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Thread: Meet The Sports Writers

  1. #41
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    Harold DeKalb Johnson---AKA Speed Johnson

    Born: September 2, 1884, Bellefontaine, OH
    Died: February 3, 1958, Chicago, IL, age 73

    Chicago sports writer;
    Columbus Citizen (Ohio) reporter, 1906
    Chicago Record-Herald, 1906 - 1915
    Cleveland Newspaper Enterprise Association sports editor, November, 1916
    Chicago Record-Herald, November, 1916 - 1919
    Chicago Evening American, 1919 - 1932
    Chicago American (early 1940's - 1949)

    Editor of Who's Who in Major League Baseball, 1933 - 40's. The 1933 edition remains a priceless classic. Sells for hundred's of dollars.

    His photo/entry in 1933 Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
    pp. 12-13, the masterpiece he edited.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Chicago Daily Tribune obituary, February 4, 1958, pp. B1.---Sporting News' obituary, February 12, 1958, pp. 28.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1925: Interviewing football running legend, Red Grange, the Galloping Ghost, at Wheaton College.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-05-2011 at 12:27 AM.

  2. #42
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    Melville Emerson Webb, Jr.----AKA Mel Webb

    Born: February 21, 1876, Boston, MA
    Died: October 23, 1961, Brookline, MA, age 85--- d. Hahnemann Hospital in Brighton, MA. Had underwent an operation last week and developed pneumonia a few days ago.
    Although he died at Hahnemann Hospital, his last residence had been in Brookline, MA.

    Boston sports writer;
    Graduated Boston English HS,
    Boston Globe sports writer, 1894 - July 4, 1951,
    Started covering school sports; 2 years later became assistant to Tim Murnane, also specialized in football.
    Founding member BWAA. - 1908.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------New York Times' Obituary, October 24, 1961, pp. 37.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' Obituary, November 1, 1961, pp. 22, col. 3.-----January 29, 1948: Mel Webb/Bob Elliot. Presenting Eddie McGrath
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------trophy for NL 1947 MVP at Boston sports writers annual dinner in Boston.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-02-2012 at 10:39 AM.

  3. #43
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    George W. Munson

    Born: August 15, 1858, New York City (Cornell University confirmed his August 15, 1858 date of birth.)
    Died: March 14, 1908, St. Louis, MO, age 49---d. double pneumonia/kidney complications, buried in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, St. Louis on March 17, 1908.

    St. Louis sports writer / publicist;
    Graduated Cornell University, 1876-79; entered journalism in New York;
    Arrived from New York City to St. Louis, 1883
    St. Louis Republic sports writer.,
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch;
    Secretary / Manager of St. Louis Browns (May, 1885- 1890);
    Made business manager/secretary of Chicago Players League club (The Brotherhood, June 15, 1890).
    Did the publicity for Chris Von Der Ahe, 1891 - 1994, August 9. St. Louis baseball scorer.

    Press Agent of St. Louis Fair Association. Put out Horse Show Monthly. Sec. of Horse Show Association/local Kennel Club. Was elected Pres. of the original Base Ball reporters Association of America in Cincinnati (December, 1887); One of the editors of the Spalding Official Base Ball Guide.
    Essential member of Scorers' Association. One of the editors of the Spalding Official Base Ball Guide. Came from New York in 1883. Married Lizzie in 1888; 2 kids by 1900.
    St. Louis Republican' obituary; March 15, 1908, pp. 1.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------GEORGE MUNSON IS DEAD

    ---------------------------------------------------FAMOUS SECRETARY OF BROWNS SUCCUMBS TO PNEUMONIA
    ------------------------------------Was one of First Baseball Reporters, and Greatest Publicity Expert When With Von der Ahe's Winners--Had Countless Friends

    George Munson, secretary of the Mississippi Valley Kennel Club, and one of the very earliest promoters of baseball at one time an associate of Charles Comiskey at Chicago, died at 8:50 o'clock last night at his Rossmore apartments, McPherson avenue and Whittier street. He had a chill ten days ago which developed into double pneumonia and congestion of the lungs. He was 48 years old.

    Mrs. Munson was alone with her husband when he died. A son, Porter White Munson and a daughter, Daisy White Munson, had been summoned, but neither arrived until after the father's death. The son was at Batesville, Ark., and Miss Munson was attending St. De Chantal Seminary, near Springfield, Mo.

    Munson's mother ? with a married daughter in Elizabeth, N. J. and a brother lives in New York City. Funeral arrangements will be made after the relatives are communicated with.

    -------------------------------------------------------Graduated From Cornell
    Munson came to St. Louis in 1881 after being graduated from Cornell University and at once became a baseball writer. He was soon made secretary of the St. Louis Kennel Club. Twenty-five years ago he opened the first St. Louis roller-skating rink at Nineteenth and Pine street.

    Baseball soon again attracted Munson and he became secretary of Chris Von der Ahe's St. Louis Browns when they were four-time pennant winners. That was in 1885-6-7-8. In 1890 he joined Comiskey in Chicago as secretary of the Brotherhood Club, but returned to Von der Ahe within a year, remaining with him until continuous racing began in 1895-6. He was then made secretary of the St. Louis Fair Association. When the association sold out Munson began to publish the Horseshow Monthly and was made secretary of the local Horse Show Association and later took his last position with the Kennel club.

    During Munson's connection with Von der Ahe he was official scorer for the American Association. He also managed the Omaha Baseball Club for a time.

    After graduation Mr. Munson was employed upon the Missouri Republican and The Republic. He was one of the very first baseball reporters of St. Louis. E H Tobias, Dave Reid, Al Spink and Billy Spink being the others.

    He was a most energetic and popular promoter of publicity. In his way, which was largely the way of Barnum, he advertised the Browns far and wide, when he became their secretary. Munson wrote with his left hand, and was a veritable human circus poster in the lavish use of adjectives of ? The newspaper men who read his copy were wont to say they were glad Munson would not write with his right hand. Could he have done so they felt that there would have been no limit to his adjectives' ebullience.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------First Baseball Exploiter
    Munson was the first of the baseball exploiters. Indeed, he taught most of the early reporters how to score and write baseball games. Baseball was a new game in the early eighties and its chroniclers were few and new, too.

    For some ten years Munson exploited Von Der Ahe and the Browns over the country. When he quit them it was to become advance agent and publicity man of "The Derby Winner" a play written by his friend A. H. Spink. After a year or two of tumult on the road, "The Derby Winner" died. Then Munson went into the general advertising business in which he remained until he died.

    People often said that Munson was the "Luck of Von Der Ahe". Which may have been true. In any event Von Der Ahe and his Browns declined steadily after George left them. Five years later Von Der Ahe, to whom Munson gave the eternal sobriquet "Der Boss President", lost the grand and glorious institution of St. Louis the Browns as poor Munson was words to always write it.

    A man of indefatigable energy and immense personal acquaintance and popularity, Mr. Munson was always in a position to transact an immense volume of business and to make a great deal of money. But no one ever knew George Munson to keep a book of ? to make money for himself. In his advertising business he would telephone a patron and make a verbal contract. Then he would send one of his boys over to the patron to get the contract in writing and permit the messenger to collect the large percentage due a solicitor. As a matter of fact he gave half of every thing he received.

    Nobody ever saw George Munson in ill humor. Nobody ever heard him say an ill word of any body else. Nobody ever saw him with the blues.

    Once a high liver, Mr. Munson for years has been most abstemious man and eschewed the ways of the good fellows, gave in heart and liberality. Take the good fellow as you may, George Munson was the beau ideal. In the words of his own favorite toast:

    "We come into this world naked and bare.
    While we are here ? sorrow and care.
    We leave this world for we know not where.
    But if you're a good fellow here.
    You'll be a good fellow there.

