Arnold Hano

From BR Bullpen

Arnold Hano

Biographical Information[edit]

Arnold Hano wasd a freelance writer whose sports-related output was concentrated almost exclusively between the years 1955 and 1975. Born in New York, NY in 1922, he began his nearly lifelong love affair with North Manhattan's New York Giants at the age of 4, after the briefest of flirtations with Babe Ruth and Co., (themselves dumped most unceremoniously by the fickle 4-year-old after blowing a 3-games-to-2 margin in the 1926 World Series). Thenceforth firmly allied with the Senior Circuit, the youngster embarked on his writing career in 1930 with a mimeographed newspaper published in conjunction with his older brother.

Hano's first bona fide employment came in 1941 as a copy boy at the New York Daily News. The next year he enlisted in the Army and served in the Pacific until 1946. After the war, Hano returned to the Big Apple and a career in book publishing, first as managing editor with Bantam (1948-1950), then as editor-in-chief with Lion Books(1950-1954) [4]. In the latter capacity, Hano served as editor for, among others, novelists C.M. Kornbluth [5], David Goodis [6], David Karp [7] and Jim Thompson [8]. [1] The latter, in particular, would benefit from Hano's input, which sparked an unprecedented and never repeated period of productivity (12 novels in two years) in that author's stormy career.

On the afternoon of September 29th, 1954, however, Hano's career took a decisive turn in favor of his own writing. The occasion for this transformation was Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, Hano's handwritten record of which - as well as that of the fabled Willie Mays catch 'n' throw which constitutes its centerpiece - would form the basis for his breakthrough book, the now acknowledged classic,A Day in the Bleachers [9], published in 1955.

Later that year, Hano moved with his wife Bonnie and their family to Laguna Beach, CA where, in the intervening half-century or so, Hano has lived the life of Riley (the life, that is, of an employed freelance writer). He would go on to author hundreds of articles and 26 books, including biographies of Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Roberto Clemente. Moreover, in addition to the myriad miscellaneous articles, both sports-related and not, Hano would become a regular and prolific contributor to Ray Robinson's annual Baseball Stars .... [10] series of paperback originals, producing 39 of its mini-ballplayer-biographies between 1958 and 1975 [2] (each one of which would net its author the princely sum of 20 to 30 bucks [3]). In subsequent years, aside from continuing his freelancing in areas other than sports, Hano has taught writing at the University of Southern California, Pitzer College, and the University of California, Irvine.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Associated Press: "McNamee, Runyon To Get Hall Spots", The Reading Eagle, April 7, 1964, p. 21 [11]
  • Barbara Diamond: "Our Laguna: Family, friends turn out for Hano's 90th", Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, March 29, 2012. [12]
  • Arnold Hano: A Day in the Bleachers, Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995 (originally published in 1955) [13]
  • Arnold Hano: "A Family Affair: Sports Illustrated, a Johnny come lately, sends a member of the immediate family to cover the New York Giants' last rites at the Polo Grounds", Sports Illustrated, October 7, 1957. [14]
  • Arnold Hano: "A Week With the Phillies", in Richard Orodenker, ed.: The Phillies Reader Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2005, pp. 145-161. [15]
  • Arnold Hano: "Foreword", in Trey Strecker, ed.: Dead Balls and Double Curves: An Anthology of Early Baseball Fiction; Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, IL, 2004) [16]
  • Arnold Hano: "Looking Back at 'A Day in the Bleachers'", The Los Angeles Time Sunday Book Review, April 2, 2006. [17]
  • Arnold Hano: "Foreword", in Chris Epting: The Early Polo Grounds, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, 2009, [18]
  • George Vecsey: "Hazy Sunshine, Vivid Memory", The New York Times, September 29, 2004. [19]
  • Hank Waddles: "Bronx Banter Interview: Arnold Hano, Part 1", Alex Belth's Bronx Banter, September 25, 2009. [20]
  • Hank Waddles: "Bronx Banter Interview: Arnold Hano, Part 2", Alex Belth's Bronx Banter, September 28, 2009 [21]


  1. Mark Rich: C.M. Kornbluth: the life and works of a science fiction visionary, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2010, p. 203 [1]
  2. Source: The Baseball Index [2]
  3. Marty Appel: "Ray Robinson’s Baseball Stars" [3], Sports Collectors Digest, Vintage Books Section, March 2001

Related Sites[edit]