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Pick of the Day: Gary Smith's gift

One of life's great pleasures is reading the work of Gary Smith, the incomparable Sports Illustrated writer who was featured in Joel Achenbach's semi-recent story about 8,000-word profiles in a 140-character age. As I noted earlier this week, narratives and Twitter streams aren't mutually exclusive -- but a Twitter narrative provides a different sensory experience than the sort of long-form yarn that's Smith's specialty. I like 'em both, though I haven't found anything on Twitter that hits my sweet spot quite like Smith's proffer.

I'm still thinking about the terrific piece he crafted this summer on Gift Ngoepe, a South African teenager playing baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. The kid's story is pretty compelling as is, but Smith managed to elevate it into art with his exquisitely stylized writing, a gift that keeps on giving.

By J. Freedom du Lac  | December 18, 2009; 7:37 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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Next: Pick of the Day: Reporting a snowball fight

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