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  • Harold Paul Lebovitz---AKA Hal Lebovitz

    Born: September 11, 1916, Cleveland, OH
    Died: October 18, 2005, Cleveland, OH, age 89,--D. at University Hospital in Cleveland, OH of cancer.

    Cleveland sports writer;
    Cleveland, OH, 13-year old, (April 2, 1930 census)
    Graduated Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH) (BA), 1938
    High School chemistry & math teacher (& athletic coach) in Euclid, OH, 1938-48:
    Cleveland News sports reporter & columnist, 1948 - 1960,
    Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist, 1960 -1984, sports editor, 1964 -1984.
    Sporting News, columnist, 1970 - 1992.
    Gannett Syndicate, 1979 - 1982. Director Cleveland Jewish News, 1971 - 1989; baseball umpire, 1937 - 1950, Football official., 1940 - 1971, basketball official., 1940 - 1960; Sporting News Cleveland correspondant, 1950 - 1964, Football official, 1940 - 1971.

    Father: Isaiah, born Russia, 1890?; Mother: Celia, 1894?;
    Hal Lebovitz, veteran baseball writer of over 50 years, was the 1999 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

    The longtime Cleveland-based scribe began his baseball-writing career in 1946 with the now defunct Cleveland News, covering the Indians as the paper's beat writer from 1950 until the News folded in 1960. Lebovitz then moved to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, covering baseball until 1964 when he became the paper's sports editor, a position he held for over 20 years. Lebovitz was also a regular contributor to The Sporting News from 1947 to 1993.

    Lebovitz served as president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in 1966 and presided over the inductions of Casey Stengel and Ted Williams. Until his death in 2005, Lebovitz authored three weekly columns for a newspaper chain in suburban Cleveland, including the popular and long-running "Ask Hal the Referee," in which he answered rules-related questions from fans.
    Article on Mr. Lebovitz, by Anthony Benedictis, a longtime baseball fan, who lives in Willoughby, Ohio.

    In the years to follow, Harold “Hal” Lebovitz (ADL ’38; GRS ’42, education) would emulate Mr. VanAlstyne’s coaching style. After his senior season, he was appointed coach of Reserve’s freshman basketball team, which he guided to an undefeated season. He had several outstanding players, including Steve Belichick, whose son Bill would, years later, become head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

    Mr. Lebovitz was then hired at Euclid (Ohio) Central High School, where he spent eight successful years as a chemistry and math teacher and coach of the football, baseball, and basketball teams. (“I still get letters from my students—wonderful letters,” Mr. Lebovitz says.) He also spent time officiating all three sports, especially in the summers, when sandlot baseball was a big draw in places like Cleveland’s Gordon Park and Euclid Beach.

    While he was at Euclid and pursuing a master’s degree in education at Western Reserve University’s School of Graduate Studies, Mr. Lebovitz fulfilled a lifelong dream by breaking into the newspaper field. He used to keep detailed statistics on every baseball player in the twenty-five-team Metropolitan Interscholastic Baseball League where he coached. He submitted this information regularly to the Cleveland Press. In 1942, the Cleveland News, impressed with his efforts, invited him to write a column on high school sports three times a week. “I was scooping everybody, because I had the inside track on all the high school stuff as a coach and an official,” Mr. Lebovitz recalls, smiling. An offer to work full time followed four years later. Although reluctant to leave teaching and coaching, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to write.

    At the Cleveland News, the enterprising Mr. Lebovitz decided to put his officiating experience to use. He originated a column, “Ask Hal, the Referee,” in which he answered rules-related questions submitted by readers. In his answers, Mr. Lebovitz would often provide personal anecdotes. Throughout his eighteen-year tenure at the Cleveland News, Mr. Lebovitz continued his work as a sports official, umpiring area baseball and softball games as a member of the Cleveland Umpires Association. He also worked as a referee in the National Basketball League, the forerunner of the National Basketball Association, and he traveled around the country with the celebrated Harlem Globetrotters, refereeing games the team played against college all-stars.

    The “Ask Hal” column became so popular that it was one of the reasons the Cleveland Plain Dealer immediately hired Mr. Lebovitz after the Cleveland News folded in 1960. Mr. Lebovitz also gained national prominence in the Sporting News as author of the “Ask Hal” column, a staple in the magazine for many years. He became a recognized expert on sports officiating, even prompting several changes to Major League Baseball’s official rule book.

    While he enjoyed success with “Ask Hal,” Mr. Lebovitz rose through the ranks in the newspaper business. As a beat reporter, covering the Cleveland Indians for ten years, he developed a talent for personalizing sports figures and providing rich behind-the-scenes details. This talent served him well when he became sports editor of the Plain Dealer, a position he held for eighteen years; the feature articles and opinion pieces he wrote at the paper turned him into one of Northeast Ohio’s favorite columnists. Today, at age eighty-five, he’s still published regularly in five regional newspapers.

    In July 2000, Mr. Lebovitz became only the second Clevelander ever to win the prestigious J. G. Taylor Spink Award and be elected into the writers’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The first Clevelander to be so honored was the late Gordon Cobbledick, who preceded Mr. Lebovitz as sports editor of the Plain Dealer. Nationally, only fifty-two writers have received this award since its inception in 1962, when Mr. Spink, the late founder of the Sporting News, was the inaugural recipient. The award is voted upon annually by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Each winner is presented with a certificate and is recognized in the “Scribes & Mikemen” exhibit in the hall of fame library.

    key to Mr. Lebovitz’s success is that he’s always enjoyed going to work. At the hall of fame induction ceremony, where he was recognized along with inductees Sparky Anderson, Carlton Fisk, Tony Perez, Bid McPhee, and Norman “Turkey” Stearnes, he recalled saying that “covering baseball and these great men up here—traveling with them on the trains, sitting with them in the lobbies, hearing their stories—became a labor of love.”

