Thorn: The golden age of baseball writing

From SABR member John Thorn at The Diary of Myles Thomas on September 26, 2016:

The way we think about baseball, and the way writers depict it, has changed over time.

Today’s fans are not as fanatic as once they were, nor are writers as florid. The “gee whiz” style pretty much went out with Kilroy, and the hard-boiled, sardonic stance that followed seems now a self-caricature, like film noir or a novel by Mickey Spillane.

Unlike today’s baseball journalism, the old-fashioned sportswritese could be bad, yet at the same time great — overwrought, yet splendidly evocative of bygone days and ways.

The 1920s were indeed the Golden Age of sportswriting, particularly baseball writing, because game description was paramount. That, and sharing the personalities of burgeoning heroes with an audience willing to buy three or four newspapers a day just to fill their boundless baseball appetites.

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Originally published: September 26, 2016. Last Updated: September 26, 2016.