‘Loosen your girdle and let ‘er fly!’

So I’m about to push the “send order” button to Amazon/Santa for the sports book wish list I blogged about here last week, and “Wonder Girl,” Don Van Natta’s recent biography of Babe Didrickson Zaharias, is one of the three I’m treating myself to read over the holidays and into the new year.

The other two are Harvey Araton’s “When the Garden Was Eden” and “Fenway 1912″ by Glenn Stout.

These are the ones I’ve decided I just have to read right away. That they’re books about sports history isn’t a coincidence. I earned my bachelor’s degree in history and over the years have blended sports and history into my regular reading like a fiend. They’re unquenchable passions, and I’m thrilled to get reintroduced to the life of the Babe, whose feisty, pre-Title IX, pre-feminist personality is sorely missing in today’s women’s sports world.

But that’s a blog post for another time.

Van Natta, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at The New York Times, is joining ESPN.com in January. Not long before the announcement, his soon-to-be-former-employer declined to review the Babe book. Coincidence?

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