Atlanta sports writer Furman Bisher chronicled, lauded and skewered the men and women of sport in more than 15,000 columns. Here are some of his best loved columns from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bisher died in 2012.

Feb. 24, 1980: Young U.S. shavers upset blackbeards

Lake Placid, N.Y. -- Calm yourself. This doesn't mean the Russians have pulled out of Afghanistan and called Jimmy to say they're sorry. The hostages haven't been told to get packed for home. The oil crisis hasn't improved a gallon's worth. We still have inflation as fat as Blue Boy. (A seat to watch this event cost $67.20, unscalped.) But something of considerable international significance took place in the Olympic Arena at the vesper hour Friday evening.

April 22, 1981: The death of Joe Louis 

Joe Louis became Barrow again Tuesday. In death they returned the name by which he began life and returned the body to the soil. The beginning and the end were of contrasts as broad as a chasm, and reflect the American legend. Joe Louis Barrow came out of a sharecropper's cabin in east Alabama and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, a ground sacred to Americans who come here to honor their military dead. Just a few days ago, Gen. Omar Bradley was put to rest here. Just up the hill from the old heavyweight champ's grassy spot is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In death, he'd be keeping good company.

May 10, 1990: The tree that played center field

(In the days of the Atlanta Crackers baseball club, a large magnolia tree stood in center field, on a terrace rising just above the playing level. Until the latter seasons at Ponce de Leon Park, when a scoreboard blocked it out, the tree was in play. Only Eddie Mathews, then a kid of 19, ever hit a ball into the tree, the story goes. I can confirm that, but I can't deny there may have been others.

Dec. 14, 1986: The Georgia Peach

Tyrus Raymond Cobb was probably the greatest baseball player who ever lived. But the first inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame isn't even memorialized in his hometown.

April 16, 1950: For openers, let's spar a few rounds

Last New Year's Night the boys in the back room at Brook Hollow Country Club were getting their kicks from songwriter Harry Revel, who between songs specializes in soothsaying on an amateur basis. It was Dallas, Texas, and the Cotton Bowl was in season. What the man who wrote "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?" and "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming" was doing in Dallas I never knew. We'uns from North Carolina were waiting around to get stomped by Rice Institute the next day.

Oct. 29, 1995: World champion at last, after waiting 30 years

The world stopped turning last night. The sun came up at midnight. Atlanta turned the other cheek and didn't get slapped. The Braves went to bed -- if they went to bed at all -- champions of the baseball world, to go with the "Miracle Braves" of Boston and the Milwaukee Braves of Wisconsin. Of 1914, of 1957 and of 1995.

April 19, 2000: I saw him take his first breath in life and I saw him take his last

Let me tell you about Roger Bisher, the athlete. It won't take long because the career was short.

Sept. 18, 1990: Tortoise again beats the hare

TOKYO -- You'd probably better take this sitting down. Find a chair. Take a cold drink of water. Brace yourself. Clear your head.

Dec. 9, 1951: Shoeless Joe left with a clear conscience

Shoeless Joe Jackson was a plain and simple man who thought in plain and simple ways. He stood out from his kind only by a remarkable athletic instinct, and an extra sense that made him one of baseball's great hitters. Fact is, they say he was the greatest natural hitter that ever lived.

March 21, 1994: Not as much fun without Grizzard

Lewis Grizzard fell in love with newspapering at an early age. Then he fell in love with The Atlanta Journal. In fact, this is what he wrote about his teenage decision:

April 9, 1974: The steady drumbeat of a Hammer

The flower of American sporting journalism was caught with its tongue tied. With its fingers arthritic. Its brain turned into a glob of quivering gelatin. Its nervous system drawn as tight as a banjo's strings.

RELATED: Furman Bisher was an Atlanta sportswriter and legend

RELATED: Bisher's last "I'm thankful" column from 2011