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The Baltimore Sun

Mark Harris, 84


Mark Harris, best known for baseball novels that included Bang the Drum Slowly, died Wednesday at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif. Mr. Harris had contracted pneumonia after breaking his hip in a fall a month ago, said his wife, Josephine Harris.

Mr. Harris wrote five nonfiction books and 13 novels, including the baseball books The Southpaw (1953), Bang the Drum Slowly (1956), A Ticket for a Seamstitch (1957) and It Looked Like Forever (1979).

Bang the Drum Slowly, which he also adapted for the 1973 movie starring Michael Moriarty and Robert De Niro, was the most popular of the four and it was named one of the top 100 sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated.

The story centers around a pair of ballplayers for the fictional New York Mammoths. Mr. Moriarty played pitcher Wiggen and Mr. De Niro played catcher Bruce Pearson, who is dying of Hodgkin's disease.

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