sports | WAMC


Book cover for "Tom Seaver: A Terrific Life"
Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster

Tom Seaver was one of the most talented and popular players in the history of baseball. He is one of only two pitchers with 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts, and an ERA under 3.00. He was a three-time Cy Young award winner, twelve-time All Star, and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame with the highest percentage ever at the time. Popular among players and fans, Seaver was fiercely competitive but always put team success ahead of personal glory.

Bill Madden began following Seaver’s career in the 1980s. Seaver came to trust Madden so completely that, eager to return to New York from Chicago, he asked Madden to explore a possible trade to the Yankees, which never materialized. "Tom Seaver: A Terrific Life" draws in part on their long relationship. In the book, Madden offers a deeply personal and fascinating portrait of one of the greatest and most admired players of all time.

Dave Parker's new memoir "Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood."
Dave Parker's new memoir "Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood."

Dave Parker spent 19 years in the major leagues, racking up three Gold Gloves, more than 2,700 hits, two batting titles, seven All-Star games, two World Series rings and the 1978 MVP Award.

We talk sports today with Amy Bass and Howard Herman! WAMC's Ray Graf hosts. 

Book cover for "Sidelined"

The #MeToo movement has touched every facet of the entertainment industry. But, what about the professional sports world?

In her new book, “Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America,” award-winning journalist, former sports radio host, and Deadspin editor Julie DiCaro tackles the myriad ways sexism pervades sports at all levels.

From condescending coverage of women’s pro sports, to high barriers that women face breaking into and excelling in sports media, to male athletes and managers who abuse their partners yet face minimal consequences, DiCaro examines the destructive impact that misogyny has on athletes, sports reporters, and fans alike.

Keith Strudler: Good Seats Still Available

Mar 24, 2021

So if you’ve watched any of the men’s or women’s NCAA Tournament this past week, you probably noticed a couple of things. First, a lot of upsets, particularly in the men’s side. I know this because Oral Roberts managed to beat my Florida Gators in a game that will be the subject of years of therapy sessions. Second, you probably noticed a lot of open seats. Like thousands of them. These NCAA tournaments, like most sports you’ve seen recently, are held in something of a semi-bubble in Indianapolis and San Antonio. Which means that teams play in one of a small number of courts and then go back to their hotel room to wait until the next game, assuming there is one.

Book cover for "Fans" by Larry Olmsted
Algonquin Books

Knee-deep into March Madness – we are going to talk about life as a sports fan. Do you spend weekends obsessing over your team’s wins and losses? Do you constantly check your fantasy basketball scores and buy jerseys of your favorite players?

Why do we care so much about sports, and how does being a fan effect our lives? In his new book, "Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding," award-winning journalist Larry Olmsted, makes the case that the more you identify with a sports team, the better your social, psychological, and physical health, the more meaningful your relationships, and the better connected and happier you are.

Using brand new research and exclusive interviews with fans and experts around the world, Olmsted presents a game-changing look into why being a fan is good for us both as individuals and as a society.

Front and back covers of "Crossing the Line" by Kareem Rosser
St. Martin's Press

This morning we meet Kareem Rosser - the captain of the first all-Black squad to win the Interscholastic Polo Championship, and the face of Ralph Lauren 2020 Holiday ad campaign. 

In his new book, “Crossing the Line,” Kareem tells his story about growing up in "The Bottom" in West Philly and eventually infiltrating the most privileged of sports.

Once again, his new book is – “Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever.” 

Inside the NBA Bubble by Jared Dudley
Inside the NBA Bubble

Jared Dudley has played some 900 games in the NBA since 2007 — for Charlotte, Phoenix, the LA Clippers, Bucks, Wizards, Nets and LA Lakers. But he’s never experienced anything like the past two seasons — when the Lakers added LeBron James, lost Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, went into the Disney bubble to ride out the pandemic, and then won the NBA Finals over Miami.

Amy Bass: Olympic Games At A Crossroads

Jan 28, 2021

The Games, people often say, must go on – a rather cliched phrase muttered when we want to keep doing something in a moment when it feels and looks like we shouldn’t. 

Keith Strudler: Hall Of Shame

Jan 27, 2021

As I’ve said before, I’m not a real fan of sports hall of fames, including the revered Baseball Hall of Fame. I’m not adverse to the concept, and I understand any selection process is going endure unfair scrutiny. But I tend to enjoy the present and future of sports more than the past. And especially in baseball, it always felt like a self-important institution that uses arcane processes to determine if and when a former player might be recognized, where somehow the same group of voters might have a completely different view of someone one year to the next.

Keith Strudler: The Games Will Still Go On

Jan 21, 2021

As I’m sure you’ve heard, there’s a whole new spirit of international engagement, countries coming together to work on common projects. Which means if you’re a fan of the United States joining other nations around the world, you’re probably pretty happy right now.

Alabama Crimson Tide football stadium
Alabama Athletics

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is among the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Lawrence was the preseason favorite to win the award, but missing two games after contracting COVID-19 slowed his campaign. He has thrown for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns in nine games, helping Clemson reach the playoff for the third time in his career.

I love lists.  I create to do lists endlessly, sometimes adding things I’ve already done just so I can cross something off before I start. 

