This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for March 6, 2017: Winter, Spring

Mar. 6, 2017: birthday: Ring Lardner

It’s the birthday of sports writer and satirist Ring Lardner (books by this author), born in Niles, Michigan, in 1885. Though he has lost some of his name recognition today, he was lauded by many powerhouses of writing during his lifetime —Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and J.D. Salinger among them. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield says, “My favorite author is my brother D.B. and my next favorite is Ring Lardner.” Lardner was an avid baseball fan, and he focused most of his writing on the game. Fitzgerald and Woolf often lamented that his great literary talents were being wasted on the subject of sports. For fans of sports journalism, however, Lardner was a master storyteller in the golden age of players like Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jackie Robinson. Of his publication success, Lardner once said: “A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.”