    He’s maintained friendships with ballplayers throughout his career, particularly several Cleveland Indians with whom he used to travel as a beat reporter. He remains friends with Herb Score, who pitched for the Indians from 1955 to 1959 and later spent more than thirty years broadcasting Tribe games, and Al Lopez, who managed the Indians from 1951 to 1956. He also kept in touch with now-deceased Indian Hall of Fame pitchers Bob Lemon and Early Wynn, two of the most dominating and consistently successful fireballers in team history.

    Like they did during the Indians’ glory days, Mr. Lebovitz and Mr. Lopez still occasionally meet on the road. This past spring, the two sat together and watched the Cleveland team train in Winterhaven, Florida. In 1977, when Mr. Lopez was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, he asked Mr. Lebovitz to write him a speech for the induction ceremony.

    “I was flattered, and I really worked hard on it. I sent it to him. He called me up, he said, ‘Great speech, Hal.’ So we went to his induction, my wife, Margie, and I, because I wanted to hear the speech. He read the first paragraph, and he just introduced his family and sat down. He’s no speaker; he doesn’t enjoy it,” Mr. Lebovitz says, laughing.

    Their friendship has endured long past the days when Mr. Lebovitz would write columns criticizing the former manager. In separate cases involving two extraordinary football coaches, Mr. Lebovitz wasn’t so fortunate.

    “Woody Hayes [the late coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, from 1951 to 1978] was close, because I had been a coach, and he liked me,” Mr. Lebovitz recalls. Then Mr. Hayes’s legendary temper came into play.

    In a 1978 bowl game against the Clemson Tigers, Mr. Hayes looked on as the Buckeyes tried to rally in the final minutes to overcome a 17 to 15 deficit. A Clemson linebacker dashed the Buckeyes’ hopes by intercepting a pass, and, when the player ended up out of bounds near the OSU bench, Mr. Hayes punched him in frustration. University officials fired the coach the next day. Mr. Hayes had many supporters who protested the firing by pointing to the coach’s long and impressive track record.

    In an opinion piece, Mr. Lebovitz weighed in on the dispute. “I called him the rear end of a horse, and [this comment] was picked up by Newsweek,” Mr. Lebovitz recalls. “I got tons of mail, negative mail, all sticking up for Woody, for the most part. And the next time I saw him, I said, ‘Hi, Woody.’ He put out his hand, then he saw who it was, and he dropped his hand like mine was on fire. And I was persona non grata with him for a long time.”

    Like Mr. Hayes, former Cleveland Browns’ head coach Paul Brown also appreciated Mr. Lebovitz’s onetime stint as a football coach. The two got along fine until a quarterback controversy in 1958. At that time, Mr. Lebovitz also was writing a radio show for Jim Brown, and, on one segment, the star fullback lobbied for Milt Plum as the quarterback. Coach Brown, however, favored Jim Ninowski.

    “No sooner was that show over, my phone rang,” Mr. Lebovitz remembers. “Paul Brown. He knew I was writing the show. ‘Hal, how could you let this guy say those things. You know better than that,’ and so forth. And I said, ‘Paul, this is his show. I just write the words. Here’s his phone number. Call Jim.’ And I called Jim, and I said, ‘Paul’s gonna call you.’ He said, ‘No, he won’t.’ And he never called him.”

    Although Mr. Lebovitz’s relationship with coach Brown was never the same, he developed a good working relationship with the team’s next head coach, Blanton Collier.

    r. Lebovitz likes talking with people from all walks of life, not just coaches and ballplayers. As his wife, Margie, can attest, he stirs up conversations wherever he goes. It happened recently at the Cleveland Play House, where the couple was supposed to be enjoying Jerusalem, a comedy. Between acts, Mr. Lebovitz could be found in the parking lot, where an attendant had the Indians play-by-play on the radio. Like-minded patrons joined him, chatting about the team until it was time to go back inside. Then they formed a relay team when the lights went down. “It was very funny in the theater,” Mr. Lebovitz says. “What’s the score, what’s the score? Then, when somebody found out, it was whispered all the way down the aisle.”

    Keeping track of the Indians has been a way of life for sixty years. Hal and Margie Lebovitz, now married sixty-three years, occasionally attend games together at Jacobs Field. For games they don’t attend, there’s always the TV in their University Heights home.

    Mr. Lebovitz follows the current team more than dwelling on the ups and downs associated with ball clubs of the past. “I don’t like to write about the past,” he says. “Sometimes you have to—they ask you to do it—but I want to be current.” The result: He’s always on the lookout for the latest information about the team, probing his many sources and getting his thoughts together for columns that appear every Sunday and Monday. His many readers are glad he’s so inclined.

    Author Anthony Benedictis, a longtime baseball fan, lives in Willoughby, Ohio.

    Recent photographs by Betsy Molnar; others courtesy of Mr. Lebovitz

    Salutations: Mr. Lebovitz presents an award to Indians' great Bob Feller.

    Ask Hal: Mr. Lebovitz reviews a baseball rules book-------Photo review: In the comfort of his home, Mr. Lebovitz reminisces
    while preparing his column. -------------------------------while looking at old photographs of his wife and him.

    At his Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, July 23, 2000.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2014, 01:55 PM.


    • Field Allen Lewis

      Born: December 17, 1916, Beechville, PA
      Died: September 14, 2003, Clearwater, FL, age 86

      Philadelphia sports writer;
      Haverford, PA, 3-year old,(February 21, 1920 census)
      Lower Merion, PA, 13-year old, (April 14, 1930 census)
      Philadelphia, PA, Time grinder, (April 6, 1940 census)
      Graduated Haverford College (Haverford, PA), 1940 (located just outside Philadelphia, PA)
      Philadelphia Evening Ledger,
      Philadelphia Inquirer, 1946 - 1979

      Father: Thorton, born Kentucky, 1888?; Mother: Elsie, born New Jersey, 1890?;

      Philadelphia Phillies beat writer from 1946 until 1972, retired from the Inquirer in 1979 and was a member of the Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee from 1979 until 2000. He served as chairman of Major League Baseball's Scoring
      Scoring Committee from 1960 to 1974. He briefly covered the Philadelphia Warriors of the Basketball Association of America, the fore-runner of the NBA, and chronicled that team's championship in 1946.

