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Sports Illustrated writer to speak at Linfield

Chris Ballard, senior writer at Sports Illustrated, will speak about writing, sports and his new book, Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room in Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

Ballard’s latest book, “One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, An unlikely Coach and One Magical Baseball Season,” is the story of a small-town Illinois baseball team in 1971 and its Hoosiers-like run to the state finals. He examines the role teenage memories – and coaches and mentors – play in shaping lives.

In addition to reading from the book, Ballard will also discuss a range of topics including the reporting and research that go into a historical nonfiction book, what it’s like to come within one stop of the New York Times Bestseller list and the differences between literary and cinematic narrative.

Ballard has been with Sports Illustrated since 2000, covering basketball and baseball and has written 20 cover stories. His work has been included in the Best American Sports Writing series. In addition, he was one of five 2012 finalists for a National Magazine award, received a National Headliner Award, was the winner of The Joanie Award in 2011 and his 2010 story, “Magical A Season of the Macon Ironmen,” was included in the notables section of the BASW anthology. He has published three other books, “Hoops Nation,” which was named to Booklists’s Top Ten Sports Books of the Year, “The Butterfly Hunter” and “The Art of a Beautiful Game.”

Ballard’s work has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and New York Times Magazine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Pomona College and his graduate degree from Columbia University.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Nicholson Library and the Departments of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, English, Mass Communication and Academic Affairs. For more information, call Susan Barnes Whyte, 503-883-2517, swhyte@linfield.edu.