PERSONAL: Married; wife's name Marilou; children: Sarah, Kate, Sam.
ADDRESSES: Home—Newton, MA. Office—Boston Globe, P.O. Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer, journalist, and columnist. Boston Globe, columnist. Has appeared on numerous television programs, including Today, Good Morning America, Nightline, Imus in the Morning.
AWARDS, HONORS: America's Top Ten Sports Columnists designation, Associated Press Sports Editors; Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year award.
(With Gary Hoenig) Courtside: The Fan's Guide to Pro Basketball, edited by Gary Hoenig, photographs by Jim Cummings, Vanderbilt Press (Miami, FL), 1984.
One Strike Away: The Story of the 1986 Red Sox, Beaufort Books (New York, NY), 1987.
The Curse of the Bambino, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990, revised edition, with new epilogue, Penguin Books (New York, NY, 1991, updated edition, Penguin Books (New York, NY) 2004.
Ever Green: The Boston Celtics: A History in the Words of Their Players, Coaches, Fans, and Foes, from 1946 to the Present, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.
Seeing Red: The Red Auerbach Story, foreword by Larry Bird, Adams Media Corp. (Holbrook, MA), 1994.
At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation, Crown (New York, NY), 1996.
Fenway: A Biography in Words and Pictures, photographs by Stan Grossfeld, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1999.
Spring Training: Baseball's Early Season, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.
Reversing the Curse: The Inside Story of the 2004 Red Sox, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2005.
The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino (juvenile), illustrated by C. F. Payne, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Sportswriter and journalist Dan Shaughnessy is the author of numerous books on sports history. A sports columnist for the Boston Globe, he frequently writes books on Boston-area sports topics and themes. In Fenway: A Biography in Words and Pictures, Shaughnessy and photographer Stan Grossfeld present a pictorial memoir of Boston's famous Fenway Park, which along with Wrigley Field in Chicago, is the only traditional baseball stadium remaining in the United States. The book's photos are interspersed with commentary about the ballpark from such notable fans as Jimmy Carter, David Halberstam, Bob Costas, and George Steinbrenner, who recount their memories of games in the park.
At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation is Shaughnessy's memoir of his own lifelong love for the Red Sox, as well as a cultural study of those dedicated individuals he calls the 'Red Sox Nation,' including fans, players, managers, journalists, and the team's heroes and outcasts. Shaughnessy also provides a concise history of the team. Fenway Park opened the same week that the Titanic sank in 1912, and during its storied history it has seen sports legends such as Babe Ruth; a hard-luck Red Sox team that just couldn't seem to get a break to win a title; resistance to racial integration; and the evolution of baseball from the wholesome days of Saturday-afternoon games to the modern world of big business and power hitters. A Publishers Weekly critic called the book "A lovely memoir that will leave baseball fans hoping that the long-suffering Sox will eventually win the big one."
The Red Sox's hard luck at winning championships has often been attributed, sometimes semi-seriously, to a curse that settled on the team when Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees in 1920, and Shaughnessy offers a tongue-in-cheek examination of the jinx in The Curse of the Bambino. Bolstering the theory is the fact that the Red Sox had not won a title since 1918. They came close many times, particularly during the 1986 season when one strike stood between them and victory. In 2004, it appeared as though the curse had been lifted as the Sox broke an eighty-six-year losing streak to take the World Series. Shaughnessy's book "should delight the team's most fanatically loyal followers, who will find it the verbal equivalent of a hair shirt," commented Genevieve Stuttaford in Publishers Weekly.
Shaughnessy also tackles the subject in The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, a title geared toward younger readers. A father tells his curious daughter Kate about Babe Ruth and the team's history as he explains the team's disappointing near-victories. "A pleasing tall-tale quality pervades the book once Ruth is traded to the Yankees, ushering in decades of losses for Boston," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In the end, Kate concludes that Ruth would not be the sort to visit a curse on his former team.
One Strike Away: The Story of the 1986 Red Sox chronicles the exhilarating rush of success and the particularly bitter end of the Sox's 1986 season. Everything seemed to be going right for the team during the season, with exceptional hitting from Wade Boggs and Jim Rice, superior pitching from Roger Clemens, and a unified team goal. The team's exceptional performance gave fans hope that the Curse of the Bambino might have finally been broken as the Sox advanced to the World Series. In the end, one strike separated them and victory over the New York Mets, but the strike didn't come; the Mets won the series and sent the Sox away, defeated. Library Journal reviewer Thomas J. Reigstad called the book an "authoritative, enthusiastic account," while a Publishers Weekly critic called it "A well-done sports replay." One Strike Away is an "informative, objective, and knowledgeable single season account," according to Booklist reviewer Wes Lukowsky.
Seeing Red: The Red Auerbach Story is Shaughnessy's biography of prickly Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach, who led his team to eleven NBA championships between 1957 and 1969. Loved by his players but reviled by his many opponents and rivals, Auerbach's business brilliance, coaching acumen, and victory-obsessed personality built a legendary team and launched the careers of basketball immortals such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. Booklist's Wes Lukowsky, in a 1994 review, commented that Auerbach "is everything you'd expect in a living legend, and Shaughnessy certainly does him justice." Constance Loizos, writing in Sport, remarked that "Shaughnessy comes as close as anyone has to capturing the life" and personality of Auerbach.
Ever Green: The Boston Celtics: A History in the Words of Their Players, Coaches, Fans, and Foes, from 1946 to the Present offers a year-by-year account of the Boston Celtics, their troubles and successes, and their personalities and celebrities. The book includes profiles of major players and coaches. Lukowsky, in another Booklist review, called the book "a quality effort that merits a recommendation" to readers. "For Celtics Fans," the book is "manna from heaven," and "for general sports buffs, a handy history," remarked a Kirkus Reviews critic.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America's Intelligence Wire, October 8, 2003, Miles O'Brien, transcript of CNN interview with Shaughnessy.
Booklist, May 15, 1987, review of One Strike Away: The Story of the 1986 Red Sox, p. 1400; October 1, 1990, Wes Lukowsky, review of Ever Green: The Boston Celtics: A History in the Words of Their Players, Coaches, Fans, and Foes, from 1946 to the Present, p. 246; September 15, 1994, Wes Lukowsky, review of Seeing Red: The Red Auerbach Story, p. 99; June 1, 1996, Wes Lukowsky, review of At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation p. 1664; June 1, 1999, Wes Lukowsky, review of Fenway: A Biography in Words and Pictures, p. 1769; February 15, 2003, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Spring Training: Baseball's Early Season, p. 1031.
Economist (US), September 14, 1996, review of At Fenway, p. S4.
Forbes, August 6, 1990, Steve Forbes, review of The Curse of the Bambino, p. 20.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1990, review of Ever Green, p. 1312.
Library Journal, May 15, 1987, Thomas J. Reigstad, review of One Strike Away, p. 93.
New York Times Book Review, July 11, 1999, Charles McGrath, "How Green Was My Monster," review of Fenway, p. 23.
Publishers Weekly, April 3, 1987, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of One Strike Away, p. 62; April 20, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Curse of the Bambino, p. 65; August 31, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Ever Green, p. 55; March 15, 1991, p. 56; May 4, 1992, p. 27; September 12, 1994, review of Seeing Red, p. 74; April 29, 1996, review of At Fenway, p. 61; February 7, 2005, review of The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, p. 59.
Sport, December, 1994, Constance Loizos, review of Seeing Red, p. 12.
Sports Illustrated, June 14, 1999, Ron Fimrite, review of Fenway, p. R14.