      In 1981, Lewis was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which gained him admission to the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He graduated in 1940 from Haverford College, where he played on the football and baseball teams.

      He was drafted the following year and achieved the rank of Air Force captain by the end of the Second World War. Lewis came out of retirement in 1980 to assist with the Inquirer's coverage of the Phillies' World Series triumph, and later provided a weekly baseball trivia question for Sunday papers.
      Allen Lewis and Bob Addie were the recipients of the 1981 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

      Lewis, who covered the Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1949 until his retirement in 1979, was the foremost authority on baseball rules. He was the Chairman of Major League Baseball's Scoring Rules Committee for 12 years and recommended many scoring changes that remain in effect today.

      Lewis was respected as a baseball historian who covered 24 World Series and witnessed 10 no-hitters. Former Phillies' owner, Ruly Carpenter, praised Lewis as probably having as good a knowledge of baseball and how it was meant to be played as some field managers.

      A former member of the Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans, Lewis' career bridged two eras of sportswriting—from days when readers wanted to know game details to days when clubhouse quotes made the headlines—and handled both jobs with distinction.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 12:51 PM.


      • Robert E. Stevens---AKA Bob Stevens

        Born: October 10, 1916, San Francisco, CA
        Died: January 2, 2002, San Bruno, CA, age 85

        San Francisco sports writer;
        San Francisco, CA, 3-year old, (January 15, 1920 census)
        San Francisco, CA, 13-year old, (April 3, 1930 census)
        San Francisco, CA, sports writer, newspaper, (April 11, 1940 census)
        San Francisco Chronicle, sports writer, 1936 - 1981 (covered Giants, 1957-78.)

        Father: William E., born Michigan, 1889?; Mother: Claudia Reeves, born Illinois, 1889?; Wife: Grace, born California, 1918?; Daughter: Shirley Ann, born California, 1936?;

        From 1936 to 1939 he listened to radio reports of Seals and Oakland Acorns (PCL) games and transcribed them for the Chronicle under the byline "Lefton Base." San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League for 17 seasons (1940-1957)

        The 1998 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award was longtime San Francisco Chronicle scribe Bob Stevens. Stevens, 82, spent 21 seasons as the Chronicle's traveling beat writer with the San Francisco Giants, serving in that capacity from the Giants' inaugural West Coast game until 1978. He covered the Oakland A's as an assignment writer during their playoff and World Series Championships of 1972, 1973, and 1974.

        Prior to covering the Giants, Stevens covered the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League for 17 seasons (1940-1957) with time out for active duty in the Navy during World War II. From 1936-39 he listened to radio reports of Seals and Oakland Acorns (PCL) games and transcribed them for the Chronicle under the byline "Lefton Base."

        In addition to his witty, insightful, accurate and informative stories, Stevens served as official scorer at two World Series and two All-Star Games. He was among the first official scorers "benched" by his paper under the decision that the scoring was a "conflict of interest." When he retired from the Chronicle in 1981 he returned to official scoring. His accounts of the 1959 All-Star Game and the Giants' first game in San Francisco appear in two volumes of Charles Einstein's Fireside Book series. In the summer of 1998, the Giants announced that they would name the press box at their new waterfront ballpark in honor of Stevens' long career in baseball.

        Robert E. Stevens (October 10, 1916 - January 2, 2002) was an American sportswriter who wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1936 to 1981, interrupted by service in the Navy during World War II. He was known for his coverage of the San Francisco Giants from the team's arrival in San Francisco in 1958 until 1978. Stevens also worked as an official scorer for baseball games during part of his tenure at the Chronicle, and again after he retired from the paper. In 1999 he was awarded the J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers Association of America for outstanding contributions to baseball writing. The press box at AT&T Park is named in his honor. He died at age 85 in San Bruno, California.

        July 25, 1999: Bob Stevens/Bob Elliott. Accepting his Hall of Fame plaque.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 12:32 PM.


        • James Furman Bisher

          Born: November 4, 1917, Denton, NC
          Died: March 18, 2012, age 94

          Atlanta sports editor;
          Concord, NC, 2-year old, (January 20, 1920 census)
          High Point, NC, Telegraph editor, newspaper, (April 2, 1940 census)
          Lumberton Voice editor, 1938 - 1939
          High Point Enterprise wire service & sports editor, 1939 - 1940
          Charlotte News, state editor, 1940 - 1942, sports editor, 1946 - 1950 Atlanta Constitution sports editor, 1950 - 1957
          Atlanta Journal & Sunday Journal-Constitution, 1957 - present
          Sporting News columnist

          Father: Chisholm, born July 18, 1891, died May 22, 1967, Lexington, NC; Mother: Marnie M., born North Carolina, 1892?;

          INTERNET article

          Furman Bisher (b. November 4, 1918 in Denton, North Carolina) is a sports columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution , where he once served as sports editor, and is a columnist for The Sporting News. Bisher has written for Sports Illustrated, The Saturday Evening Post and many other national publications.

          A 1938 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bisher became editor of the Lumberton Voice at the age of 20. He went on to work at the High Point Enterpirse and the Charlotte News, where he became the sports editor in 1948.

          Bisher was president of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association from 1974 to 1976, and was president of the Football Writers Association of America in 1959-60.

          In 1961, Time magazine named him one of the nation's five best columnists.

          Bisher, who is nearly 90 as the 2006 PGA golf season progresses, is the "dean" of the many hundreds of golf and general sports journalists who descend upon Augusta, GA each April for The Masters tournament, and was profiled as such between rounds two and three of the 2006 Masters by The Golf Channe.