    As far as George Munson is concerned there cannot be a doubt of it. He was a true husband, a true father and a true friend. (St. Louis Republican, March 15, 1908, pp. 1.)
    Friends To Be Buried To-Day.
    George Munson and C. T. Noland will be Laid to Rest.
    George Munson, the veteran sporting authority who died last Saturday, will be buried to-Day, the funeral taking place from the New Cathedral Chapel at 8:30 a. m. Requiem mass will be said by the Reverend Father Gilfillan, assisted by the Reverend Father D. J. Lavery, of the Holy Rosary Parish. Stephen Martin will sing. Porter White, father-in law of Mr. Munson, who is en route from California, will not arrive for the funeral.

    The active pallbearers will be Robert Aull, Charles Spink, Frank Tate, "Jack" Ryan, J. B. Sheridan, W. A. Kelson, J. Edward Wray and Fred Hirsch. The honorary pallbearers will include Zach Mulhall, G. Lacy Crawford, William Marion Reedy, Harry B. Hawes, Con P. Curran, John Schroers, P. Short, Richard Collins, A. A. Busch, William Maffitt, B. Van Blarcom, Alfred Spink, Merritt H. Marshall, Judge Virgil Rule and John Fletcher.

    Charles T. Noland prominent attorney and billiard player, and a friend of Mr. Munson, also will be buried to-day. The funeral will take place from the family residence, No. 4120 Morgan street, at 1 p. m. The Elks will have charge of the services. The active pallbearers will be Charles Fensky, Doctor Heine Marks, Fred Chrisman, C. Porter Johnson, Thomas Dement, R. T. Morris. The honorary pallbearers will be Charles Porter Johnson, Thomas B. Estep, David Ranken, F. Pauley, Murray Carleton, Doctor Edward Sensenny Vaughn and A. R. Thompson. (St. Louis Republican, March 17, 1908, pp. 14.)
    Sporting News' death tribute, March 19, 1908, pp. 4, column 2.
    George Munson, who as secretary of the old Browns, was as valuable to Chris Von der Ahe as Comiskey was in the conduct of the team that won four successive American Association pennants and one world's championship for St. Louis in the 1890's died on Saturday, the victim of double pneumonia and kidney complications. A graduate of Cornell, he entered journalism in New York and while a newspaper novice located in St. Louis. His base ball department in the Republic was one of its features and on the death of David Reid in 1885, Mr. Von der Ahe appointed Munson secretary of his club. He retained the position until 1899, when he accompanied Comiskey to Chicago as secretary of the Brotherhood club of that city, returning with the Old Roman to Von der Ahe's service the following season and remaining until 1896, when he became press agent of the St. Louis Fair Association and engaged in the promotion of sporting events.

    When Celia Adler and Tilles secured control of the Fair Grounds, Munson began the publication of the Horse Show monthly. He was secretary of the Horse Show Association and of the local Kennel Club and the leading spirit in each. during his connection with the Browns he was the official scorer of the club and taught the rudiments of the statistics of the game to practically all of St. Louis' sporting writers of the inter '80's and early '90's. He ranked with the best scorers of that time and many of the improvements in the playing and statistical departments of the pastime were suggested by him. Foremost in the organization of the Scorers' Association, he was elected its secretary and by many was recognized as its most assiduous and able member. Munson, the man of many friends' as the Post "dispatch accurately described him, possessed to a rare degree the trait of creating a favorable impression on introduction and his sterling and magnetic qualities made chums of those with whom he had long social or business association. He measured men accurately, appreciated their good points, and allowed for their failings. An application for a favor was never denied by him, and some who exceeded the limit of his purse in their appeals to him, never knew the sacrifice that he sometimes made to accommodate those already under obligation to him. Impulsive and high strung, he had himself in full control at all times and however indignant at a disagreeable turn in an affair in which he was engaged, he proceeded in its accomplishment as far as laid in his power and deploring defeat, never harbored malice or planned revenge.

    His services to Von der Ahe were beyond price. While Comiskey and his Browns were making Von der Ahe rich and famous, Munson dept his business from entanglements and molded him into a base ball magnate. The tact, education and refinement of the Cornell graduate made him a foil for the newly-rich German, who as a Grand Avenue grocer, had thrifty and humble associates, but as 'der president of the Browns', met men of polished manners and champagne tastes.

    The transformation was slow and far from complete. Munson's mentorship worked wonders and in time the Browns' owner acquitted himself credibly at sessions of his league and at public functions. When his employer enraged press or patrons or became involved with his associate club-owners, Munson established peace so adroitly that ill effects were averted. Von der Ahe was safeguarded from many of his mistakes by the diplomacy and personal polarity of Munson and Comiskey and each had the courage to disobey positive orders when compliance would have caused harmful consequences.

    Munson was a ideal press agent and his best service to base ball was in the sporting columns of the leading papers of the country. The Browns were at home and abroad and through his efforts human interest became one of the game's greatest attractions. People who never saw Comiskey and hi Browns read Munson's individual sketches and formed an attachment for them. His acquaintance was unlimited and his friendships fast and firm.
    For over a year preceding his death, Munson was engaged in the collection of data for a biography of Comiskey, for whom he entertained a fraternal feeling, which was shared by the Old Roman, who wired his regrets at the passing of his former associate and directed that a floral tribute be placed on his bier. (Sporting News' death tribute, March 19, 1908, pp. 4, column 2.)

    ---------------------------------------------------------New York Times, January 21, 1890, pp. 5.---------New York Times' obituary, March 15, 1908, pp. S1.

    ----------------------------------------------------------Chicago Daily Tribune, January 22, 1890, pp. 3, column 2.-----Chicago Daily Tribune, March 17, 1908, pp. 8.

    St. Louis Republican' obituary; March 15, 1908, pp. 1.

    Dallas Morning News' obituary, March 16, 1908.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-21-2011 at 04:18 PM.

  4. #44
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    James Joseph Long---AKA Jim Long

    Born: November 30, 1878, McKeekport, PA
    Died: April 8, 1955, Pittsburgh, PA, age 76

    Pittsburgh sports writer;
    McKeesport Herald
    Allegheny Record
    Pittsburgh Leader sports editor, 1898-?
    Pittsburgh Dispatch sports editor
    Pittsburgh Post sports editor
    Pittsburgh Sun sports editor, 1908 - 1927
    Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph columnist, 1927 - February 1, 1937
    Pittsburgh Pirates publicity agent, February 1, 1937 - 1955

    Jim's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 498.

    Sporting News, January 21, 1937, pp. 4.----------------------------------------------------1955-----------------------------New York Times' Obituary, April 9, 1955, pp. 13.--New York Herald-Tribune Obituary, April 9, 1955.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-07-2012 at 11:16 AM.

  5. #45
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    Hugh Edmund Keough---AKA Hek

    Born: January 24, 1864, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Died: June 9, 1912, Chicago, IL, age 48,---d. after 6 week illness

    Hamilton Spectator (Ontario) reporter, 1881,
    Sporting Journal, 1888-1890,
    Chicago Times reporter, sports editor, 1891--95,
    San Francisco Chronicle sports editor, 1895,
    New Orleans Item (1896),
    race track official throughout the Midwest, 1898-1900;
    Lake County Times managing editor, (Hammond, IN), 1900-05
    Chicago Tribune sports writer & columnist, 1905-12.

    While at The Chicago Tribune, he started and made famous 'The Wake of the News' from 1905-12. It's thought to be the oldest, continuous sports column in the US. Worked newspapers 31 years. Married Bertha Atherton, 1893.

    Hugh E. (Hek) 48 years old, a well-known Chicago sport writer died at his home here to-night after a six weeks illness. He had been engaged in newspaper work for 31 years. For many years he acted as an official at race tracks in the South and Middle East.

