The best-loved sportswriter ever could capture the drama of an event with a lead
paragraph that perfectly set the stage for the story which followed. In his most
famous lead, he gave immortality to a quartet of merely above-average football players
by dubbing them the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, a comparison to the Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse. Rice often used self-penned poetry in his columns, a famous example
being "Game Called," on the date of Babe Ruth's death ("Game called by darkness -
let the curtain fall,/ No more remembered thunder sweeps the field."). The well-known
saying "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game" is derived
from his poem "Alumnus Football."
Rice's long, eventful career was described in
the autobiography he finished shortly before his death, The Tumult and the Shouting. A well-rounded, polished writer, Grantland Rice is the benchmark those who would write sports are measured against.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»October 5, 1921: In the first one-city World Series since 1906, the Polo Grounds will be the site for all nine games. Carl Mays (27-9) is at his best, needing 86 pitches to set the Giants down with five hits—4 of them by Frank Frisch. Ruth drives in the first run of the Series in the opening inning of this 3–0 Yankee win. Mike McNally, subbing for Frank Baker at 3B, steals home in the 5th while Phil Douglas (15-10) is winding up. The game is broadcast on KDKA radio, with Grantland Rice announcing. It is the only game of the season's World Series to be aired.
»October 4, 1922: For the first time, the entire WS will be broadcast over the radio. Writer Grantland Rice does the announcing for station WJZ, Newark; it is relayed to WGY in Schenectady.
»October 10, 1923: It's an all–New York World Series for the 3rd time. In the first World Series game at Yankee Stadium, the home team takes a quick 3–0 lead, but Heinie Groh triples in two runs in a 4-run 3rd that drives Waite Hoyt (17-9) to cover. A 4–4 tie is broken in the top of the 9th by the Giants when Casey Stengel's blast rolls to the OF wall. The sore-legged veteran hobbles around the bases to score the winning run against reliever Joe Bush (19-15) before 55,307 spectators. This is also the first World Series to be broadcast on a nationwide radio network. Graham McNamee, aided by baseball writers taking turns, is at the mike. Grantland Rice had broadcast an earlier World Series, but not nationally.