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------Furman Bisher: A Life In Pictures

          Veteran golf journalists: L-R: Dan Jenkins of Golf Digest, Edwin Pope of the Miami Herald,
          Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution , and Ron Green of the Charolette
          Observer, April 8, 1999 in the press center at Augusta National

          With WABE's Steve Goss.

          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 12:16 PM.


          • James Patrick Murray, Jr.---AKA Jim Murray

            Born: December 29, 1919, New Haven, CT
            Died: August 17, 1998, Los Angeles, CA, age 78,--d. cardiac arrest;--Buried: Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum, Culver City, CA

            Los Angeles sports writer;
            Hartford, CT, 0-month old, (January 12, 1920 census)
            New Brittain, CT, clerical, N.Y.A.(April 2, 1940 census)
            Trinity College (Hartford, CT), (BA), 1941
            Moved Hollywood, 1944
            Los Angeles Examiner, 1944 - 1948
            Time Magazine writer, 1948 - 1961
            Los Angeles Times, sports writer,
            Won National Sportswriter of the Year 4 times, 1964, 1966, 1977, 1979
            Helped found Sports Illustrated, 1953
            Doctor of Literature, 1981, Pepperdine University, Doctor of Laws, 1987
            Baseball's Hall of Fame Spink Award, 1987
            Pulitzer Prize, (1990)

            Father: James P., born Connecticut, 1890?; Mother: Mary K., born Ireland, 1892?;

            The 1987 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award was Jim Murray.

            Jim Murray was sometimes caustic in print, but always gentle in public. He became one of the country's most widely-read sports columnists by having fun with events and with people. Imagination, hyperbole, literacy, humor, similes and a deft needle have always been his staples. He entertained and informed several times a week with 800-900 carefully crafted words.

            Following tours of duty with Sports Illustrated, Time magazine, the Los Angeles Examiner, the New Haven Register and the Hartford Times, Murray was a Los Angeles Times sports columnist for well over 30 years. He was named "America's Best Sportswriter" by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters 14 times and was installed in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1977.

            Murray was the recipient of the AP Sports Editors Association Award for best column writing in 1984, the Red Smith Award for extended meritorious labor in sportswriting in 1982, the Headliner Award in 1965 and 1977, and an Alumni Medal from his alma mater, Trinity College, in 1972. In 1982 he became the first sportswriter to win the coveted Victor Award, and in 1990 he won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

            Sports Writer. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut earning a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Hartford. Jim Murray began his literary career at the New Haven Register then headed West finding work with the now extinct Herald Examiner in Los Angeles. He associated himself with Time magazine as the Hollywood cinema correspondent and became one of the founders of Sports Illustrated in 1954. He found his literary niche with the Los Angeles Times and remained with them for 37 years where he was a Pulitzer Prize sports columnist winner and a 14-time winner of the Sportswriter of the Year award. His outstanding work landed him a spot in the writers' wing in Cooperstown's Hall of Fame in 1988. He didn't write about scores and highlights, but the people of sports and the games that they played. He was well known for either praising or putting down people with his famous one liners. He shamed the Masters with this quote in 1975. "Wouldn't it be nice to have a black American at Augusta in something other than a coverall?" He was plagued with eye problems his entire life and finally became blind. He continued to write with the aid of a companion. His burial and funeral were private, however, a public memorial service was held at Dodger Stadium when a veritable Who's Who In Los Angeles Sports turned up in front of the first base dugout at Dodger Stadium to take turns at the microphone memorializing Jim Murray. (bio by: Donald Greyfield)

            Former WKTJ sportscaster and Sales Representative Linn Wells (center) with Mort Lerner of the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association (left) and Jim Murray of The Sporting News (right).

            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 11:40 AM.


            • Simon Burick---AKA Si Burick

              Born: June 14, 1909, Dayton, OH
              Died: December 10, 1986, Dayton, OH, age 77,---d. stroke

              Dayton, OH sports writer; Jewish
              Dayton, OH, 11-year old, (January 3, 1920 census)
              Dayton, OH, sports editor, newspaper, (April 4, 1930 census)
              Dayton, OH, radio commentator, sports editor, newspaper, (1940 census)
              Dayton Daily News sports editor & columnist, 1928 - 1986
              Also broadcaster & author.
              Inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, Spink Award, 1982
              First sports writer elected to baseball's Hall of Fame who worked in a city that didn't have a ML team.
              National sports writer & sports caster Hall of Fame, 1984

              Father: Samuel P., born Poland, 1882?; Mother: Lilian, born Poland, 1884?; Wife: Rachael, born Ohio, 1909?; Daughter: Lenore E., born Ohio, 1939?;

              Si Burick authored 3 books;
              Alston and the Dodgers, 1966,
              The Main Spark, a biography of Sparky Anderson, 1978,
              Byline, a collection of his columns, 1982.
              Si Burick was the recipient of the 1982 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

              In 1982, Si Burick joked about ''being on the same job for 54 years without receiving a promotion,'' but the line was true. The native of Dayton, Ohio, was named the sports editor of the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News at the age of 19 and remained with the paper until he passed away in December of 1986. Over his lengthy career, Burick witnessed the exploits of Reds Hall of Famers from Eppa Rixey and Ernie Lombardi to Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan.

              The tall entertaining Burick had a love for bad puns. At a dinner given in his honor some forty years into his tenure at the Daily News, Burick coolly quipped "I may be shy, but I am not retiring."