    "By Hek" in the Wake of the News: A Collection of the Writings of the Late Hugh Edmund Keough, edited by Hugh S. Fullerton, 1912.

    Biography Resource Center:
    Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002.

    Known as "Hek" from his byline, "By Hek," Hugh Edmund Keough was an early twentieth-century sportswriter known for his witty and good-natured take on sports. He was the inaugural editor for the Chicago Tribune's "In the Wake of the News" column, the oldest-known continuous sports column in the United States. According to Joel Sternberg in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, the Chicago Tribune called Keough a "powerful and unique influence for high standards, sanity, and sportsmanship in athletics." Sternberg also observed that Keough "made 'In the Wake of the News' the most brilliant feature of the Tribune sports section, creating a tone and style that would be followed by sports journalists for generations to come."

    Aside from his birth date and place, not much else is known about Keough's youth. He began his career in journalism at the age of seventeen at the Hamilton Spectator. He found his way to Chicago via Indianapolis and Logansport, Indiana. In the 1880s there were more than a dozen major dailies in Chicago, and competition ran fierce. By 1891 Keough was a reporter and sports editor for the Chicago Times, and was meeting Chicago's most important writers, reporters, and cartoonists as a member of the Whitechapel Club.

    Keough married Bertha Atherton in 1893, and two years later the couple moved to San Francisco, where Keough wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle. He worked for the New Orleans Item before returning to the Midwest in 1898 to work as an official in the region's major racetracks. In 1900 he became managing editor of the Lake County Times in Hammond, Indiana. Not long after that he began writing a column for the Chicago Tribune titled "Sidelights on Sports," and then a regular Sunday column, "Some Offside Plays." Response to this column which playfully criticized popular figures in the news was so positive that the Tribune offered Keough a permanent position in 1905. Keough accepted, and in 1907 he became the first editor for "In the Wake of the News."

    As a sports columnist, Keough excelled; colleague Harvey T. Woodruff called him "the greatest sports columnist of all time" in an obituary for the Tribune." Woodruff continued: "[Keough] could be vitriolic or tender, he could be subtle or obvious, he could write verse or prose. His greatest forte was his gift for concise wit, often so subtle that it was over the heads of a majority of his readers."

    Keough's columns usually consisted of twenty to thirty items including light verse, epigrams, responses to readers' letters, and short citations. Keough's brief portraits of sports figures could be incisive, as in his description of Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon's visit to the races in Seattle in 1905. In a public speech Cannon "admitted that he had surrendered to the human impulse to bet," wrote Keough in a July 2, 1905 "Some Offside Plays" column. "Those old gentlemen get quite giddy when they are allowed to stray away from home on these wholly unnecessary summer excursions. We should not be surprised if we were told that the old boy had been seen riding in the smoker."

    Keough also championed athletes of color at a time when racist sentiments were commonplace. He wrote in his July 4, 1910 column of prize fighter Jack Johnson's victory in Reno, Nevada, "The king is dead. Long live the king, even though he be a Negro. No dissenting voice rises tonight in pentup Reno to question John Arthur Johnson's right to the throne."

    The witty epigrams of Keough's "In the Wake of the News" became classics in his day, including: "A game that everybody is good at cannot be a hard game to play"; "Ill fares the game that is governed by the box office"; and "The losses we take philosophically are those the other guy pays." He rephrased popular sayings in a column titled "Made over Maxims." For example: "Hell hath no fury like a discharged caddy"; "Your flowing tide of easy money is ever offset by the undertow"; and "Cast your bread upon the waters and it will return to you. This applies to the waters of Salt Lake, where there are not fish to beat you to it." In a column titled "Autumn Reflection," he employed a Scottish dialect to issue edicts about golf: "Gowf should no be played in lang breeks. It's doonright sacreleegious. . . . Kilts, mon, are the only habit for a Gowfer."

    By 1907 Keough's columns were appearing daily, with Sunday features focusing on various sports and civic subjects. He frequently skewered sports commentators, but helped friends in need and displayed compassion for children.

    He wrote a Christmas poem in 1910 called "Be a Goodfellow," in which he urged children to

    "Be a good fellow, if revel you must; / But set a small portion apart / To buy trinkets and goodies for poverty's kids, / Who've been given the worst of the start. / It sets yourself right when you know you have done / Something to share just a part of your fun / With those who have nothing to do nothing with--/ Show them that Santa Claus isn't a myth!"

    Keough also remembered departed sports friends and colleagues, such as Cleveland pitcher Addie Joss and close friend Charles F. Spalding, with his verses. Herald Tribune reporter Charles Bartlett, as quoted by Sternberg, wrote that the sentimentality of these short poems "rang true, without any semblance of straining."

    Keough began suffering an ailment in his throat, and underwent two operations intended to improve his ability to swallow. On June 9, 1912, three days after the second operation, Keough died. Tribune cartoonist Clare Briggs remembered the columnist with a drawing depicting twenty-eight athletes, sports writers, and other sports figures as Keough's honorary pallbearers. A wreath was placed on his desk at the Tribune, and for several days the paper published condolences and poetry from around the country in a column titled "A Good Old Pal's Gone Out."

    Sternberg noted that in a eulogy, Father C. J. Quill said that Keough's passionate dedication to sincerity and truth "often lead 'Hek' in his column to attack fearlessly and with courage many shallow pretenses. His barbed shafts of wit sometimes left a sting and even resentment in their wake, but they were evidence of his stand for the genuine, for the best things in life." Keough's funeral was attended by hundreds, and a theatrical benefit for his wife Bertha at Chicago's Colonial Theater was so popular a second theater was prepared for an overflow crowd. Will Rogers and almost thirty other performers donated their time and talents to the cause, which netted nearly $8,500 for Keough's widow.

    Sportswriter Hugh S. Fuller took over Keough's column on July 14, 1912. It did not take him long to realize he was the wrong person to fill the witty humorist's shoes. He recommended Ring Lardner, who assumed the column almost a year after Keough's death. Sternberg observed that Lardner was also intimidated by the prospect of continuing Keough's legacy, so for a while he sent his columns to the copy desk by messenger rather than face muttered comments like "Does he think he's as good as Keough?"

    In 1912 a compilation of Keough's columns was published, titled "By Hek" in the Wake of the News, edited by Fullerton. In his introduction to the book, Fullerton said: "many times I chided [Keough] for not writing something for posterity; something 'worth while.' He could have done something that perhaps would have brought more lasting fame, but he preferred to write for his own people--the 'good fellows' he loved so well. And, perhaps, judging from the depth and sincerity of the grief they showed at his death, he was right."
    Dictionary of Literary Biography

    Hugh Edmund Keough was one of the brightest wits in American sports writing during the early part of the twentieth century. The first editor of the "In the Wake of the News" column in the Chicago Tribune--thought to be the oldest continuous sports column in the United States--Keough was cited by his newspaper as a "powerful and unique influence for high standards, sanity, and sportsmanship in athletics." He made "In the Wake of the News" the most brilliant feature of the Tribune sports section, creating a tone and style that would be followed by sports journalists for generations to come.

    Keough, who would come to be known as "Hek" from his byline, "By Hek," was born on 24 January 1864 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. While information about his early life is sketchy, it is known that he began his newspaper career with the Hamilton Spectator at the age of seventeen. He continued his journalistic pursuits in Indianapolis and Logansport, Indiana, and in the early 1880s he ventured to Chicago--a fiercely competitive newspaper center with more than a dozen major dailies.

    In 1891 Keough's sharp and incisive writing style earned him a position as reporter and sports editor for the Chicago Times. He joined the Whitechapel Club, whose ninety members consisted of leading Chicago writers, cartoonists, and reporters. There Keough brushed shoulders with such newspaper luminaries as George Ade, John T. McCutcheon, Bert Leston Taylor, Hugh S. Fullerton, and Finley Peter Dunne.

