A bad tale of the yips beautifully told

Steve Blass was an outstanding pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the late1960s and early 1970s. His career, on an apparently unstoppable upward curve, peaked in the 1972 season when he made the National League All-Star team. Three years later, after suffering an inexplicable loss of form so that what had before seemed second nature to him now seemed alien, he had retired, bewildered and beaten.

His fame lives on, though, in the form of the moniker ‘Steve Blass disease’ which is attributed to any baseball player who suffers from what we in sport call ‘the yips.’ It may be that, following on from the publication of Chad Harbach’s outstanding debut novel, ‘The Art of Fielding’, Blass receives a little more attention again, because he is clearly the inspiration for the main character in Harbach’s novel, Henry Skrimshander………

click here