author of baseball book ``Eight Men Out,'' dies
By The Associated Press 6/10/2008
Eliot Asinof, an author who invited readers behind
scenes of the sports world with books including
"Eight Men Out," died Tuesday at the age of 88.
The Ancramdale resident died at a hospital in Hudson
of complications from pneumonia, said his son, Martin
Asinof was best known for "Eight Men Out,"
retelling of the "Black Sox" scandal in which eight
members of the Chicago White Sox threw the 1919
world series. He spent more than three years exhaustively researching
the book, his son said.
The 1988 movie by the same name featured such stars
as John Cusack, Charlie Sheen and Christopher Lloyd.
The Manhattan native wrote more than a dozen books,
included 1968's "Seven Days to Sunday," for which he
spent a year traveling and living with the New York
Giants football team. A novel, "Final Judgment," is due to be
published later this year, his son said.
Asinof was himself a minor-league ballplayer, briefly
playing in the Philadelphia Phillies' organization before joining the
Army and serving in World War II. Earlier this year, he completed a memoir
about his wartime service, his son said.
"He was writing right up to the end," Martin
Asinof said of his father.
The elder Asinof also wrote for television and film,
working on such Western shows as "Maverick" and
"Wagon Train," his son said.
During the McCarthy era, Asinof was blacklisted, and
had to resort to writing under the names of other writers, his son said.
Years later, after he obtained his FBI file, he told his son that he had
been targeted because he once signed a petition outside of Yankee Stadium
saying that black ballplayer Jackie Robinson should be allowed to play
in the Major Leagues.
Asinof married Jocelyn Brando, the sister of actor
Marlon Brando, after meeting when she was appearing on Broadway.
His parents met, Martin Asinof said, when his father
was dating Rita Moreno, and the Brando siblings _ who were starring in
separate productions on Broadway at the time _ joined them for dinner.
Moreno and Marlon Brando left together, and the other two became smitten
with each other. By 1955, they were divorced.