were new to me, but I'd heard a lot of them before: the story of getting out of Sarasota, the Easter Sunday he hit for the cycle, then met his wife, and his signature story -- why Satchel Paige always called him 'Nancy', which is told or referred to in one way or another at least five times.

But I'm loving these well-worn, well-loved stories, the kind that hold up to repeated tellings. And I love how the telling changes, depending on what kind of mood O'Neil's in and how he feels about the person he's telling it to.

Everybody has a story like that, the one that all your friends know, and the one that you look forward to unrolling whenever you meet someone who isn't a friend yet, but probably will be.

You can tell Brady likes you if he tells you the story about the time his old band, The Dillingers, went to Chicago, or about the time he met Paul Westerberg. And if you know me long enough, I will inevitably tell the story about my parents and the donkey basketball team.

So, I'm curious. Does anyone else out there have a "signature" story to tell? Gwen, I know you've got a million of them, but if you had to pick just one...


TheBoss said...

If you had hated that book, I would have been so scared that I oversold it.

mary_m said...

I finished reading it last night, and loved absolutely every page.

Thanks for the recommendation!