Born in 1922, this would be his 88th birthday. In celebration, we wanted to point out a little known side of the poet-novelist: the imaginary sports writer. At the New York Public Library’s Kerouac exhibition in 2007, Jack’s mapping of imaginary Baseball Leagues complete with statistics, announcements and reports, were some of the more curious and fun items on display. The Berg Collections’ curator, Isaac Gewirtz, compiled a 75 page book on the subject published by and available through the New York Public Library.
“Long before he wrote On the Road or Visions of Cody, the Beat novelist and poet Jack Kerouac honed his literary skills by writing news stories and feature articles about the likes of Phegie Cody, Wino Love, and El Negro, imaginary baseball players in his fantasy league. Isaac Gewirtz, Curator of the Library’s Berg Collection of English and American Literature, insightfully explores Kerouac’s little-known love for fantasy sports in the new book Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats. The book features more than fifty reproductions of Kerouac’s horse-racing and baseball ‘publications,’ score cards, team cards, and diagrams, drawn from The New York Public Library’s Jack Kerouac Archive.”