    In 1893 Keough married Bertha Atherton of Dubuque, Iowa. In 1895 they began moving about the country as he pursued his career in sports journalism with the San Francisco Chronicle and the New Orleans Item. Around 1898 they returned to the Midwest, where, for the next couple of years, Keough served as an official at every important racetrack in that part of the country. When horse racing suffered a decline in popularity, Keough focused his attention once again on journalism, and in 1900 he became managing editor of the Lake County Times in Hammond, Indiana. Shortly thereafter he began contributing a column to the Chicago Tribune titled "Sidelights on Sports." Impressed with his work, sports editor Sherman Duffy of the Chicago Journal attempted to hire Keough to write a column of sports humor for fifteen dollars a week; but Journal publisher John C.

    Eastman found nothing amusing in Keough's samples and turned down Duffy's recommendation.

    Keough's association with the Tribune evolved into a Sunday column titled "Some Offside Plays." His good-natured, witty criticism of popular figures in the news was so successful that in 1905 he was offered, and accepted, a permanent position with the Tribune.

    Columns and special services had proven successful in various sections of the Tribune. The legendary editor and notorious curmudgeon James Keeley had created the popular "How to Keep Well" column by Dr. William A. Evans, a charm and beauty column by Lillian Russell, Laura Jean Libbey's "Advice to the Lovelorn," and the immensely successful editorial-page feature, "A Line o' Type or Two," written and edited by Taylor under the byline "B. L. T." In sports, Keeley launched several columns; one of them was "In the Wake of the News," to which he assigned Keough as the first editor around 1907.

    From the outset, as Charles Bartlett notes, Keough did not limit himself to "mere typewriter punching." According to his colleague Harvey T.
    Woodruff, who would later edit the column, Keough was "the greatest sports columnist of all time": he "could be vitriolic or tender, he could be subtle or obvious, he could write verse or prose. His greatest forte was his gift for concise wit, often so subtle that it was over the heads of a majority of his readers." In his introduction to his 1912 compilation of Keough's writing, "By Hek" in the Wake of the News, Fullerton remarked that his friend was unique in that "he wrote classics in the language that men understand." When "classroom" English proved inadequate to his ends, he achieved "clarity and force by adopting the language made by the people among whom he lived. This philosophy he learned in the school of sport, where human nature is vivisected by men trained in studying each other for profit." Liberal and "forgiving toward human frailties," Keough was impatient with hypocrites, on whom he turned his gift for satire. "His vocabulary," wrote Fullerton, "ranged from thieves' slang to the race track tout's patois and, with his keen, whimsical humor, he brought the lightning flash of meaning from the words."

    Much of what Keough wrote was ephemeral, but his mini-portraits of both real and fictitious people still hold their bite and charm. For example, in an early "Some Offside Plays" column (2 July 1905) Keough reported:
    The Hon. Joseph Cannon, speaker of the house of representatives, attended the races at Seattle last week, and in a speech to the populace admitted that he had surrendered to the human impulse to bet. Those old gentlemen get quite giddy when they are allowed to stray away from home on these wholly unnecessary summer excursions. We should not be surprised if we were told that the old boy had been seen riding in the smoker.

    On 16 July 1905, commenting on the state of heavyweight boxing after Jim Jeffries had given up the heavyweight championship and the less-than-desirable Marvin Hart had won the crown in a fight with Jack Root, Keough pointed out that fighters such as Paddy Ryan and John L. Sullivan were honored and worshipped by boxing fans: "Jim Corbett was generally respected. Bob Fitzsimmons was an artistic triumph. The world had to give it to Jeffries for what nature had done for him. But Marvin Hart? Well, really, has it come to this"" Later in the same column Keough again tendered his displeasure in no uncertain terms: "The pugilistic grave has given up its dead since Marvin Hart woke up and found the championship in his stocking." Still grumbling about heavyweight boxing, on 30 July 1905 Keough noted that "Marvin Hart's folks are at a loss to account for his progress in the prize ring.....

    Chicago Tribune, July 14, 1937, pp. 21.-----------------------Chicago Tribune, January 24, 1942, Section II, pp. 20.

    Chicago Tribune, June 10, 1912, pp. 10.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-25-2011 at 04:36 PM.

  6. #46
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    ---------------------------------------The Spink Family: Founders of The Sporting News;
    ------------------------Best, Most Important Sports / Baseball Newspaper Ever Published;

    William McDonald Spink---AKA Bill Spink

    Born: May 26, 1848, Quebec Provence, Canada
    Died: June 30, 1885, St. Louis, MO, age 37,---Buried: Catholic Cavalry Cemetery, ST. Louis, MO on July 2, 1885.

    St. Louis sports writer;

    Arrived in St. Louis (from Quebec, Canada), in 1863. One of first baseball writers in Midwest. Cincinnati telegrapher, left Western Union telegraph company to work Cincinnati Gazette & then went St. Louis, Missouri Democrat. When Globe merged with Democrat, took over as telegraph editor. Expert telegrapher and was in charge of the telegraph office at the House of Parliament probably about 1860. During spare time, developed sports page for Globe-Democrat. Covered all sports and was regared as one of top writers of his day, due to his versatility.

    Billy Spink was an expert baseball player in the 1860's. He could play all the positions. He also caught, up close to the batsman, without aid of mask, gloves or chest protector.

    Father: William Spink b. Dundee in 1815, d. Pt. Louis, Quebec 1867; emigrated to Pt. Louis, Quebec, settled on Isl. Orleans & later to Montreal. He was a member of Quebec Legislative Assembly.
    Married Francis Ann Snaith (b: 9 NOV 1820 in Montreal, Quebec) at Episcopal Cathedral in Montreal, 1841. 8 children - 4 boys/4 girls.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013 at 11:04 AM.

  7. #47
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    Alfred Henry Spink---(Taylor's uncle)

    Born: August 24, 1854, Quebec Provence, Canada
    Died: May 27, 1928, Oak Park, IL, age 74

    St. Louis sports writer / Sporting News Publisher;
    St. Louis Post, reporter
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat, sports editor
    St. Louis Missouri Republican, telegraph editor, later sports editor
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, sports editor (8 years)
    St. Louis World, sports editor, 1902-?
    Chicago Evening Post, columnist, 1921

    His family were from Quebec, Canada. After the Civil War, the family moved to Chicago, IL.
    In 1875, Al moved to St. Louis, MO, and became a great fan of the St. Louis Stockings.
    Sports editor of 3 St. Louis newspapers; Globe-Democrat, Missouri Republican, Post-Dispatch.

    Founded The Sporting News on March 17, 1886. Called brother Charles to St. Louis from South Dakota in the late 1880's to be business manager of Sporting News. He gradually lost his interest in the publication, and in 1896, sold all his stock to his brother, Charles, who had been functioning as the publication's business manager, thereby turning the Sporting News over to him.

    1st President of Western League, started a number of ball clubs & leagues before launching The Sporting News. Authored several books. Edited Reach Guide, 1888. Press agent of Chris Von der Ahe, interested him in baseball.

    The National Game, 1910
    Spink Sport Stories: 1000 Big and Little Ones, Volume 1, 1921.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------New York Times' obituary, March 28, 1828, pp. 25, column 3.--------------1910.

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Alfred Henry Spink (August 24, 1854 May 27, 1928) was a Canadian-born American baseball writer and club organizer based mainly in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1886 he established a weekly newspaper, The Sporting News (TSN), that emerged from World War I as the only national baseball newspaper or magazine.

