The Bookshelf Podcast: Arnold Hano

July 8, 2012

As mentioned in a previous post, Arnold Hano wrote one of the must-read books for any serious student of the national pastime.

A Day in the Bleachers was the first, and in many ways the best, of the single-game analyses genre. His deconstruction of the first game of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and Cleveland Indians was published almost immediately after that Fall Classic and has been reprinted many times, an indication of its popularity and status as a classic. A 2006 edition published by Arion Press and illustrated by Mark Ulriksen sells for $700.

The author, center with glasses and cigar, as depicted by Mark Ulriksen

Willie Mays’ catch off the bat of Vic Wertz is standard fare on baseball; highlights shows, but Hano was there first-hand to chronicle it for future generations, all without benefit of instant replay. The chapter alone is worth the price of the book (well, maybe not the $700 price of the Arion book.)

Hano is an award-winning newspaperman and his freelance work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Sports Illustrated. He wrote biographies of superstars like Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, and Mays, as well as juvenile sports fiction. Hano also taught writing at the University of Southern California, Pitzer College, and the University of California, Irvine.

I had the pleasure to speak with him recently about the decision to write A Day in the Bleachers, and whether such a book could be done in the amusement facilities  that serve as modern day ballparks. (My apologies for the bird sounds and other blips and bleeps.)

Hano, 90, will receive the 2012 Hilda Award, at the Baseball Reliquary‘s Shrine of the Eternals 2012 Induction Day on Sunday, July 15, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena, California.  The festivities will include the induction of the 2012 class of electees to the Shrine: Dr. Frank Jobe, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, and Luis Tiant. For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at 626-791-7647 or by e-mail at

More on Hano.

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