The very best writing from one of Philadelphia's finest sportswriters
One Last Read
The Collected Works of the World's Slowest Sportswriter
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Ray Didinger is one of the best sportswriters Philadelphia has ever read. A sports journalist, first for the Bulletin and then for the Daily News, he never missed a deadline in over 25 years. But as he admits, there have been close calls, much to his editors' chagrin. He was widely known as "The World's Slowest Sportswriter."
Of the thousands of articles, columns, and profiles he has penned over the years, Didinger has selected his finest work to be included in this book. One Last Read contains entire chapters for each of the professional Philadelphia teams-the Phillies, the Flyers, the Sixers and of course, The Eagles. But that is only half of the story. Included here is his coverage of college sport and the Olympics as well as the full text of the speech he delivered in Canton, Ohio when he presented his boyhood idol, Tommy McDonald, for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
There are also some strongly-worded opinion pieces too-about former Eagles owner (and legendary high-roller) Leonard Tose, the career of Woody Hayes, and much, much more. Didinger's introduction- engaging, warm, witty, and insightful-is among his finest writing. And for longtime readers, this essential collection of Didinger's work was worth the wait.
"Ray Didinger continues to produce some of the most inspired, illuminating sports writing in America. He has been witness to some of sports' most memorable events-and occasionally got his columns in by deadline. Reading his work reminds you how long he has been at the top of his field."
"Cheesesteaks. Rocky. Bad baseball. Ray Didinger on Philly sports. It's all from the same family. Ray's writing is wonderful. It takes you to the corner of Broad and Pattison, and I am blown away with his insight and perfect perceptions of an imperfect sports scene."
"There is no city in America where voices of reason are in greater need-and shorter supply-than Philadelphia. Fortunately, Ray Didinger has been stepping forward for more than three decades to serve as a paragon of sanity in a town where panic is always just a missed field goal away. As this book so beautifully reminds us, Ray has always had a knack for being as eloquent as he is professional. So who the heck cares if it took him a little longer to find just the right words? One Last Read proves once and for all that it was worth the wait."
"Having lived in Philadelphia and grown up in Hershey, a distant suburb, I know one thing: Philadelphia has a unique spirit and take on life. No one can capture that spirit like Ray Didinger. The special magnetism of this great city has its embodiment through its sports teams. Ray makes that all come to life in this book. To understand Philly you have to understand what the first Flyers Stanley Cup meant to the city after so many disappointments, you have to understand Villanova-St Joe's on a snowy February night at the Palestra. A lot of us lived it. Now, through Ray's wonderful prose, the rest of the world can know why we are like we are-proud Philadelphians."
“A perfect gift for your dad or any other cranky old Philly sports fan, it's also a heartening reminder that, yes, there have been Philly sports teams that could legitimately call themselves ‘champions.’ [Rating: A-].”
“He writes columns that even those from outside Philadelphia would appreciate….Thanks for the memories, Ray.”
“One of the best books of the year, for the second year in a row, was authored by Ray Didinger. It's an anthology of his columns and it's called "One Last Read." There are wonderful portraits of Dick Vermeil, Tug McGraw, Thurman Munson. And there are some strong opinion pieces about Pete Rose, Woody Hayes and Leonard Tose. Worth reading again for the elegance of the prose, for the diligent reporting that went into them, for the looooong hours that it took to write them.”
Part I: The Home Town Teams
1. The Eagles
Part II: American Sports at Home and in the World
Part III: Facts and Opinion