In Father, Son, and Sports a series of memoir-essays puzzle into the continuous story of a famous father and a striving son, their relationship mediated chiefly by participation in and talk about sports.
As the father’s career develops—Dick Schultz was a coach, an athletics director, and Executive Director of, first, the National Collegiate Athletics Association, and then the U.S. Olympics Committee—his eldest son seeks his own identity as an athlete and then as a poet, novelist, and teacher. In the midst of this unspoken competition, a crisis in the father’s career alters the relationship.
Two essays in the collection have been published in periodicals. “Hardball” (The Hudson Review, Spring 2001) recounts the father instructing the son in the cutthroat intricacies of baseball’s double play, and “The Ephemera” (Subtropics, Spring/Summer 2006) is a trout fisherman’s reflections on beauty, skill, and mortality. Another essay, “Jim Speed,” treats the life of a surefire pro prospect who lost his sight on the eve of his first college basketball game.