Five Strides on the Banked Track

Five Strides on the Banked Track

The Life and Times of the Roller Derby

Frank Deford, Frank Deford, Frank Deford, Jerry Seltzer

$17.99

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Description

Illustrated with photographs by Walter Iooss Jr.: Iconic sportswriter and commentator Frank Deford’s first book brings to life one of America’s most thrilling—and misunderstood—sports entertainments, the Roller Derby, from its birth during the Great Depression to it second ascendancy in the late 1960s

In Five Strides on the Banked Track, distinguished sports journalist Frank Deford opens a fascinating window on this exhilarating entertainment that operates according to its own set of unique rules—both on and off the track.

The Derby began as an idea on a tablecloth in 1935 by Leo Seltzer. From its Great Depression roots—when young skaters would run away to join the Roller Derby in the same way one might run away to join the circus—through its prewar heyday, postwar decline, and ultimate rise to superstardom in the 1960s, Deford sweeps us along on an unforgettable journey. He brings together the players, the fans, the promoters, and the celebrities. He shares the exploits of Bay Bomber legend Charlie O’Connell, superstar Joanie Weston, and beloved villain Ann Calvello, with her dyed blue hair, who would ultimately go on to compete in Roller Derby in seven separate decades. Deford vividly captures the excitement of a sport Variety called “cathartic, dramatic, fast-paced, and classic as a John Wayne movie.” From the idolatry of the fans to the loneliness of the open road to the hard-charging frenzy of the arena, this is a rare glimpse into a uniquely American spectator sport that continues to reinvent and resurrect itself today.

This definitive new edition includes a foreword by Jerry Seltzer and an introduction by Frank Deford.


Author

Frank Deford:
Frank Deford (1938–2017) was an author, commentator, and senior contributor to Sports Illustrated. In addition, he was a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and a regular Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. He won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award for his broadcasting.

Deford’s 1981 novel Everybody’s All-American was named one of Sports Illustrated’s Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Dennis Quaid. His memoir Alex: The Life of a Child, chronicling his daughter’s life and battle with cystic fibrosis, was made into a movie starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986. 

In 2012 President Obama honored Deford with the National Humanities Medal for “transforming how we think about sports,” making Deford the first person primarily associated with sports to earn recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was also awarded the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sportswriting, the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award, and was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters of America Hall of Fame. GQ has called him, simply, “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”
 


Frank Deford (1938–2017) was an author, commentator, and senior contributor to Sports Illustrated. In addition, he was a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and a regular Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. He won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award for his broadcasting.

Deford’s 1981 novel Everybody’s All-American was named one of Sports Illustrated’s Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Dennis Quaid. His memoir Alex: The Life of a Child, chronicling his daughter’s life and battle with cystic fibrosis, was made into a movie starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986. 

In 2012 President Obama honored Deford with the National Humanities Medal for “transforming how we think about sports,” making Deford the first person primarily associated with sports to earn recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was also awarded the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sportswriting, the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award, and was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters of America Hall of Fame. GQ has called him, simply, “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”
 



Frank Deford (1938–2017) was an author, commentator, and senior contributor to Sports Illustrated. In addition, he was a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and a regular Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. He won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award for his broadcasting.

Deford’s 1981 novel Everybody’s All-American was named one of Sports Illustrated’s Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Dennis Quaid. His memoir Alex: The Life of a Child, chronicling his daughter’s life and battle with cystic fibrosis, was made into a movie starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986. 

In 2012 President Obama honored Deford with the National Humanities Medal for “transforming how we think about sports,” making Deford the first person primarily associated with sports to earn recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was also awarded the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sportswriting, the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award, and was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters of America Hall of Fame. GQ has called him, simply, “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”
 



Frank Deford is an author, commentator, and senior contributor to Sports Illustrated, which he has been writing for since the early 1960s. In addition, he is a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and a regular Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. He has won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award for his broadcasting.

Deford’s 1981 novel Everybody’s All-American was named one of Sports Illustrated’s Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Dennis Quaid. His memoir Alex: The Life of a Child, chronicling his daughter’s life and battle with cystic fibrosis, was made into a movie starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986. 

In 2012 President Obama honored Deford with the National Humanities Medal for “transforming how we think about sports,” making Deford the first person primarily associated with sports to earn recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has also been awarded the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sportswriting, the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award, and has been elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters of America Hall of Fame. GQ has called him, simply, “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”

Deford currently resides in New York City and Key West, Florida, with his wife, Carol. They have two grown children.

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