WBUR Staff

Bill Littlefield

Host, Only A Game , WBUR

Bill Littlefield has been the host of Only A Game since the program began in 1993. He’s been a commentator for WBUR and NPR since 1984.  For several years he hit second (Tuesday) in a Morning Edition line-up that included Frank Deford on Monday and Red Barber on Friday.

“Take Me Out”, Bill’s collection of sport-and-games-related doggerel, will be published in September by Zephyr Press, and in January, 2015, Library of America will publish “The Best of W.C. Heinz”, which Bill edited, and for which he wrote the introduction.  His other books include Only A Game and Keepers, both collections of his radio and magazine work; Prospect and The Circus in the Woods, both novels; and Baseball Days and Champions: Stories of Ten Remarkable Athletes. He was the guest editor for Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Sports Writing in 1998, and his essay “The Gym At Third and Ross” was featured in the 2013 edition. He writes a column about sports-related books for the Boston Globe.

Though his daughters, Amy and Alison, have grown too old for Bill to coach them, he still has nightmares about youth league basketball games in which he was allegedly an official.

Recent stories

‘Course Correction’ Details A Title IX Fight, A Naked Protest And An Olympian’s Story

April 18, 2015
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Ginny Gilder fell into rowing at an important moment. The sport gave her an escape from family turmoil, but also thrust her into the fight for female athletes’ rights. Gilder, who won an Olympic medal in 1984, tells her story in “Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX.”

Commentary: Tsarnaev Sentencing Looms Over 2015 Boston Marathon

April 18, 2015
Runners coming over the Mass Pike at the 2014 Boston Marathon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Bill Littlefield: “The Boston Marathon has been a celebration of effort, determination, camaraderie, community, and charity. That’s what it will be again on Monday. But what hangs over this race is the fate of the man … convicted of 30 criminal counts connected to the bombing two years ago.”

Remembering Eduardo Galeano, Writer And Soccer Lover

April 15, 2015
Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano reads from his new book "Los hijos de los dias" (The sons of the days) at the Solis Theater in Montevideo on April 3, 2012. Galeano died in Montevideo on April 13, 2015 at the age of 74. (MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images)

Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, known partly for his books about soccer, passed away Monday at the age of 74. Only A Game’s Bill Littlefield remembers Galeano’s writing.

‘Men In Green’ Profiles Golf’s Legends, Living And ‘Secret’

April 11, 2015
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In his new book “Men In Green,” Sports Illustrated’s Michael Bamberger reconnects with some of the golfers he’s met while covering the sport. The author joins Bill Littlfield to discuss the project.

Commentary: Lauren Hill Made The Most Of Every Day She Had

April 11, 2015
Lauren Hill passed away from terminal brain cancer. Shw was able to play for the Mount St. Joseph women's basketball team in November before she died. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

College basketball player Lauren Hill passed away Friday at age 19, but her message will carry on. Bill Littlefield shares her story.

Commentary: Raindrops Keep Falling On Baseball’s Miami Marlins

April 11, 2015
The Miami marlins' retractable roof took 16 minutes to close after an unexpected downpour of rain on Opening Day.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins built a brand new, $500-million stadium with a retractable roof, but they still managed to have a rain delay. Bill Littlefield explains.

Remembering Baseball’s George ‘Boomer’ Scott

April 08, 2015
George Scott of the Boston Red Sox connects for a two run homer in the bottom of the night inning of the 1977 All-Star Game. (AP Photo)

When spring arrives and baseball begins, it’s a time of hope and optimism for many fans. But for Bill Littlefield, it’s also a time to look back on players who have come and gone, including former big league slugger George Scott.

Music On Only A Game

April 04, 2015
Only A Game Music

In this week’s music blog, Bill Littlefield puts on a Southern accent.

‘Baseball’s Flawed Genius’ Chronicles Billy Martin’s Unpredictable Life

April 04, 2015
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Billy Martin, who managed the Yankees on five separate occasions, was considered a brilliant baseball mind. But his off-field troubles haunted him. Bill Pennington joins Bill Littlefield to discuss his biography of the former player and manager.

Commentary: Safety First — More Complicated Than It Sounds

April 04, 2015
A new lawsuit filed by 75 former NFL players accuses the league of hiding information about the health risks associated with concussions. (AP)

Bill Littlefield tries to make sense of conflicting information on keeping athletes safe from concussions.

A ‘Signature Signing': Revs Land Jermaine Jones

August 26, 2014
U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones (13) celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during a World Cup match against Portugal in Brazil on June 22. (Julio Cortez/AP)

The New England Revolution have acquired 32-year-old midfielder Jermaine Jones, who was last seen starring for the U.S. national team at the 2014 World Cup.

Liverpool Football Club Teaches Fundamentals, Fun Of Game To Perkins Students

July 23, 2014
(Marc Finn/WBUR)

The service arm of the Liverpool Football Club — along with a couple of team legends — was at the Perkins School For the Blind to teach soccer to some of the students using special equipment for the visually impaired.

Bill Russell: Champion Of Basketball And Civil Rights

November 01, 2013
Former Celtics player Bill Russell speaks at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Aug. 28, 2013. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Public preservation hasn’t seemed to matter much to Bill Russell, but it’s likely he’s pleased with the portion of his monument — set to be unveiled in Boston — that includes messages about teamwork.

Sox Welcome P Peavy To Rotation, Clubhouse

August 01, 2013
Then-Chicago White Sox starter Jake Peavy pitches July 25. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

The Red Sox traded for the Cy Young winner late Tuesday.

Bill Littlefield: Many Factors Working In Red Sox’s Favor

July 16, 2013

Half-way through the season, the Boston Red Sox have the best record in the American League. Bill Littlefield that is due in part to what other team’s aren’t doing.

The Potential Interpretations Of Rondo's Shoving Match

November 29, 2012
The Celtics' Rajon Rondo walks off the court after being ejected in the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for two games Thursday for a skirmish in Wednesday night’s game. Only A Game’s host shares his thoughts.

Commentary: Should Athlete Involvement In Harvard’s Cheating Scandal Change The Story?

September 12, 2012
Harvard's Kyle Casey plans to withdraw from school amid a cheating scandal that also may involve other athletes, according to several reports. (AP)

Over 100 students are being investigated for cheating, but the involvement of the co-captains of the basketball team has altered the discussion.

Littlefield On Pesky: Recalling A Great Storyteller

August 14, 2012
Late Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, right, and WBUR's Bill Littlefield, during one of their many interviews (Only A Game File Photo)

Johnny Pesky, the Red Sox’ unofficial ambassador, passed away Monday. WBUR’s Bill Littlefield recalls the beloved longtime member of the organization.

In Needham, Gymnast Aly Raisman Is A Hometown Hero

August 01, 2012
Olympic medalist Aly Raisman  is the captain of the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (AP)

“Only A Game” host Bill Littlefield and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman live in the same town, Needham, where the town is wild about Aly.

Bob Ryan’s Definition Of Retiring: Still Working, But Less

July 19, 2012

Longtime Boston Globe sports writer Bob Ryan is set to retire after the London Olympics, but it won’t be a matter of sitting on the porch with a pitcher of cold lemonade and a scrapbook.

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