New York Times national columnist Dan Barry, ’80, one of St. Bonaventure University’s most honored journalists, has added another award to put on his bookshelf.
Barry’s most recent book, “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game,” was honored this month with the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, awarded for a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2011. The award included a $5,000 prize.
The book is about the longest game in professional baseball history, played mostly on April 18-19, 1981, between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings of the International League. The final and 33rd inning was played June 23, 1981, after the game was ordered stopped in the 32ndinning at 4:07 a.m. on April 19.
Barry looks deep into the game, into the collective pasts and futures of the shivering fans; their wives at home; the umpires; the batboys approaching manhood; the ejected manager, peering through a hole in the backstop; the sportswriters and broadcasters; and the players themselves—two destined for the Hall of Fame (Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs), the few to play only briefly in the big leagues, and the many stuck in minor-league purgatory, duty bound and loyal forever to the game.
Said the L.A. Times: “Dan Barry’s ‘Bottom of the 33rd’ is a fascinating, beautifully told story of a ballgame and those in its sphere of influence.”
For more than 50 years, PEN American Center has honored some of the most outstanding voices in literature with its literary awards program. PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization.
Throughout its 91-year history, PEN American Center has remained a writer-centered organization. Today, PEN American Center is comprised of 3,400 professional members who represent the most distinguished writers, translators and editors in the United States.
Barry has written two other books: “Pull Me Up,” a memoir of his Long Island Irish upbringing and battle with cancer, published in 2004; and “City Lights: Stories About New York,” a collection of Barry’s “About New York” columns, published in 2007.
Barry’s column, “This Land,” takes readers beneath news stories and into obscure and well-known corners of the United States. The column expands Barry’s storytelling scope to the nation from New York City, where he wrote the “About New York” column for three years.
In 1994, Barry and four other members of an investigative team for the Providence Journal-Bulletin won a Pulitzer for a series of articles about corruption in that state’s court system. Barry has also been a Pulitzer finalist twice.
Barry joined The Times in 1995. He lives in Maplewood, N.J., with his wife, Mary Trinity, and two daughters, Nora and Grace.
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