              Burick was the first sportswriter from a non-major league city to be honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, but his reputation traveled well beyond the confines of Dayton. A perfectionist known for his keen wit and fascinating stories, Burick covered the Reds with a message for all, stressing common sense, moderation and fundamental decency.
              Sports editor and featured columnist for the Dayton Daily News for 58 years, Si Burick received the G. Taylor Spink Award on July 23, 1983, and was inducted into the writers section of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is the first writer from a city without a Major League baseball team to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

              The son of a rabbi, Burick saw his first byline in the Daily News (the Dayton Journal Herald later merged with the Daily News) on August 26, 1925, two months past his sixteenth birthday. In November 1928, he became sports editor of the Cox-published newspaper,
              and on November 16, his first daily column “Si-ings,” appeared. He was active as both Daily News editor and columnist until his death. He was the last of a major American newspaper tradition whereby the featured sports columnist was also its sports editor.

              Burick was also an Ohio radio personality as early as 1935, when he became WHIO’s first sportscaster. His daily 15-minute programs aired until 1961. For a period during the earlier years, he hosted the Cincinnati Reds pre-game show before home games. In 1949, when WHIO-TV went on the air, Burick was one of its featured personalities and continued to be so for the next ten years.

              Burick covered virtually every type of sporting event—from the Kentucky Derby (all but six in 56 years) to local high school sports, from the Olympic Games to regional college football, from Major League baseball to professional football, and most everything else in between.

              Sixteen times—the first in 1954—one of Burick’s feature columns was included in The Sporting News’ Best Sports Stories of the Year (from 1954 to 1965, from 1969 to 1971, and 1979). In 1971, he was elected president of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association; in 1972, elected president of the Football Writers Association of America; and in 1973, elected director of the Turf Writers Association of America.

              In 1984, Burick was recipient of the Bert McGrane Award from the Football Writers’ Association of America. One year later, he was inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters

              Hall of Fame. In 1986, Burick was honored by the National College Football Hall of Fame and the Associated Press Sports Editors, who awarded him the Red Smith Award—America’s most prestigious sports writing honor.
              Biographical Sketch

              Simon "Si" Burick was born June 14, 1909, at the family home on Richard Street, in Dayton, Ohio. He was the oldest of seven children born to Rabbi Samuel and Lillian Burick. Si Burick attended Emerson Elementary School from kindergarten through eighth grade, and then he attended Stivers High School.

              During his junior year at Stivers, Burick began working as a correspondent for the Dayton Daily News, earning $2 per week for bringing Stivers high school sports reports to the newspaper. Burick received his first byline for an article he wrote about Stivers high school football practice, which appeared in the Dayton Daily News on August 26, 1925. Burick was only sixteen years old.

              Upon graduating from Stivers in 1926, Burick entered the University of Dayton as part of the Class of 1930, with intentions of becoming a doctor, while continuing to work at the Dayton Daily News. After one year of college, Burick left UD; he hoped to save up money by working and return to school later. He never returned to his studies at the University of Dayton. However, on April 24, 1977, Burick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

              In November 1928, Dayton Daily News publisher James M. Cox offered 19-year-old Burick the position of sports editor, which was being vacated by M. Carl Finke. Burick accepted the position. Burick remained with the Dayton Daily News until his death.

              The first installment of Burick's daily column "Si-ings" appeared in the November 16, 1928, issue of the Dayton Daily News. Thousands of columns would follow.

              When WHIO radio went on the air on February 9, 1935, Burick was WHIO's first sportscaster. His daily 15-minute radio programs continued until September 1961. When WHIO-TV was first broadcast on television in 1949, Burick hosted that station's first televised sports program. He continued doing so for 10 years.

              On June 28, 1935, Si Burick married Rachel Siegal, a schoolteacher from New York. They had two daughters, Lenore and Marcia. Mrs. Burick died December 31, 1984.

              Burick's writing covered nearly every sport, including local high schools, area college football, Major League baseball, professional football, the Kentucky Derby, the Olympics, and many other events. He covered the Kentucky Derby for the first time in 1929 and only missed two thereafter, for the next 50 years. He covered the World Series in 1930 and after missing 1932 and 1933, only missed a few thereafter. He attended the Olympics in Rome (1960), Mexico City (1968), Munich (1972), Montreal (1976), and Los Angeles (1984). He is one of few sports writers to have reported on the first twenty Super Bowls.

              In 1959, Burick was elected to the Dayton Newspapers, Inc., Board of Directors.

              Between 1954 and 1979, sixteen of Burick's feature columns were included in The Sporting News' Best Sports Stories of the Year. He was elected president of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in 1971; elected president of the Football Writers' Association of America in 1972; and elected director of the Turf Writers Association of America in 1973.

              In addition to his sports writing talents, Burick was quite active in civic issues of the Dayton community. In 1951, he became chairman of the Montgomery County chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. In 1953, he was involved in a project to construct a high school stadium. He was one of the original members of the Human Relations Commission, in 1962. He was chairman of a school levy drive in 1966. He was active in and served as an officer of the Jewish Community Council and, later, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. He was appointed to the Montgomery County Recreation Board in 1967 by the county commissioners, and he was appointed Dayton-Montgomery County Park District commissioner in 1970. Also in 1970, he chaired a Dayton school board committee aimed at studying problems caused by spectators at school athletic events. In 1974, he chaired a Citizens Committee aimed at effecting changes in city taxes.

              In 1969, Governor James M. Rhodes chose Si Burick as the recipient of the Governor's Award in recognition of his contributions to the state of Ohio. In 1970, Burick was given honorary membership to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association. In 1972, the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame honored him for his many contributions to amateur football. He was named National Sports Writer of the Year in 1973 by the Columbus Touchdown Club.

              In 1982, Burick was awarded the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which is given by the Baseball Writers Association of America to recognize worthy contributors to baseball writing. Burick was the first recipient of the Spink award from a city having no major league baseball team. He was also inducted into writers' area of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

              In 1984, Burick received the Bert McGrane Award from the Football Writers' Association of America. On April 8, 1985, he was inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. In 1986, the National College Football Hall of Fame and the Associated Press Sports Editors recognized Burick with the Red Smith Award, America's most prestigious sports writing tribute.

