On a late Sunday morning, I am driving Arnold Hano and my 12-year- old son, Charlie, to Dodger Stadium, where the boys in blue will play the Milwaukee Brewers. En route, my son and I learn that the white-haired Hano is sharp, informed and wonderfully funny in a tough, unsentimental New York way. Dressed comfortably in a checkered button-up shirt and blue jeans, he seems genuinely excited to be heading to a ballpark. - Chris Epting, Back to the Bleachers, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2006
Forty years ago, Arnold Hano wrote Willie Mays, a superb, updated biography of the superstar. My parents, knowing I liked the Giants and Mays, bought the book (2nd edition, 1966) for me for Christmas that year. I soaked it up and became an even bigger Giants fan.
Hano, who had already written The Big Out (1951), Willie Mays, The Say Hey Kid (1961) and Sandy Koufax, Strikeout King (1964), went on to pen Greatest Giants of Them All (1968) and several more sports bios, including one on Roberto Clemente (1973). In 2004, Da Capo Press published a 50th anniversary edition of Hano's best known book, A Day in the Bleachers. The back of the book notes, “Though he remains a New York Giants fan, he now lives in California.”
I've often wondered about Hano. Does he still go to games? How is he doing?
Chris Epting, the author of Roadside Baseball and several other books, has written an article in the Los Angeles Times answering those questions and more. A Dodger fan living in the Los Angeles area, he arranged to watch a game with Hano at Dodger Stadium (Sunday, May 7 vs Milwaukee). Epting describes the day he and his son shared with the 84-year old author and tells what Hano has to say about the game played today as well as memories of the many games he attended at the Polo Grounds and elsewhere.
It's quite an enjoyable read and it’s great to know Hano, (Epting told me he is still a diehard Giants fan) is doing so well. I also agree with him and Epting that baseball does not need constant injections of noise to enjoy it. Some is ok but mostly they over do it.
Anyway, enjoy this nice catch up.