    Born in the city of Quebec, Canada, Al Spink and his two brothers learned baseball's English cousin, cricket. The family of ten moved to Chicago after the American Civil War and the boys moved to baseball, whose boom was continental in scope. In 1869 or 1870, the Spinks founded the amateur Mutual club on the West Side, named after the professional Mutuals of New York. Probably there were dozens of amateur clubs in Chicago beside the professional White Stockings.

    Older brother Billy (William C.) became sporting editor of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and persuaded Al to move to that city in 1875, where he was soon covering baseball for the Missouri, later St. Louis Republican. The city's first fully professional baseball team, the original St. Louis Brown Stockings were then in operation, contesting the championship of the U.S. in the National Association and then the National League.

    Not long after the Browns went out of business in December 1877, the Spink brothers began thinking about how to restore professional baseball in their city. Unfortunately, spectator interest in the game had been damaged by the scandal that persuaded the Browns to drop out, and they struggled to organize a team of former pros playing cooperatively.

    Al Spink helped turn the trick in 1881, establishing the Sportsman's Park and Club Association with Chris von der Ahe, whose first work was to acquire and renovate the old Grand Avenue ballpark (as Sportsman's Park). Spink organized a new Brown Stockings team and booked games with other western teams, especially one organized by Cincinnati baseball writer O.P. Caylor and billed as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The success of independent commercial baseball in 1881, especially in St. Louis, inspired organization of the American Association league for 1882, with Sportsman's Park and Club its member from St. Louis. The writers Spink and Caylor remained influential although the clubs were owned by men of "greater substance".

    Al Spink founded The Sporting News in winter 1886. Each number was 17 by 22 inches, eight pages, price five cents (Cooper 1996). The leading baseball newspapers were then based in the East, the weeklies Clipper and Sporting Life in New York and Philadelphia. By World War I, TSN would be the only national baseball newspaper. Al Spink had long turned it over to his younger brother Charles, hiring Charles as business manager in the 1880s, selling his stock in 1894, and finally departing from writing and editorial work in 1899 (Cooper 1996).

    Some time after leaving TSN, Al moved to Chicago where he would eventually write for the Evening Post. In 1910, revised in 1911, he published one of the first baseball histories, The National Game. One section organized by city is full of detail on early amateur and independent organizations and players, including 20 pages for his adopted city, "The Game in St. Louis". Another section consists of short entries on more than one hundred baseball writers with dozens of portrait photos. The sections on players organized by fielding position are not unique, but they remain a treasure trove because Spink did not focus exclusively on major league players or major league spans of careers.

    Spink died 1928 in Oak Park, Illinois, almost 74 years old.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-25-2011 at 04:44 PM.

  8. #48
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    Charles Claude Spink---Taylor's Father

    Born: August 2, 1862, Ilse of Orleans, Canada
    Died: April 22, 1914, St. Louis, MO, age 51, died after an operation for an intestinal problem.
    Buried: Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, MO, Plot: Spink Family Masoleum--Block 329, Lot 5374

    His brother Al founded the Sporting News in St. Louis on March 17, 1886. When his brother Al called him in South Dakota in 1886, he came to St. Louis to assume business management duties for The Sporting News. Al started to lose his interest in the publication in 1892, and in 1896, sold all his stock to him, thereby turning The Sporting News over to him. Al started a horse race track, but continued to work for The Sporting News until 1899, when he left the publication permanently.

    Charles was an indefatigable and powerful workhorse, who built up the newspaper until his death in 1914.

    Moved to St. Louis in 1886. Married Marie Taylor, daughter of John George Taylor, in 1887.

    ------------Taylor's Loving Tribute of a grateful son.

    ----A heartfelt tribute from his brother, Al.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013 at 11:09 AM.

  9. #49
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    Charles Claude Johnson Spink

    Born: October 31, 1916, St. Louis, MO
    Died: March 26, 1992, St. Louis, MO, age 75,---d. of an embolism.

    Newspaper publisher;
    Published the Sporting News, December 7, 1962 to January 11, 1977.

    Wife: Edith Swift Jenkin;

    He was elected president-treasurer on October 22, 1962. After the sale of TSN on January 11, 1977, the terms of the sale included that he was required to remain as publisher for 5 years, and an additional 5 years as consultant. He finally retired January, 1987.

    Johnson was named after Ban Johnson, first President of the American League. It reflected the warm, life-long friendship between his father, Taylor Spink and Johnson.

    The Sporting News started as a mulit-sports newspaper, but by around 1900, baseball had squeezed out all other sports. But that policy ended September 17, 1942, when it started to include football, college basketball and professional hockey.

    Upon the death of J.G. Taylor Spink, The Sporting News of St. Louis, MO was inherited by Charles Claude (CC) Johnson Spink who ran it from Dececmber 7, 1962 until he sold it in January 11, 1977, to the Times Mirror Corporation for $18m. He did a respectable, credible job, but was not in the same league as his two immediate predecessors, who had been inexhaustible, relentless powerhouse perfectionists.

    When Johnson Spink inherited the Sporting News, its circulation was over 178,000. When he left in January, 1982, it was up over 600,000. So, he wasn't a bad steward at all.

    But it is worth noting that after his time, the circulation went up to 770,000, and once, in September, 1985, it even hit 927,500. So, it had potential that Johnson was not able to milk.

    In the 1970's and 1980's, Johnson Spink authorized a massive increase in the number of obituaries. Some issues had a complete page of them. But by May 6, 1991, after the Spink era was long ended, the obituaries in TSN had virtually disappeared from its pages. It ran an occasional, random obit, but the era of having an obit section was long gone. An editorial decision by its later owners.

    With the advent of national sports media in the 1980s such as USA Today and ESPN, and of comprehensive web sites run by the major sports leagues in the 1990s, TSN lost this unique role as the only national baseball vehicle. Consequently, it evolved into more of a conventional, glossy sports magazine in both appearance and contents. Box scores disappeared from its pages in the late 1980s, but were still made available to subscribers in a separate publication for an undetermined period of time afterwards. The online SN Today revived the tradition of publishing boxscores in its virtual pages. By 1990, it discontinued its extensive obituaries pages.

    In 1996, it incorporated 4 color photos. In 2001, the company acquired the One on One Sports radio network, renaming it Sporting News Radio. The same year, it was purchased by Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc.

    In September 2006, American City Business Journals, Inc. acquired TSN and its online division. With the change in ownership, the company ceased most of its book publishing efforts. The 2006 Baseball Guide, a TSN annual in one form or another since the 1920s, was its last. The 2007 Baseball Register, an annual since the early 1940s, was its last. The 2007 Baseball Record Book was only available online, as a download. None of these guides were published in 2008.

    By 2000, it sold around 520,000 copies every week, and by 2008 was up to 700,000 issues a week. It is an important publication, but no longer stands out from its competition. It requires its box-scores, obituaries' section & interviews from former players to give it its former historical relevance, uniqueness, continuity & context.

    He was the son of J.G. Taylor Spink; grandson of Charles Spink; great nephew of Al Spink and second cousin of Ernest Lanigan.

    January 28, 1962, NY: L-R: Gil Hodges, Roger Maris, Johnson Spink, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle.
    They all hold awards received at the New York sports writers' annual dinner.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------With uncle Taylor and his mother.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-31-2012 at 02:06 PM.

  10. #50
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    John Brinsley Sheridan---AKA John B. Sheridan

    Born: January 22, 1870, County Meath, Ireland
    Died: April 15, 1930, St. Louis, MO, age 60; Buried: Calvary Catholic Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

    St. Louis sports writer, 1888-1929;
    Arrived US 1888 at the age of 18;
    Sporting News column, "Back of Home Plate", December 5, 1918 - April 18, 1929;
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1888 - 1896,
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1896 - ?
    St. Louis The Republic,
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat, ? - 1921
    Missouri Committee on Public Utility Information manager, 1921 - ?