              Burick wrote three books: Alston and the Dodgers (1966), about Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston; The Main Spark (1978), a biography of Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson; and Byline (1982), a collection of his columns.

              Si Burick died on December 10, 1986, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, following a massive stroke earlier that day. He was 77 years old and had been in ill health for several months prior to his death.

              ------------------------1954--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1997 Baseball Guide.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 11:22 AM.


              • Robert William Broeg---AKA Bob Broeg (pronounced Brage)

                Born: March 18, 1918, St. Louis, MO
                Died: October 28, 2005, St. Louis, MO, age 86

                St. Louis sports writer;
                St. Louis, MO, 1-year old, (January 15, 1920 census)
                St. Louis, MO, clerk, retail grocery store, (April 3, 1940 census)
                St. Louis Post-Dispatch staff writer, 1945-58, sports editor, 1958 - 1985, & assisstant to publisher, 1977 - 1985.
                His columns appeared in The Sporting News until the 1980's.

                Father: Robert M., born Missouri, 1886?; Mother: Alice Wiley, born Illinois, 1895?; Wife: Dorothy, born around 1920, died November 1, 1975, St. Louis, MO.
                Bob Broeg and Tommy Holmes were the recipients of the 1979 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

                Bob Broeg's long baseball career has run the gamut from ballpark gate-twirler at St. Louis' Sportsman's Park to St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sports Editor and member of Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans. Broeg covered the Cardinals for 13 seasons until 1958. He spent the next 20 years as sports editor and columnist at The Sporting News.

                Broeg has authored countless books, including such baseball classics as The Pilot Light and the Gas House Gang and Super Stars of Baseball. He prides himself on having written big league baseball's first pension plan story (1946) and on coining the nickname "Stan the Man" for his baseball favorite, Stan Musial.

                Hometown peers praised him thusly: "You gave us comment, commas, bow ties and baseball dinners … Proud, prolific, prompt, provocative, professional … Truly one of Pulitzer's Prizes."

                Super Stars of Baseball, by Bob Broeg, 1971, Introduction.

                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 10:33 AM.


                • Harold N. Saidt---AKA Bus Saidt

                  Born: November 11, 1920, New Jersey
                  Died: April 8, 1989, Trenton, NJ, age 68---buried: Riverview Cemetery, Trenton, NJ

                  Trenton sports writer;
                  Trenton, NJ, 9-year old, (April 10, 1930 census)
                  Trenton, NJ, clerical, city , (April 8, 1940 census)
                  Accountant for the city of Trenton, New Jersey; by night, he was a frustrated sports announcer.
                  Trentonian sports writer, 1964.
                  Trenton Times sports columnist, 1967. 180 Phillies, Mets and Yankees games a season: all road games from Trenton

                  Father: Harold, born New Jersey, 1897?; Mother: Mildred N., born New Jersey, 1896?;
                  Bus Saidt and Leonard Koppett are the recipients of the 1992 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

                  By day, Bus Saidt was an accountant for the city of Trenton, New Jersey; by night, he was a frustrated sports announcer. In 1964, at the age of 43, he embarked on a sportswriting career with the Trentonian. He moved over to the Trenton Times as their daily sports columnist in 1967 and went on to become a sports legend in Trenton.

                  Saidt was always a gentleman. He was dedicated, fair, respected, opinionated, honest, enthusiastic, and a lover of the game. Known as "the man from Trenton who never took a day off," he covered an average of 180 Phillies, Mets and Yankees games a season: all road games from Trenton.

                  Saidt liked his baseball "plain vanilla." He decried the lack of fundamental play, individualism, high-fives, over-enthusiastic field demonstrations, the designated hitter and team mascots. He had knowledge, contacts and style. Bus died April 8, 1989, at age 68.

                  Sporting News' obituary, July 3, 1989, pp. 49.-----------------------Riverview Cemetery, Trenton, NJ.----Courier News (Blytheville, AR) April 10, 1989, pp. 16.
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-09-2014, 10:21 AM.


                  • John Douglass Wallop III

                    Born: March 8, 1920, Washington, DC
                    Died: April 2, 1985, Oxford, MD, age 65,---d. heart ailment at Georgetown University Hospital

                    Baseball book author;
                    Associated Press, 1950
                    United Press International,

                    Wife: Lucille Fletcher;

                    Mr. Wallop's main claim to fame was his novel, 'The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant'. It was published in 1954, and made into a Broadway musical play called 'Damn Yankees' in 1955. In 1958 it was made into a musical comedy film, 'Damn Yankees'. It starred Ray Walston as the Devil, Tab Hunter as the middle-aged Washington Senators' fan who is offered the option of being restored to his youth to lead his beloved Senators' team to the pennant over the Yankees. Gwen Verdon plays the head of the Devil's seductress' staff. Walston later found TV immortality in the sitcom My Favorite Martian.

                    In May, 1969, he published, 'Baseball: An Informal History'

                    Chicago Tribune obituary, April 6, 1985.

                    The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, 1954 (a novel)
                    Baseball, An Informal History, 1969

                    New York Times' obituary, April 5, 1985, pp. A18.

                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 10:10 AM.
                    3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

                    "Because as I learned in my years covering Frank McCourt: MLB owners do not see themselves as stewards of the national pastime. They see their teams as their property they can light on fire if they so choose." - Molly Knight


                    • John Frederick Lang---AKA Jack Lang

                      Born: May 5, 1921, Brooklyn, NY
                      Died: January 26, 2007, Huntington, NY, age 85

                      New York sports writer;
                      Mamaroneck, NY, 19-year old, (April 5, 1940 census)
                      Long Island Press, 1946 - March, 1977
                      Covered Dodgers till they left, Covered Yankees, 1958 - 1961
                      New York Daily News, 1977 - 1989
                      Secretary-Treasurer of BBWAA, 1966 - 1988
                      Covered Mets since they started.
                      Won Spink Award, 1986.

