Esquire recently published an e-book collection of sports stories. (It's also available at Byliner.) One of the stories is available on-line and it's a good one—Scott Raab's 2001 piece on Don Zimmer:

Like Love, Zimmer's all around us. All you need are eyes to see. I can't explain. All I can tell you is that there's this diner in north Jersey—well, you got a million and one diners in north Jersey, but this is the Nevada Diner in Bloomfield, and it's just before nine on a dead-of-winter Saturday morning, and I'm waiting for a pal, smoking and shivering and pacing the sidewalk between the Nevada and Frankie's Future-Matic Car Wash. My universe has shrunk to this: The kid's got the flu, the wife's got the sheeshing hormonals, and me, I've got a heartburn that may well rule out the corned-beef hash. Goddammit. Just behind me is a shop that sells baseball cards, autographed balls, vintage pennants—all stuff I wouldn't take for free. But something—someone—else is here this morning. Zim. Right over my shoulder stands Don Zimmer in pinstripes, a life-sized cardboard Zimmer in the window of the shop with arms crossed and a don't-mess-with-me scowl plastered on his puss, and suddenly I am all smiles. Even the hash seems possible. Ecce Zimmer: Earthly explanations abound for any thorny manifestation of godhood, but what surpasseth the clarity borne of belief, the peace yielded by surrender to faith? How do the hit-and-run and the run-and-hit differ? What constitutes a balk? And why can't Chuck Knoblauch heave the fucking pill to first?

[Photo Credit: Neil Leifer/SI]