8/28/20 Panel

Aug 28, 2020
Microphone in radio studio

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, UAlbany Lecturer in Africana Studies Jennifer Burns, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, and counter-terrorism expert and best-selling author, Malcolm Nance.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo says there won’t be any high school football games, wrestling matches or ice hockey contests this fall. The governor issued new guidelines to phase-in matches for other types of school sports Monday. 

It's sports talk on Vox Pop today! Keith Strudler and Jane McManus are our guests. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Dr. Amy Bass
Courtesy of Dr. Amy Bass

The COVID-19 pandemic left the country without its sports teams. Fans have been watching highlights from past seasons on their couches instead of games from the stands. Dr. Amy Bass is a sports studies professor at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. She tells WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne that certain areas of sports will take bigger hits than others.

Jane McManus: Not A Game

Apr 7, 2020

This Saturday, as the toll of coronavirus deaths in the United States approached 10,000, President Trump called together a meeting of sports league commissioners.

Miller Park in Milwaukee in 2018.
Ian Pickus

Usually when we call up Keith Strudler, director of the school of communication and media at Montclair State University and WAMC’s sports commentator, it’s to get his thoughts on a major moment in sports. Right now, the biggest story in the world of sports is the utter absence of sports during the coronavirus outbreak.

Keith Strudler: The Worst Super Bowl Ads Ever

Jan 8, 2020

In the odd chance that your Super Bowl party lacked enough conflict, you will have a bit more to argue about this year. Instead of bickering about which team is better – and let’s face it, most people basically just pick one of the two – now during the game, you can argue about something far more substantial. Like who should be the most powerful person in the world. 

In 2019, the world of sports had some all-time highs and more than a few all-time lows. 

Keith Strudler: Sports in 2020

Dec 26, 2019

The end of any year is a reasonable time to either look back or look ahead, depending on your perspective. Such is especially the case in sport, even though seasons tend to run across traditional calendar lines. But as sport is inherently tied to the passage of time and comparative analysis, it’s hard not to use New Year’s as a moment for reflection one way or another.

In the Hawaii bowl last night, Cole McDonald threw for 493 yards and four touchdowns as Hawaii beat BYU 38-34 last night. It was the Rainbow Warriors’ first win over BYU since 2001.

The NFC playoff situation is much clearer following the Green Bay Packers’ 23-10 victory at Minnesota last night. The outcome gives the Packers the NFC North title and makes Matt LeFleur the 10th rookie coach in league history to have a 12-win season.  The Packers fought through three first-half turnovers that left them trailing 10-9 at the break. Kirk Cousins threw an interception and was sacked five times, with a whopping 3 1/2 by Smith. Cousins is 0-9 in Monday night games. The outcome leaves the 10-5 Vikings with the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs.

(AP) — A person familiar with the process says that the Baseball's players' union has filed a grievance against the New York Yankees in an attempt to regain the remaining $26 million due released outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. New York converted Ellsbury's $153 million, seven-year contract to a non-guaranteed deal. The team contends he violated the agreement by getting unauthorized medical treatment. The Yankees released the 36-year-old outfielder last month.

The Green Bay Packers the only fan-owned team in any of North America’s major pro sports leagues and Green Bay is the smallest city with a big-time franchise.

The Packers are, in other words, unlikely candidates to be pro football's preeminent team. And yet nobody in the NFL has won more championships.

March Beech's new book "The People's Team: An Illustrated History of the Green Bay Packers" commemorates the team's 100 year anniversary.

Beech spent eighteen years at Sports Illustrated before becoming a senior editor at the Players’ Tribune in 2016. A West Point graduate, he was introduced to the special relationship between the Packers and their fans after moving to Milwaukee in the mid-1980s.

Keith Strudler: Running Up The Score

Nov 6, 2019

You cannot watch any measurable amount of youth sports without eventually seeing what’s called a blowout. Basically where one team wins by such a lopsided margin it’s uncomfortable, no matter which side of ledger you’re on. That might be a 12-0 soccer match, or a 50-10 basketball game, or even a 15-50 cross country race, for those of you who know the sport. Assuming you keep score, uneven sports results are fairly endemic to the games our kids play, despite our often best intentions.

Keith Strudler: A Season Of Failure

Oct 23, 2019

It’s entirely possible that the New York Yankees are the second-best team in baseball this season. We’ll have a bit more clarity after the World Series, where the Washington Nationals have taken a 1 game to none lead over a Houston Astros team that beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. By all accounts, Houston was the better team, both over those six games and the regular season. They have dominant pitching; and they’ve largely owned New York since putting together a championship caliber roster a few years ago. And New York has endured more injuries this season than you average coal mine, making their almost good enough finish even more impressive.

The Houston Astros have survived an unexpectedly tough series with Tampa Bay to advance to the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.

Gerrit Cole worked eight strong innings and the Astros continued their playoff charge by downing the Rays, 6-1 in Houston. Cole followed his 15-strikeout performance in Game 1 of the ALDS by fanning 10 while limiting the wild-card champs to one run and two hits. He blanked the Rays after Eric Sogard’s second-inning homer.

Willy Adames homered and made a sensational relay throw from shortstop, Tommy Pham also went deep and the wild-card Tampa Bay Rays chased Justin Verlander early and beat the Houston Astros 4-1 to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece on Tuesday night.