The Year's Best Sports Writing - 2021 Selections

Triumph Books Announces the 2021 Selections for Inaugural “The Year’s Best Sports Writing” Collection

Contact: Bill Ames, Triumph Books, 312-676-4256,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Triumph Books, the leader in sports publishing, is thrilled to announce selections for the inaugural edition of a new annual series “The Year’s Best Sports Writing,” beginning with The Year’s Best Sports Writing 2021, set to be released in October 2021.

Picking up where The Best American Sports Writing left off, longtime Best American Sports Writing series editor Glenn Stout teamed up with Triumph Books to launch the new annual series The Year’s Best Sports Writing, injecting new energy and a fresh approach to the tradition of recognizing great sports writing. Serving as the guest editor for the inaugural edition of The Year’s Best Sports Writing, Stout is supported by a diverse advisory board with decades of experience in longform writing and editing, including Howard Bryant, Kim Cross, Latria Graham, Linda Robertson, Roberto José Andrade Franco, Michael Mooney, Alex Belth, and Ben Baby.

“The inaugural edition of The Year’s Best Sports Writing shows how the craft of writing shined during a year unlike any other,” says Triumph Books Publisher Noah Amstadter. “The pieces chosen — from a son sharing a ballgame with the late father he never met in the form of cardboard cutouts to life inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble to an examination of how college football programs across America navigated through a season played during a pandemic — exemplify how today’s most talented writers documented a year of paused seasons, empty stadiums, and difficult questions about the role of sports in our society.”

Following in the footsteps of a series that was long-considered a must-read by many sports writers, The Year’s Best Sports Writing 2021 will feature the following pieces from 2020, a year when the sports world was rocked by quarantines, season delays, and COVID bubbles, while also grappling with important conversations surrounding diversity:

  • “Walk, Run or Wheelbarrow” by Allison Glock. First published in espnW, December 31, 2020.
  • “What Happens When Two Strangers Trust the Rides of Their Lives to the Magic of the Universe” by Kim Cross. First published in Bicycling, March 26, 2020.
  • “Pre-Game Interview” by Jay Martel. First published in The New Yorker, January 13, 2020, and on January 6, 2020.
  • “The Ramshackle Garden of Affection” by Ross Gay and Noah Davis. First published in The Sun, June 2020.
  • “The Inheritance of Archie Manning” by Wright Thompson. First published in ESPN+, December 11, 2020.
  • “‘There Might Be a Family Secret’” by Jayson Stark. First published in The Athletic, September 11, 2020.
  • “This Woman Surfed the Biggest Wave of the Year” by Maggie Mertens. First published in The Atlantic, September 12, 2020.
  • “Hook Shot Charlie Is Spreading Hope Throughout Charlotte. If You Want Some of It, Just Try The Hook” by Michael Graff. First published in Axios Charlotte, February 6, 2020.
  • “The Most Magical Place on Earth” by Taylor Rooks. First published in GQ, November 24, 2020.
  • “Is College Football Making the Pandemic Worse?” by Louisa Thomas. First published in The New Yorker, November 25, 2020.
  • “The Confederate Flag Is Finally Gone at NASCAR Races, and I Won’t Miss It for a Second” by Ryan McGee. First published in ESPN, June 10, 2020.
  • “Twelve Minutes and a Life” by Mitchell S. Jackson. First published in Runner’s World, June 18, 2020.
  • “Kobe Always Showed His Work. So We Have to in Remembering Him, Too” by Brian Phillips. First published in The Ringer, January 30, 2020.
  • “How Kobe Bryant’s Death Brought Bobby McIlvaine—an Athlete, a Scholar, the Friend I Should’ve Known Better—Back to Life” by Mike Sielski. First published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 9, 2020.
  • “Andrew Giuliani, Official Sports Guy of the White House, Sees a Score in Big Ten’s Return” by Kent Babb. First published in The Washington Post, October 23, 2020.
  • “Baseball’s Fight to Reclaim Its Soul” by Tom Verducci. Reprinted courtesy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. First published in Sports Illustrated February 29, 2020.
  • “Inside the Rise of MLB’s Ivy League Culture: Stunning Numbers and a Question of What’s Next” by Joon Lee. First published in 2020 by ESPN Enterprises, Inc.
  • “Shades of Grey” by Ashley Stimpson. First published in Longreads, October 13, 2020.
  • “A Nameless Hiker and the Case the Internet Can’t Crack” by Nicholas Thompson. First published in WIRED, November 2, 2020.
  • “The Master Thief” by Zeke Faux. First published in Bloomberg Businessweek, July 1, 2020.
  • “The Bout” by Cary Clack. First published in Truly*Adventurous, February 19, 2020.
  • “The Bubble of a Dream” by Peter Bromka. First published on Medium, November 23, 2020.
  • “Out There: On Not Finishing” by Devin Kelly. First published in Longreads, September 2020.
  • “Fifty Years After Its Unfathomable Loss, Marshall Spends Another Nov. 14 with Pain and Memories” by Chuck Culpepper. First published in The Washington Post, November 14, 2020.
  • “Their Son’s Heart Saved His Life. So He Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet Them” by A.C. Shilton. First published in Bicycling, January 24, 2020.

The Year’s Best Sports Writing 2021 will be released on October 5, and review copies are available upon request. More information on the book can be found at


About Triumph Books:

Triumph Books is the nation’s leading sports book publisher, producing a wide range of titles —from biographies, memoirs and reference books to championship commemoratives. Over the course of three decades, Triumph has built and maintained relationships with the biggest names in sports and sports media.