                      Father: Gustave, born New York, 1890?; Mother: Margaret Mayer Liesegang, born New Jersey, 1893?;
                      The 1986 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award was Jack Lang.

                      Jack Lang covered baseball in seven decades beginning with the Long Island Press in 1946. When the paper folded in March, 1977, he moved over to the New York Daily News. He covered the Brooklyn Dodgers until their departure for Los Angeles, after which he was assigned to the Yankees (1958-1961). Lang has covered the Mets from their inception in 1962.

                      During his lengthy career, Lang wrote about the great Brooklyn teams of the 1950s, was present for Jackie Robinson's big league debut, witnessed the Mantle-Maris years with the Yankees and saw the Mets go from baseball's worst team to two World Championships.

                      A past-president of the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), Lang also held the office of Secretary-Treasurer of the BBWAA for many years.
                      Jack Lang (Sportswriter. Born, Brooklyn, May 11, 1921.) For nearly three decades, the one voice a retired ballplayer wanted to hear was that of Jack Lang. As national secretary of the B.B.W.A.A., Lang would call former players to inform them of their election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In that position, he was also a fierce fighter for reporters’ rights and their access to players, umpires, and executives in baseball. Lang held that job for 22 years (1966-88) and, after a one-year break, became the first executive secretary of the B.B.W.A.A. (1989-94). During much of this period, he was also the secretary-treasurer of the New York chapter of the organization, primarily responsible in that role for the staging of its annual dinner, the largest affair of its type in the country. Lang was also a working sportswriter for most of 60 years, starting in 1945. He worked as a part-time writer at the Long Island Press (1941-42) before World War II. After 38 months in the U.S. Army, he joined the paper full-time Nov. 11, 1945. Lang began covering the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 and did so until the end of 1957, when they moved to Los Angeles. He then switched to the Yankees for four seasons (1958-61), until the Mets began in 1962, when he went back to the N.L. The Press closed Mar. 25, 1977, while Lang was covering spring training, but less than four hours after the announcement, he was hired by the Daily News. After nearly 12 years, he retired Dec. 31, 1989. Lang then began writing a column for Sportsticker (1990-97). He was a regular official scorer and also the long-time New York N.L. correspondent for The Sporting News. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

                      May 7, 1976: Jack Lang, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association presents NY Mets pitcher Tom Seaver with his third Cy Young Award. (AP Photo)

                      January 8, 1967: Jack Lang/Carl Yastrzemski: Presenting Sid Mercer Award as Player of the Year.------February 2, 1964: Stan Musial/Jack Lang: Accepting William Slocum Award for long and meritorious
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------service to baseball at the New York writers' annual dinner.

                      March 4, 1959: New York sports writers in St. Petersburg, FL.
                      Top Row, L-R: Stan Isaacs, Dan Daniel, Tommy Holmes, Bill Dougerty, Len Schecter, Jim Ogle.

                      Bottom Row, L-R: John Drebinger, Jack Lang, Casey Stengel, Joe Trimble, Ken Smith, Til Ferdenzi.

                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 10:03 AM.


                      • Robert Todd Hunter---AKA Bob Hunter

                        Born: March 19, 1913, Concordia, Kansas
                        Died: October 21, 1993, Sherman Oaks, CA, age 79

                        Los Angeles sports writer;
                        Huntington Park, CA, clerk, railroad office, (April 14, 1930 census)
                        Downey, CA, laborer, anything, (April 14, 1940 census)
                        Los Angeles Examiner,
                        Herald Examiner,
                        Valley News,
                        Los Angeles Daily News

                        Father: Ray Virgil Hunter, born Formosa, Kansas, April 2, 1888, died Fresno, CA, August 16, 1963; Wife: Marie, born Missouri, 1917?;
                        Bob Hunter and Ray Kelly were the recipients of the 1988 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

                        On November 11, 1943, Bob Hunter quit law school to take advantage of an opportunity to go to work for the Los Angeles Examiner, the beginning of a long-time association with the Hearst chain. Subsequent employers occasioned by mergers and "retirement" included the Herald Examiner, the Valley News and the Los Angeles Daily News.

                        During his long career, Hunter covered the lead sports stories and wrote a column, "Bobbin' Around". He also authored the script for the Laraine Day-Leo Durocher TV series, "Double Play With Durocher Day."

                        When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958 Hunter was elected the first chairman of the city's chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). He was later re-elected chairman of the Anaheim-LA branch and also served as national chairman of the BBWAA. Hunter was honored with the appointment of official scorer for four World Series and four All-Star Games. He was represented in the "Best Sport Stories of the Year" for 25 consecutive years.

                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 09:35 AM.


                        • Charles Ritter Collett

                          Born: June 14, 1921, Ironton, OH
                          Died: September 25, 2001, Dayton, OH, age 80

                          Dayton sports writer / sports editor;
                          Spring Valley, OH, 8-year old, (May 3, 1930 census)
                          Waynesville, OH, 17-year old, (April 11, 1940 census)
                          Dayton (OH) Journal, sports writer / sports editor
                          Herald Journal (Dayton, OH)
                          Dayton (OH) Daily News
                          Wrote: The Cincinnati Reds, a pictorial history of professional baseball's oldest team, 1976
                          Men of the Machine, 1977 & several other sports books.
                          Spink Award, 1991

                          Father: Robert D., born Ohio, 1888?; Mother: Mary S., born Ohio, 1894?;
                          The recipient of the 1991 J.G. Taylor Spink Award was Ritter Collett.

                          A native of Ironton, Ohio, and a graduate of Ohio University, Ritter Collett joined the staff of the Dayton (Ohio) Journal in 1946, soon after his discharge from the Army Air Corps. Following mergers of Dayton's three newspapers, he became sports editor of the Journal Herald and then of the Daily News.

