I updated the link on the right for Alex Belth’s Bronx Banter, and there was a post from Belth yesterday well worth reading. It discussed big magazine stories on sports profiles, and had a link to one that Gay Talese wrote for the July 1966 edition of Esquire on Joe DiMaggio. It’s excellent, a sprawling piece on DiMaggio’s distinctly secluded life, following him from his San Francisco home to golf outings to Yankee Stadium to Reno’s, a local Frisco haunt of The Yankee Clipper’s.
I share Belth’s love of this style of journalism as well as the format of the “big piece” in various publications. It’s what in part led me to more frequently read The New Yorker for the tenacious Seymour Hersh and Rolling Stone for the brilliant, neo-Gonzo Matt Taibbi–different in style from each other and Talese, to be sure, but both within the trajectory of the stand-alone, eloquent writing and journalism-as-plumbing that I love. Talese’s article illustrates a lot, including DiMaggio’s views on life, politics, and sexist dialogue all too common for the time, but also a side of DiMaggio that too few, not accidentally, have witnessed and chronicled. Give it a read.