Zander Hollander is gone, along with an era in which people looked up sports facts in paperbacks, but he shan’t be forgotten – not as long as countless thousands of his books occupy space in basements, attics and dens across America.
At least they do in mine, for how can one part with volumes that convey so much information about games people played, primarily late in the 20th century?
Such was Hollander’s contribution before he died at 91 earlier this month, serving as a profoundly prolific purveyor of encyclopedias on every major sport.
Jeff Pearlman, the author and former Newsday writer, nicely summed up the appeal of a Hollander “Complete Handbook’’ last year in a New York Times profile of the author/editor.
“I smell the book and it reminds me of being 12 years old,’’ he said, “excitedly coming home, locking myself in my room, and reading that thing cover to cover.”