    Father: Richard, born in Ireland; Mother: Rosetta O'Reilly, born Ireland; Wife: Marie Adelaide;

    While on Committee, he blew the whistle on some corrupt practices, and then tendered his resignation. Shortly thereafter he suffered nervous disorders, and received professional care in sanitarium.
    Sherry's column for Sporting News "Back of Home Plate", 1917-29, gained for him national respect as a baseball writer. He also wrote with authority on boxing, golf, and most sports. Personally, I suspect that his physical problems, which started soon after he exposed government corruption, was a result of sabotage. I also suspect his so-called "suicide" may have been an unsuspected homicide. He was found hanging in his room at Alexian Brothers Hospital, by a bathrobe cord.

    Sporting News' death tribute, --------------Sporting News' Obituary,
    ---April 24, 1930, pp. 4, col. 2.-------------April 24, 1930, pp. 4, col. 7.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-27-2013 at 06:02 PM.

  11. #51
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    Charles Joseph Doyle---AKA Chilly Doyle

    Born: November 10, 1884, Sharon, PA
    Died: November 15, 1959, Warren, PA, age 75

    Pittsburgh sports writer;
    Sharon Telegraph sports writer;
    Moved to Pittsburgh, 1914, began covering Pirates in 1915.
    Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, 1914 - 1927
    Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, 1927 - January 6, 1958
    Served WW1 in France as Pittsburgh Gazette-Times correspondent.
    Sporting News correspondent
    His column: Chillysauce

    New York Times' obituary, November 16, 1959, pp. 31.

    1955: Chilly Doyle / Stan Musial.

    April 18, 1958, Pittsburgh, PA: L-R: Les Biederman, Chilly Doyle, Max Unger (jeweler), Harry Keck.----------------------------------Bing Crosby, Dr. Allen Tanney, Chilly Doyle.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-23-2012 at 02:05 PM.

  12. #52
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    Henry George Salsinger---AKA Harry Salsinger

    Born: April 10, 1885, Springfield, OH
    Died: November 27, 1958, Detroit, MI, age 73

    Detroit sports writer / editor;
    Detroit News, sports editor his whole career (1907-58). Was Ty Cobb's biggest booster in print. Edited Major League Baseball: Facts and Figures and Official Rules, 1941 -1950, along with Harry Heilmann & Don H. Black.
    The recipient of the 1968 J.G. Taylor Spink Award was Harry G. Salsinger.

    Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1887, Harry Salsinger worked in his hometown, Dayton, and Cincinnati, before joining the Detroit News at the age of 20. Sal, as his close friends called him, remained with the Motor City newspaper for over 50 years, following the exploits of Tiger ballplayers from Ty Cobb to Al Kaline. For all but two years of his career at the Detroit News, Salsinger held the position of sports editor.

    A former president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Salsinger was well-versed in many sports, but his forte was unquestionably baseball. His column was titled simply "The Umpire." The byline of Salsinger meant solid, factual writing in an interesting style. Westbrook Pegler called Salsinger "the best sportswriter in the country." Bob Broeg recalled that Salsinger was "a dignified man who brought figurative as well as actual stature into the profession."

    Salsinger died at the age of 71 on Thanksgiving Day, 1958.

    wikipedia---From Wikipedia, the free
    Harry G. Salsinger (1887 - 1958) (more commonly credited as H.G. Salsinger) was a sports editor of The Detroit News for 49 years. In 1907, he started writing for The Cincinnati Post. Two years later, he began working at The Detroit News as sports editor, a position he held until his death in 1958. He covered 50 World Series, two Olympic Games, and many other sports including football, golf, tennis, and boxing. Salsinger was also a president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which posthumously awarded him the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for his baseball writing in 1968. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2002

    Harry's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 510.

    Sporting News' obituary, December 10, 1958, pp. 24, col. 1.---------------------------New York Times' obituary, November 28, 1958, pp. 27.

    --------------------------------Ernest Barnard/Harry Salsinger-----------------------------------------------------Harry Salsinger/William Harridge

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-07-2012 at 11:35 AM.

  13. #53
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    Edward Frank Bang---AKA Ed Bang

    Born: February 26, 1880, Sandusky, OH
    Died: April 27, 1968, Cleveland, OH, age 88,---d. nursing home in Kirkland, OH

    Cleveland sports editor;
    Moved from Youngston, OH to Cleveland in 1907.
    Cleveland News sports editor, 1907 - 1960; His column was entitled, "Between You and Me."
    Liked to bet the horses, play golf.
    His son became known sports writer.

    GetImage3.pdf: Sporting News' 1939 Interview.

    Ed's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
    edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 494.-----------------Chicago Tribune obituary, April 29, 1968, pp. A8.

    July 8, 1935, All-Star Game, Cleveland, OH.
    Ed Bang Presents 1934 MVP Trophy to Lou Gehrig in a brief ceremony before the start of the All-Star Gme.

    Sporting News' obituary, May 11, 1968, pp. 38.

    July 19, 1934: Visiting Babe Ruth in a Cleveland hospital, with Babe's wife, Clair.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-29-2014 at 12:30 PM.

  14. #54
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    James Roy Stockton---AKA J. Roy Stockton

    Born: December 16, 1892, St. Louis, MO
    Died: August 24, 1972, St. Petersburg, FL, age 79---d. leukemia

    St. Louis sports writer;
    Graduated Washington University (St. Louis, MO),
    St. Louis Republic sports department; Began as a reporter in 1912.
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
    Went to Cuba with St. Louis Federals in 1915;
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1917-25, golf / general sports; Changed to BB in 1926-58, covered all Cardinal games & World Series. Sports editor, April, 1946 - July, 1958. Had evening sports program on radio station KSK for 15 years.

    Authored the following books:
    The Gashouse Gang and a Couple of Other Guys, 1945 (compilation of his ballplayer profiles for the Saturday Evening Post)
    Assisted Rogers Hornsby with his book, My Kind of Baseball, 1953
    Frank Frisch: The Fordham Flash, 1962
    J. Roy Stockton, Dan Daniel, and Fred Lieb were the recipients of the 1972 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

    Long-time baseball writer J. Roy Stockton first entered the world of sportswriting when he covered spring training for the 1915 St. Louis Federal League baseball club in Cuba. While in Havana, he also reported on the upset victory of Jess Willard over Jack Johnson. At the age of 25, Stockton hired on at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he remained for over 40 years.

    The witty Stockton was author of the baseball classic The Gas House Gang and a Couple of Other Guys, but his journalistic career was not confined to the written word. For over 15 years Stockton hosted a radio sports program and was part of the first telecast of a baseball game in St. Louis in 1947.

    In nominating Stockton for Commissioner of Baseball, a position that eventually went to Ford Frick, Red Smith referred to Stockton as "a man of many gifts and fierce integrity, whose years as one of the country's finest baseball writers have given him a rich background of experience and knowledge."

    A former president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Stockton also served briefly as president of the Florida State League.


    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-13-2011 at 08:28 PM.

  15. #55
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    Warren William Brown

    Born: January 3, 1894, Somersville, California
    Died: November 19, 1978, Forest Park, IL, age 84,---d. at his Forrest Park home, late on a Sunday night.

    Chicago sports writer:
    Graduated University of San Francisco,
    San Francisco Call-Post, 1915
    San Francisco Bulletin,
    San Francisco Bulletin,
    New York Evening Mail, sports editor, 1922 - 1923
    Chicago Herald Examiner, sports editor, 1923 - 1939
    Chicago Herald-American, columnist, 1939 - September 25, 1941
    Chicago Sun, sports editor, November 27, 1941 - December 20, 1946
    Chicago Herald-American, December 20, 1946 - July, 1967
    Chicago Today, 1967 - 1974.
    Chairman Hall of Fame Veterans Committee.
    Author of columns, including "So They Tell Me" and "Down Memory Lane."

