Trent Frayne (pictured, right of Joe DiMaggio) always had the gift for gab in his marvellously written stories and columns. He calls it his "light-hearted" approach to the business of putting together an article that would appeal to readers. One admirer of his referred to his "quirky circumspection" of events and his rhapsodies. "I never took it too seriously. It was not about who won the game," Frayne told me. "It’s not all about life and death. It’s sports, for God’s sake. It’s fun and games.
"I took a larger look at the picture. There was not the rush there is now. The problem now is the speed that is required in getting the story to the office. And the editors all want quotes now."
The Olympics, Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, Wimbledon, 1972 Summit Series, Stanley Cup playoffs, World Series, Grey Cup, you name it, Frayne was there. He spent three decades writing for Maclean’s and he also pounded out stuff for the Globe and Mail and the Sun, retiring in 1993.
"There are three top things that stand out for me," Frayne said. "Two are tied – the 1972 series between Canada and the Soviets and the Kentucky Derby in 1964 when Canada’s Northern Dancer won. Then there was 1941 when I was writing for the Winnipeg Tribune. That year I was in Philadelphia when Ted Williams finished the season with a .406 average and that was the year Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 consecutive games.
"I got my picture taken with DiMaggio at the World Series that year. All the scribes were on the field before the game and I went up to Joe and asked him if I could have my picture taken with him. He said it was allright. It was a great moment for a kid from Brandon, Man."
Frayne cut his career at his hometown Sun paper, watching games at night and then getting up early in the morning, going into the bathroom, sitting on the "throne," writing out stories and then dropping them into the newspaper mailbox on his way to school. So he got his training on the pottie, so to speak. "The editor said he didn’t have time to cover the events but he said that if I wanted to give him stuff, he said he would make sure it got in the paper," Frayne said.
So began an illustrious career by a remarkable writer.