The Best American Sports Writing
The Best Sports Writing is a yearly anthology of magazine articles on the subject of sports published in the United States. It was started in 1991 as part of The Best American Series published by Houghton Mifflin. Articles are chosen using the same procedure with other titles in the Best American series; the series editor chooses about 70-100 article candidates, from which the guest editor picks 25 or so for publication; many, but not all of the remaining runner-up articles listed in the appendix. The series has been edited since its inception by Glenn Stout.
Traditionally loaded with long-form feature writing and occasionally columns, the annual book is considered a must-read by many sports writers, though the reach of its influence is debatable. Authors who have appeared in the series five or more times in its 20-year history are: Gary Smith (12 times), Charles P. Pierce (eight times), Steve Friedman (eight times), William Nack (seven times), Rick Reilly (seven times), Roger Angel (six times), Pat Jordan (six times), Linda Robertson (six times), Rick Telander (six times), Mark Kram Jr. (five times), Bill Plaschke (five times), Peter Richmond (five times), Paul Solotaroff (five times). It also includes award-winning writers whose genre is not exclusively sports-writing, such as Jeanne Marie Laskas whose 2008 piece "G-L-O-R-Y!" offered a rare look at professional cheerleaders.
The series culminated in 2000's Best American Sports Writing of the Century, which featured few works from the 1990s. The guest editor for that book was David Halberstam, who also was the guest editor for the first edition of the series, in 1991.
Selected from the cream of the sports journalism crop, nearly every guest editor has had at least one story published in a previous or later edition of the book. The only exceptions are John Feinstein, and Dick Schaap (whose work appeared twice in the Best American Sports Writing of the Century anthology).