Senior writer Steve Wulf was unquestionably the right man to do the profile of our 1988 Sportsman of the Year, Orel Hershiser, which begins on page 60. Not only is Wulf a baseball aficionado, to say the least, but '88 was a banner year for him, too. In addition to editing our SCORECARD section for 29 issues, he wrote some 20 stories on subjects ranging from sports nemeses and coaching job insecurity to the World Series and the antics of baseball clown Max Patkin.
Wulf's disparate assignments took him to Calgary and Seoul for the Olympics and to the U.S.S.R. for a look at the Soviets' budding baseball program. In January, for a Super Bowl-related item in SCORECARD, he sampled the world's largest Caesar salad at a dog track in Tijuana, Mexico. Ten months later while reporting on our Sportsman-to-be, he found himself in a restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan, dipping into what he describes as "a very strange root dish" that his dining partner, Hershiser, had helped the cooks prepare. In between, Wulf's menu also included all the scouting reports for our baseball preview and a couple of movie reviews.
His office is filled with baseball memorabilia, including a 5½-foot-long Louisville Slugger and a giant painting of Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, and one wall is covered with photos and other mementos of Babe Ruth. One of his proudest possessions, a bathtub that belonged to the Bambino, is too large for his office, so Wulf stores it at the home of his brother-in-law Peter Bachman, a contractor who discovered the tub while renovating Ruth's old Sudbury, Mass., farmhouse and presented it to Steve on his birthday three years ago.
In his off-hours, Wulf has found time to work on two books that will appear this spring: Baseball Anecdotes, written in collaboration with New England Monthly editor Daniel Okrent for the Oxford University Press, and the third Rotisserie League Baseball book, to which Wulf contributed the introduction and player ratings. Wulf, who's married to chief of reporters Jane Bachman Wulf, has also begun teaching baseball to their son, Bo, 2½. "He already has a swing I want," says Wulf.
Sports and writing run deep in the Wulf family. "To tell you the truth, my sister and father are better ballplayers than I am, and my mom is a better writer," he says. "My very first byline in high school was actually her work." Wulf assures us that his work this year was his own.
Wulf's affection for the Babe is truly Ruthian.