                          Collett was one of the founders of baseball's annual Hutch Award (named after former Reds manager Fred Hutchinson) recognizing a major league player who has overcome serious adversity, with an accompanying scholarship awarded for cancer research. He also headed the selection committee for Phi Delta Theta fraternity's annual award in honor of Lou Gehrig.

                          The author of five books, Collett was a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America from 1947 until his death on September 25, 2001. He covered every World Series from 1946 to 1990.

                          --------------------------------------------------------June, 1967: Frank Dale(Cincinnati Enquirer President), Pete Rose, Ritter Collett: MVP of Reds for 1966.

                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 09:20 AM.


                          • Robert Watts Creamer

                            Born: July 14, 1922, Bronxville, NY
                            Died: July 18, 2012, Saratoga Springs, NY, age 90,---d. prostate cancer

                            New York sports writer;
                            (April 24, 1940 census)
                            Attended Fordham University (Bronx, NY), (did not graduate)
                            Attended Syracuse University, (did not graduate)
                            US Army (WW II), (fought in Germany)
                            Bronxville Review-Press advertising manager, 1948 - 1949
                            Westchester Herald advertising manager, 1949
                            Collier's Encyclopedia, assistant editor, 1950 - 1954
                            Sports Illustrated, staff writer, 1954 - 1955, associate editor, 1955 - ?, senior editor, ? - 1985; special contributor, 1985 - ?

                            Father: Joseph, born New York, 1890?; Mother: Elizabeth, born New York, 1897?; Wife: Margaret S. (Schelz), born February 16, 1925, died February 5, 2001, Tuckahoe, NY; Son: James; Son: Tom; Son: John; Son: Robert; Daughter: Ellen (Sitron);

                            Sports Illustrated editor and writer Robert W. Creamer (pronounced kreemer) published approximately three hundred articles during the magazine's first thirty years but established a broader reputation with a biography of Babe Ruth that New Yorker editor and baseball writer Roger Angell called in The New York Times (13 October 1994) "perhaps the best portrait yet struck of an American sports hero." Five years in the making, the book benefited from the coincidence of its appearance with Hank Aaron's pursuit of Ruth's career home-run record; yet twenty years later the New York Observer (25 March 1994) still ranked Babe: The Legend Comes to Life (1974) one of the top ten baseball books of all time. Also included on the list was Creamer's Stengel: His Life and Times (1984), making him the only author doubly honored. Bob was born in Bronxville, NY and raised in Tuckahoe, NY, where he lived until 2004.
                            New York Times' obituary

                            Babe: The Legend Comes To Life, 1974
                            Casey Stengel: His Life and Times, 1984
                            Baseball in '41: A Celebration of the Best Baseball Season Ever — in the Year America Went to War", 1991
                            "Season of Glory: The Amazing Saga of the 1961 New York Yankees", 1988 (with Ralph Houk)
                            Red Barber, 1968
                            Jocko Conlon, 1967
                            Mickey Mantle: The Quality of Courage, 1964

                            September 25, 1974: Robert Creamer / Clinton E. Frank.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 09:11 AM.


                            • Lawrence Stanley Ritter---AKA Larry Ritter

                              Born: May 23, 1922, New York City, NY
                              Died: February 15, 2004, New York City, age 81,---d. at his Manhattan apt., after a series of strokes.

                              Free-lance baseball author;
                              Queens, NY, 7-year old, (April 21, 1930 census)
                              Graduated Indiana University
                              University of Wisconsin, doctorate
                              Professor of Finance and Economics at New York College for 30 years.

                              Father: Irving, born New York, 1893?; Mother: Bella, born New York, 1900?;

                              Baseball author: Main claim to fame - his superb book, 'The Glory of Their Times', 1966. He took the title from the passage in Biblical Ecclesiastics: "All these were honored in their generations and were the glory of their times." Graduated Indiana University , Doctorate from Wisconsin.

                              Also wrote text for "The Babe: A Life in Pictures", with Mark Rucker (1988). After Ty Cob died in 1961, Laurence traveled 75,000 around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and interviewed 22 ballplayers from Ty's era. He made only about $35,000 profit from around 360,000 book sales, due to his sharing his royalties with those players he interviewed. He turned the original tapes over to the Baseball Hall of Fame. They are now available in excerpt form in CD or tape cassette format.

                              Professor of Finance and Economics at New York College for 30 years and chairman of the Department of Finance at the Graduate School of Business Administration of New York University. "I don't like the players, I don't like the umpires, I don't like the owners, but I love the game." Interested in baseball since 1931.

                              The 4-CD set, comprising over 5 hours of conversation, is available from HighBridge Company, 1000 Westgate Drive, St. Paul, MN 55114, $39.95, (ISBN 1-56511-253-9, HBP 59237).
                              Photo source comes from the booklet accompanying the CD set.

                              The Glory of Their Times, 1966
                              The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, 1981 (with Donald Honig)
                              The Image of Their Greatness: An illustrated history of baseball from 1900 to the present, 1992 (with Donald Honig)
                              Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields,, 1992

                              ----------------------In 2000.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 08:32 AM.


                              • Edward Allen Linn---AKA Ed Linn

                                Born: November 14, 1922, Boston, MA
                                Died: February 7, 2000, San Diego, CA, age 77

                                Boston/New York/Washington, DC sports writer;
                                Boston, MA, 7-year old, (April 3, 1930 census)
                                Boston, MA, 17-year old, (April 19, 1940 census)
                                Graduated Boston University, 1950, wrote for the Voice of America, in Washington, DC, then turned to free-lance writing of sports.

                                Father: Hyman, born Lithuania, 1894?, (newspaper compositer); Mother: Gertrude, born Massachusetts, 1897?;

                                Los Angeles Times' obituary, February 15, 2000.---------------------------------------New York Times' obituary, February 15, 2000, pp. C26.

                                San Jose Mercury News' obituary, February 15, 2000.

                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2014, 07:35 AM.


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