Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Trap of Solid Gold: "Bye, Bye, Backfield!"

The Trap of Solid Gold: "Bye, Bye, Backfield!"


Don Coffin said...

I've never read anything in the sports pulps (perhaps mostly because they had died before I would have been able to). But sports fiction generally was a fairly big thing in the 1950s, with a lot of books *mostly aimed at adolescent males) covering most of the major sports. (I suspect they persisted longer than the pulps did because libraries would buy the books, but not the pulps.) Just to list a few of the better known authors:

John R. Tunis (mostly baseball and basketball; I have the Kid From Tomkpinsville trilogy and some others, including "Go, Team!", about Indiana high school basketball. These were probably the best, without too much overt moralizing and often with fairly complex moral issues being faced. (Widely available, especially in paperback, and not expensive.)

Duane Decker, who wrote a series of about 18 books featuring the Blue Sox (a thinkly disguised Red Sox); the moral was always a variation of "slow and steady wins the race." I have about half of these and have read them all...they are very pricey on the used book market ($20 and up).

Clair Bee (who coached basketball at Long Island University; most of the team was involved in a point-shaving scandal), who wrote 24 (or so) books about Chip Hilton, 12 when he was in high school and 12 when he was in college (3 for each year--football, basketball, and baseball). The moral was always to work hard, be honest, and look out for skunks (especially gamblers, of who there were many in the books). Read them all, have none of them at this point. Paperbacks are fairly cheap, so I may have to get them.

Henry Gregor Felsen wrote a lot of racing books, which I read and remember next to nothing about.

There must have been dozens of these guys writing back in the mid-1950s through the early 1960s.

Unknown said...

I read a lot of the Duane Decker books, and I might even have one -- about basketball. I read a ton of Tunis, too, and even taught THE KID COMES BACK to a high school class when I first got out of college. Felsen was my favorite, though. Not sports books, but more about drag racing and hot cars. Never read Clair Bee that I can recall.