The Bookshelf conversation: Bill Syken

December 9, 2013

I used to think it was unfair that a sports media giant like Sports Illustrated can make even more money by dipping into their archives and publishing the compilations or photos or writing. But you have to give them credit; they do come out with some mighty good products.

The latest from the SI library is Baseball’s Greatest, a coffee table edition that purports to list the “10 Best” in several categories. Some of the magazine’s best baseball writers put in their two cents. The outcome: a book that is both lovely to look at and interesting to read, because you know there are those who will disagree with the result.

But these things don’t just put themselves together. There has to be someone at the helm, making the final decisions on how to match pictures with words in a manner that is fun for all involved and true to SI‘s “mission statement” of providing the best of both worlds. For Baseball’s greatest, that was Bill Syken.

I spoke with Syken in October. Unfortunately, a plethora of technical difficulties combined to delay the posting of this conversation. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time to run this, given the holidays and all. Apologies to my Jewish readers. Ain’t my fault that Hanukka came out so early this year. Also, I regret the poor quality of the recording; Dammit, I’m a writer, Jim, not an audio technician.



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