    Wife: Mary Olive Burns, born California, around 1893, died July 9, 1967, Chicago, IL; Son: Roger L., born February 5, 1928, Oak Park, IL, died January 31, 2002; Son: Warren William, Jr., born San Francisco, CA, around 1924; Son: Peter J., born San Francisco, CA around 1927; Daughter: Mary Elizabeth Rempe, born California, February 27, 1919, died November 27, 2000; Warren married Mary August 23, 1919.

    Rockne, 1931
    The Chicago Cubs, 1946
    Win, Lose, or Draw: Thirty Years Behind the Sports Scene, 1947
    The Chicago White Sox: Illustrations from photographs, 1952

    Warren was more than a baseball writer. He was also considered an expert in football, boxing and horse racing. Mr. Brown was one of the earliest writers to laud the coming greatness of Red Grange.
    Warren Brown, John Drebinger, and John F. Kieran were the recipients of the 1973 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

    For more than half a century, Warren Brown consistently gave composition and expertise to sports pages across the country. A graduate of St. Ignatius College (now the University of San Francisco) where he starred playing baseball, Brown joined the San Francisco Bulletin in 1916. In 1922, following his service in World War I, Brown moved to New York. The next year he was appointed sports editor of Hearst's Chicago Herald-Examiner. Brown later became the first sports editor of Marshall Field's Sun in 1941 and was a columnist for the Chicago American (later Chicago Today).

    A tall, spare figure, Brown brought to the typewriter the same sharp, biting wit that made him famous as master of ceremonies in the after-dinner circuit. The man who was responsible for nicknaming Red Grange "The Galloping Ghost," Brown wrote books about the Cubs and White Sox. Starting in 1920, Brown saw every World Series for fifty years. Both a daily columnist and a working assignment man, Brown's witty and humorous remarks are still retold in the press box.
    Biography Resource Center: Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2005.
    Warren Brown was considered one of the top sports writers and editors of the twentieth century, his lengthy career covering forty-five World Series and forty Kentucky Derbies. Beginning his journalism career in 1916, he proved himself to be a versatile and prolific newsman, skillfully covering hard news as well as the sports stories that made his reputation. Brown was well-educated and noted for his "exceptional mastery of the English language, his encyclopedic memory, and his razor-sharp wit. He excelled at coining memorable phrases, whether behind a typewriter or behind a podium, and in either venue his humor could be sarcastic or benign--as easily capable of deflating as well as inflating," remarked Richard Brodenker in Dictionary of Literary Biography.

    Brown was born in California and grew up in San Francisco. He developed a strong interest in sports performers, both contemporary and historical. Baseball and prizefighting, two of his favorite sports, were flourishing in San Francisco at that time, providing him with many heroes. He progressed so rapidly in his studies that at the age of eleven he was sent to high school. He was athletic as well as studious, playing baseball in college and eventually starting as a professional player with Sacramento's team in the Pacific Coast League. In his first appearance for Sacramento as a pinch hitter, Brown hit safely off former Chicago White Sox pitching star Doc White. Despite this and other thrilling moments, he returned to college at the conclusion of the 1914 season.

    After graduation, Brown worked part-time at the San Francisco Bulletin, earning five dollars a week writing notes on semiprofessional baseball. He was soon publishing stories with his own byline, and his career was launched. After serving in World War I, he returned to the Bulletin but soon was employed at William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Call-Post, where he became the sports editor while still in his early twenties. He later worked again for the Bulletin, where he was the first writer to predict that Jack Dempsey would take the heavyweight crown from Jess Willard.

    Besides his sports coverage, Brown also wrote reviews of musical and vaudeville performances and assisted in covering news stories ranging from political conventions to murder trials. He proved his adeptness at investigative reporting when he and fellow journalist Edward T. Gleeson uncovered some wrongdoings in the Pacific Coast League and published their findings. Eventually the league's president and several team owners were replaced. Working in California at that time, Brown could hardly fail to be immersed in the so-called "Hearst style," which Brodenker noted can be "identified by trick idiom, beautiful phrasing, and vivid imagery. Brown, however, held steadfastly to the concept of simplicity."

    Brown's knowledge of boxing and his admiration of Jack Dempsey provided another career opportunity in 1921, when he took on the task of supervising the champion's press relations prior to a bout with Georges Carpentier. The job led him to Atlantic City on the East Coast. Though he returned to San Francisco in 1922, he had his sights set on a writing position for a New York paper, and it was not long before he had secured a position with the New York Evening Mail. Brown was now working in the same city as legendary sportswriters such as Heywood Broun, Damon Runyon, Grantland Rice, and Ring Lardner. He soon moved to the Hearst-owned New York Journal, but in 1923 the Hearst organization transferred him to the Chicago Herald and Examiner. By 1926 he had a column running six times a week in the paper, titled "So They Tell Me," which focused on a variety of sports performers, athletic competitions, sport oddities, and general human-interest items.

    In the Midwest, one of Brown's loves was collegiate football, especially the teams of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois. There he became familiar with such legendary figures as coach Knute Rockne and halfback Red Grange, whom Brown nicknamed the "Galloping Ghost." Brown's friendship with Rockne led to his first book. Published in 1931, Rockne is a flattering autobiography of the football coach, who had died in a plane crash earlier that year. In the foreword to Brown's book, Notre Dame president Reverend Charles L. O'Donnell praised Brown, noting that his sketches provide a truthful portrait of Rockne. This sentiment was echoed by Casswell Adams, who stated in his New York Herald-Tribune Books review: "He writes of Rockne the man, and from him we learn of the humor, the genius, the generosity, the sincerity of the stocky, baldheaded coach. He, in a terse, not unpleasant style, hurriedly sketches the coach by telling us wisecracks, his satirical shafts." In this and other books, as in his shorter pieces, his work is typically "precise, insightful, and, at any given moment, witty, funny, angry, or scathing."

    Brown continued to work for the Hearst corporation during the 1930s and into the 1940s, but signed on to Marshall Field's Chicago Sun early in the decade, taking his "So They Tell Me" column with him. He stayed with the Sun until 1946, when he returned to the Hearst organization. In 1947, he published Win, Lose, or Draw, which included Brown's reflections on his sportswriting career and his association with many great sporting personalities. New York Times critic Harold Kaese took a tongue-in-cheek look at the book: "By being so witty, entertaining and informative, Warren probably has done the sportswriting industry irreparable harm in writing his memoirs.... There will be no salary increases in the near future for sports writers whose publishers read Brown's expose of our charming circle and find it a strong argument for less money and longer hours."

    Brown also had a long-standing sideline as an after-dinner speaker, which developed into regular guest appearances on Bing Crosby's nationally-broadcast network radio program, and occasional spots on other popular shows. He even wrote some of his own material for these programs. He also became active in working with the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His career stretched on for more than five decades, and he continued to write well into his senior years. At the age of seventy-eight, he contributed a column, "Down Memory Lane," to Baseball Digest magazine.

    Brown relied on anecdotes to convey his impressions of the sporting world. In reviewing Rockne, Caswell Adams reported that Brown probably knew the legendary Notre Dame football coach "more intimately than any other newspaper man. Similarly, in his later books on Chicago's baseball teams, Brown added an entertaining style to a foundation of facts. "Brown has done an exhaustive job of research and brightened the resulting text with a leavening of anecdotes," wrote Robert Cromie in his review of The Chicago White Sox.

    Brown died in 1978, at the age of eighty-six.

