Beyond the Dream

Occasional Heroes in Sports

“Very few columnists have the genius to produce a timely piece that is also timeless. Ira Berkow has that ability in spades.” —George Plimpton

One of sportswriting’s greatest luminaries paints a stirring portrait of the athlete.

In his career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Ira Berkow has chronicled the life of an athlete at every level of competition. There are the kids on neighborhood fields and courts, dreaming of stardom. There are the rookies, finally playing in the top leagues on the planet, learning to walk before they can run, before they can soar. There are the superstars, dominating their sports. There are the once-greats, now using experience and wisdom where once athletic prowess was enough. And there are the retirees, those whose glory days are behind them, either ballasted or burdened by legacy.

There are also those who orbit the athlete, from writers to broadcasters, from promoters to fans. And there are those who never made it, who fell short or burned out.

Ira Berkow looks at all of these men and women, through the lens of remarkable careers of some of sports greatest athletes: Muhammad Ali, Ted Williams, Chris Evert, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, and countless others. The result of these seventy-three insightful, engaging, and wildly entertaining pieces is no ordinary view of sports but a composite of all games, all athletes, and the good and the bad in a life in sports.

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