August 15, 2022
Rickey Henderson is as enigmatic as he was dynamic on a ballfield.
Major League Baseball's all-time leader in runs scored and stolen bases and greatest leadoff hitter of all time vexed and perplexed teammates, fans and the media as much as he did opposition over a 25-season career.
Even up until his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009, questions of who Rickey actually is and what has driven him to be so singular have remained.
In June 2022, Howard Bryant (senior writer, ESPN, and a two-time Casey Award winner) released Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original. In the 380 pages, he provides the context that helps explain Henderson’s motivations and Henderson’s value in the age of advanced analytics.
July 10, 2022
We finally landed Survivorman.
Les Stroud is a creator who is best known for his world famous TV show, but he is also a musician and an author.
In March 2021, he released Wild Outside: Around the World with Survivorman, his first book aimed at a youth audience. It recently won a Yellow Cedar Award presented by the Ontario Library Association for nonfiction books intended for readers in grades 4 to 8.
Using condensed and illustrated versions of his adventures, Stroud intersperses nature facts with advice on spending time outside, no matter where that is.
After the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delayed his appearance on SportsLit, Les joined us to discuss this book as well as his latest projects, plus some humble career tales from a man who does things his way.
June 15, 2022
Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues is one of the most recognizable “names” in NBA history.
At five-foot-three, he is the shortest player to ever play at basketball’s highest level and he succeeded with four teams across 14 seasons during the rugged 1980s and '90s. A testament to his focus, talent and toughness.
In April 2022, he released Muggsy: My Life from a Kid in the Projects to the Godfather of Small Ball, written with Jacob Uitti (Triumph Books).
Muggsy pays tribute to a loving family who supported him through his maturation into a true player from inner-city Baltimore to the time he established himself as a pro point guard, whose career peak came as the engine of the expansion Charlotte Hornets.
His playing days lasted from 1987-88 until an abbreviated season with the Toronto Raptors in 2000-01.
Currently, Bogues is an ambassador and community advisor with the Hornets franchise in Charlotte. In between watching the NBA Finals where close family friend Steph Curry goes for a fourth title with the Golden State Warriors utilizing a playing style that he helped push, Muggsy joined us to talk about his life and how it has inspired the lives of others.
May 25, 2022
Just Win Baby!
Sounds simple enough, but how do you get there?
Talent alone isn't always the answer.
The inner game is often the hardest aspect to manage.
André Lachance (Manager – Women’s National Team - Baseball Canada 2004 – 18) and Jean François Ménard (Author - Train (Your Brain) Like an Olympian) have years of practical and professional experience in mental performance coaching from boardrooms to a baseball diamond and even the circus (Cirque du Soleil).
Utilizing what they have learned, the duo combine to offer their strategies on building team chemistry.
May 9, 2022
Fifty years on, the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the then-Soviet Union remains the most famous international hockey series ever played.
In "1972: The Series That Changed Forever," Hockey Hall of Fame-honoured writer Scott Morrison draws a complete narrative of that classic confrontation a half-century ago.
What started out with good intentions between the sports’ reigning world power and a country that wanted to show that it was the best, when it chose to ice the best, became so much more in real time that September. The final result was as close as it gets, and for the Canadian and Soviet stars whom Morrison has come to know, it has bonded them uniquely over time.
It is a series that Canada won and where hockey won. One side showed it could play with the NHL superstars, the other went to extraordinary lengths to assert their skill and will, and in turn, this Cold War on ice created a legacy they celebrate together.
November 19, 2021
Brian McFarlane has written so many books he has lost count, but never one about his life in hockey.
Approaching age 90, he finally decided it was time, at the behest of Michael Holmes, executive editor at ECW.
McFarlane is familiar to generations of fans from his three-decade tenure at Hockey Night in Canada as well as working in the U.S. with CBS and NBC.
His connection to the game is deep. As a standout NCAA player, he scored over 100 goals in his college career. An astute businessman, he brought the game to children and new audiences with Peter Puck. That was just one of his many ventures.
Above all, he is a student of the game, writing and sometimes correcting its rich history. In October he released A Helluva Life in Hockey and joined us to tell us why that was the case…
March 28, 2021
An Olympic misstep might be how the public defines a career, but it hardly defines a high-performance athlete’s life.
When Perdita Felicien crashed into the first hurdle in the 100-metre final at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, all the reigning world champion from Canada could do was watch the race play out on a video screen high above the track.
Though her dreams were dashed, she would stand proud and tall again — it was in her DNA. In My Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir of Struggle and Triumph (Doubleday), Felicien fastidiously constructs a poignant narrative that extends far beyond sport.
By bringing her mother Cathy Browne’s tale of leaving St. Lucia to resettle in Canada to light, we can better understand the contemporary Canadian experience.
March 27, 2021
Hockey player’s are told to go to the net but Ryan Minkoff took his shot from the perimeter of the sport's universe.
Through his path in the game, readers gain an idea of how the sport operates on the far reaches of its icy landscape. Minkoff’s premise in Thin Ice (Lyons Press) is essentially that if you have some talent and take your approach seriously, you can make a go of it. Now a player agent working in Seattle, Minkoff did not allow himself to become discouraged by youth hockey politics while growing up in the State of Hockey, Minnesota.
In our latest episode, Minkoff talks about how he came of age in American club college hockey and seized an opportunity to play pro in Finland’s fourth division, where he moonlighted as a Zamboni driver. All of that led to him finding himself by keeping an eye out for other possibly overlooked players who are trying to live the dream.
March 18, 2021
In the sport of Kings, Eurico Rosa da Silva (Seven-Time Outstanding Jockey – The Jockey Club of Canada) reigned at Woodbine Racetrack, but for most of his life, he was living in a mental dungeon.
When writing his biography with Bruce McDougall, he held steadfast that this would not just be a book about his success as a jockey. The pages had to paint an unvarnished portrait of struggling with demons that tormented him in the form of gambling and sex addiction.
It had to examine how his roots in Brazil led him to where he is today, for better and for worse.
When Riding for Freedom was released in December, people weren’t expecting what they read about a man who seemingly lived high on the horse and that is just the way Rosa da Silva wanted it.
March 16, 2021
The analytics wave had yet to sweep over the NHL when Brantt Myhres played in the league from 1994-2003. To be frank, goals, assists and plus/minus didn’t even matter that much in his role as enforcer. It was win lose or draw, no different from a heavyweight fighter.
So why do metrics apply to a man that last played a game almost 20 years ago? Because the numbers show his memoir is a top seller and for good reason.
In Pain Killer: A Memoir of Big League Addiction, Myhres shoots straight about trying to make it in the game he grew up loving, how it became intertwined with drugs and alcohol and eventually led to a lifetime ban.
Where his story had so many chances to end tragically, it hasn’t and along the way back he found purpose in a commitment to helping others who have carried the weight of walking miles in his boots.