    PERSONAL INFORMATION: Born January 3, 1894, in CA; died, November 19, 1978, in Forest Park, IL; son of Patrick and Hanore (Boyle) Brown; married Mary Olive Burns, August 23, 1919; children: Bill, Roger, Mary Elizabeth Brown Rempe. Education: Received degree from University of San Francisco. Military/Wartime Service: Member of Coast Artillery Corps and Corps Intelligence, World War I.

    AWARDS: Named Chicago's "Number One" citizen by Mayor Richard Daley, 1964; J. G. Taylor Spink Award, Baseball Writers' Association of America, 1973; named member of National Baseball Hall of Fame, 1974.

    CAREER: Played minor league baseball in Pacific Coast League, 1914; worked as sportswriter in San Francisco, CA, for the San Francisco Bulletin, San Francisco Call- Post, and San Francisco Call-Bulletin, beginning 1915; public relations manager for boxer Jack Dempsey, 1921; San Francisco Call-Post, sports editor, 1922; New York Evening Mail, New York, NY, sports editor, 1922; New York Journal, sports reporter, 1923; Chicago Herald Examiner, sports writer, beginning 1923; writer for various Chicago newspapers throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, including the Chicago Herald & Examiner, Herald-American, and Chicago Sun. Guest on radio programs.
    Rockne, Reilly & Lee (Chicago, IL), 1931.

    Warren's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 510.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, December 9, 1978, pp. 46, column 2.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' tribute piece, December 15, 1973, pp. 38, column 3.

    Chicago Tribune obituary, November 21, 1978, pp. B6.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-01-2012 at 09:55 AM.

  16. #56
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    Francis Joseph Powers

    Born: November 8, 1895, Milford Center, OH
    Died: September 3, 1977, Dayton, OH, age 81

    Dayton / Cleveland / Chicago sports writer;
    Education; Milford Center & St. Mary's HS; Dayton University; Ohio State College (Columbus, OH).
    Dayton News (1916),
    Dayton Herald (1917), (June 5, 1917 WWI Civilian Draft Registration)
    Detroit News, only 3 months (1918),
    Cleveland Plain Dealer (1919-1923),
    Cleveland News (1923-1929) ,
    Chicago Consolidated Press, sports editor (1929-54).
    Chicago Daily News,
    Chicago American,
    Chicago Sun-Times, sports writer, May 14, 1958
    PR director of college Football's East-West Shrine Football Game (1955-1975, SF,CA)
    Returned Dayton, OH 1975. Lived Biltmore Hotel. Specialized in football writing during the season, and golf.
    Member: Sigma Delta Chi; Phi Kappa; secretary, National Golf Writers' Association.

    Father: Thomas; Mother: Catherine Morrisey.

    February 28, 1947: George Connor (Notre Dame tackle), Ed Krause (Notre Dame coach), Francis Powers.
    Presenting the Dr. John Outland award to Connor.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Francis' photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 496.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Retiring football writer's President, Francis Powers, presents
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------George Connor, Notre Dame tackle Captain, with the Dr. John
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------H. Outland Award, at South Bend. Right: Notre Dame's coach,
    Dayton Daily News, September 4, 1977.--------------------------------------------------------------Frank Leahy.

    December 12, 1948: L-R: unidentified, Francis Powers, Bert McGrane, George Strohmeyer, Johnny Lujack.---January 16, 1947: Francis Powers, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby.

    ---------------------------------January 6, 1950--------------------------------------------------------------------February 22, 1950.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wrote article on Pop Warner.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-22-2012 at 01:29 PM.

  17. #57
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    Mt. View, CA, above San Jose
    Blog Entries
    Harold Webster Lanigan---AKA Hal Lanigan

    Born: November 12, 1875, Brooklyn, NY
    Died: December 14, 1949, New Port Richey, FL, age 74

    St. Louis sports writer;
    Philadelphia Public Ledger reporter,
    Sporting News, 1895 - 1896
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat sports editor & sports writer, 1897 - February, 1902
    St. Louis Star, March 17, 1902 - winter, 1905
    St. Louis Star Chronicle, ? - 1907
    St. Louis Times , 1907 - 1911
    Sport & Stage, 1912,
    World Sporting, 1914
    PR manager (Hot Springs, Arkansas), 1911-15
    Boston American, sports writer, 1915-19
    New York Daily News, 1919-22
    Hearst Service, night editor/make-up editor, 1923-25
    Syracuse American, copy desk
    Hearst Newark office
    New York American, assistant night editor
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013 at 11:26 AM.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Mt. View, CA, above San Jose
    Blog Entries
    Marion Francis Parker

    Born: October 25, 1876, St. Louis, MO
    Died: June 10, 1950, Valley Park, MO, age 73,---d. ulceration of bladder with hemorrhage, cerebral hemorrhage,---Buried: Catholic Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

    St. Louis sports writer;
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat sports writer, 1896 - 1908; sports editor, 1908 - 1921.
    NL scorer in St. Louis;

    Father: Marion; Mother: Margaret E. Frouruth; Wife: Maroverisch Lenzen;

    After retiring, conducted weekly fishing/hunting column. An enthusiastic fisherman and hunter. Active in conservation.

    Sporting News' obituary, June 21, 1950, pp. 38, column 5.--- Photo appeared in Baseball Magazine, October, 1908;------------------1912

    ------------------------Missouri Death Certificate.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-08-2011 at 01:05 PM.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Mt. View, CA, above San Jose
    Blog Entries
    Samuel Saunders Greene---AKA Sam Greene

    Born: August 26, 1895, Stuart, VA
    Died: September 5, 1963, Detroit, MI, age 68

    Detroit sports writer;
    Attended Randolph Macon College (Ashland, VA),
    WWI (1917 - 1918);
    Worked papers in Roanoke, VA, Key West, FL, Beaumont, TX.
    Moved Detroit, 1922
    Detroit Free Press sports writer, 1922 - January 31, 1924
    Detroit News, sports writer, January 31, 1924 - December, 1958, sports editor, December, 1958 - 1963
    Liked Football & boxing, was expert.

    Father: George Oliver Greene, born December 21, 1870, Chesterfied, VA, died January 15, 1938; Mother: Emma, Martin, born Virginia, 1832?; Wife: Kittie Karr; Son: 'Doc' Edgar Carlton Greene, born Beaumont, Texas, June 20, 1920, died August 11, 1970, Detroit, MI. Son Edgar was a featured columnist/sports editor for the Detroit News. Son was with the Detroit News from 1956, promoted to sports editor, November, 1963.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary,-------------------------------------------1961: Sam Greene / Ed Batchelor
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------September 14, 1963, pp. 40, column 3.

    Sam's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 510.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-18-2013 at 06:26 PM.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Mt. View, CA, above San Jose
    Blog Entries
    Martin J. Haley---AKA Mike Haley

    Born: April 23, 1895, St. Louis, Missouri
    Died: March 6, 1977, St. Louis, MO, age 81, d. pneumonia, Buried: Calvary Catholic Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

    St. Louis sports writer;
    St. Louis Star, 1916-?
    St. Louis Republic
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat
    World War I, 1917 - 1918
    St. Louis Globe-Democrat sports writer, 1919 - 1941, 1943 - early 1950's) covered Cardinals & Browns, sports editor, 1941 - 1943, (early 1950's - 1960, copy desk work).

    Father: Timothy, born February, 1855, Ireland; Mother: Margaret Duffy, born October, 1860, Ireland.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary,
    .---------------------------------------------------------------------March 19, 1977, pp. 46, column 5.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------Mike's entry/photo in Who's Who in Major League Baseball
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 509.

    January, 1939: Hub Pruett, Donald Barnes (St. Louis Browns' owner), George Sisler, Taylor Spink, Mike Haley, Ray Schmidt.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-24-2012 at 09:07 AM.

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