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  • #31
    James Arnot Crusinberry

    Born: December 11, 1878, Cascade, Iowa
    Died: July 1, 1960, Phoenix, AZ, age 81,---d. cerebral hemorrhage

    Chicago sports writer;
    Chicago Chronicle, 1903 - 1905
    Chicago Examiner, 1906
    Chicago American, 1907
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1908 - 1910
    Chicago Tribune, 1911 - 1920
    New York Daily News sports editor, 1921 - 1924, 3 years in NY
    Chicago Tribune, 1924 - 1927
    Chicago Journal, 1927
    Chicago Daily News, 1928 - 1932
    Fan & Family (sports publication), July, 1935
    Columbia Broadcasting System's (CBS) news, January, 1937
    Station WBBM, sports editor, (supervised all sports commentaries/reviews, May, 1937 - 1948
    Moved to Phoenix, AZ before 1954. Was wintering there as early as 1951.

    President of the BWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America, 1929 - 1930.
    Crusinberry broke in with the Chicago Chronicle in 1903 and worked for newspapers in Chicago, St. Louis, and New York before a long stay with the Chicago Daily News. While working for the Chicago Tribune in 1920, he played a considerable part in bringing to light the facts about the fixed World Series of 1919. A charter member of the BBWAA, he was its president in 1929-30. He was later a radio sports commentator for Columbia Broadcasting System's news operations in Chicago until his retirement in 1948. (NLM) He specialized in baseball & golf.

    New York Times' obituary-----------------------------------James' entry/photo in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
    July 2, 1960, pp. 17.----------------------------------------- edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 499.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------James Crusinberry (left) chats with Gabby Hartnett, 1928

    James, left, chats with Donie Bush, White Sox manager, 1929.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------James chats with Donie Bush, 1929, Chicago.

    Chicago Daily Tribune obituary, July 2, 1960, pp. B2.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------October 15, 1958: Warren Giles/ Jim Crusinberry.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013, 10:01 AM.


    • #32
      Joseph S. Cashman

      Born: December 28, 1900, South Boston, MA
      Died: February 12, 1993, Cambridge, MA, age 92,---d. Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA

      Boston sports writer;
      Boston American, 1917 - 1933
      Boston Evening American/Suday Advertiser, June, 1936 - ?
      Boston Telegram
      Boston Daily Record, April, 1939 - November 4, 1959
      Boston American, November 18, 1959
      Boston Record-American, March 2, 1960 - April 4, 1964
      Boston Record-American/Sunday Advertiser, 1965 - June, 1970, retired.

      Father: John T.; Mother: Ellen Sullivan; Wife: Rose (Dolly), born around 1904, died July 19, 1965, at Cambridge, MA; Son: Joseph, Jr., born around 1929; Son: John, born around 1931.

      Joe's entry/photo in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
      ----edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 405.------------------------------------------Boston Globe, February 16, 1993.

      June 22, 1947: Ted Williams/Joe Cashman. Ted Accepts the AL 1946 MVP at Fenway Park.

      November 18, 1941: Joe Cashman / Coach Dick Harlow of Harvard.--------------January 27, 1960, Enos Slaughter, Joe Cashman, Mickey Vernon. Boston sports writers' dinner.

      1957: Joe Cashman presents award to umpire, Artie Gorman.-------------------------May 2, 1962: Joe Cashman / Don Schwall

      1953: Joe Cashman / Paul Kerr of Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.-----December 8, 1951: Horace Stoneham (Giants' owner), Joe Cashman, Joe Cronin.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-21-2013, 05:50 PM.


      • #33
        John C. Hoffman

        Born: July 9, 1903, Chicago, IL
        Died: October 26, 1964, Scottsdale, AZ, age 61,---d. at a Scottsdale, AZ, hospital of cancer.

        Chicago sports writer;
        Chicago Daily New, 1924 - 1936
        Wisconsin News (Milwaukee)
        International News service (Chicago office)
        Chicago Times, 1936 - 1947
        Chicago Sun-Times, 1947 - 57
        Left the Sun-Times in 1957 and became a real estate agent in Scottsdale, AZ. Moved Phoenix, AZ, June, 1958.

        Father: Abraham; Mother: Fannie; Wife: Irma Marie Fontana; John married Irma June 24, 1924.

        John's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
        edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 407.----------------------------Sporting News' obituary--------Chicago Tribune obituary,
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------November 7, 1964, pp. 26, col. 3-------October 27, 1964

        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Jerome Holtzman/John C. Hoffman

        December 23, 1946: Chicago sports writers: L-R: John Hoffman, Dan Desmond, Herb Simons, John Carmichael, Jack Ryan, Earl Hilligan, Howard Roberts, Edgar Munzel, Chuck Chamberlain.

        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-23-2013, 04:20 PM.


        • #34
          Charles Michael Segar

          Born: October 29, 1903, Liverpool, England
          Died: June 1, 2001, Sun City West, AZ, age 97,---d. natural causes, cremated, buried: Pinelawn Cemetery, Long Island, NY

          Brooklyn / New York sports writer / baseball executive;
          Brooklyn Citizen, 1919 - 1926
          New York Mirror, 1926 - 1946
          Manager of National League Service Bureau, January 2, 1946 - October 8, 1951
          Secretary-Treasurer in Commissioner's office, October 8, 1951 - February, 1971
          Administrator of players' benefit plan,
          Chairman of Players' Rules Committee, 1962 - July 23, 1971
          Blue Book revision committee. Loved golf, movies, TV

          Wife: Elizabeth, born New York around 1906, died May 23, 1971, Saybrooke, Long Island, NY. Charles and Elizabeth married February, 1926. Daughter: Mrs. Joan Barrett. Second Wife: Evelyn.

          Charlie Segar (Sportswriter. Born, Liverpool, England, Oct. 29, 1903; died, Sun City West, Ariz., June 2, 2001.) As the youngest member of the B.B.W.A.A. ever, Charles M. Segar later became its national president and then a long-time baseball executive. Segar emigrated to the U.S. as a youngster, becoming an active semipro baseball player before joining the staff of the Brooklyn Citizen May 1, 1920. He was 16 years, six months also when he began covering Dodgers home games. In 1926, Segar moved to the Hearst tabloid Daily Mirror and in 1937 was elected president of the B.B.W.A.A. national organization. He also covered boxing, soccer, and tennis, among other sports. Segar served as chairman of the B.B.W.A.A. New York chapter in 1941-42, but left the Mirror in 1945 to become director of the N.L. Service Bureau, handling publicity for the league. When N.L. president Ford Frick (q.v.) became baseball commissioner in 1951, Segar moved with him into the new New York office as secretary-treasurer. He retired in 1971 but headed the Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee for many years thereafter. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

          The Official History of the National League, 1951

          Charles' photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
          edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 500
          .---Arizonia Republic obituary, June 3, 2001.

          Sun City West (AZ) Daily News-Sun obituary, June 5, 2001.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-20-2013, 10:03 AM.


          • #35
            Alan Jenks Gould

            Born: January 30, 1898, Philadelphia, PA
            Died: June 21, 1993, Vero Beach, FL, age 95---d. heart attack

            New York sports writer;
            Worked for papers in Elmira, Ithaca & Binghamton, NY;
            Ithaca Journal reporter, 1917
            Associated Press, New York sports editor, Executive editor, 1922 - 1963.
            Moved Florida, 1975

            New York Times' obit, June 22, 1993, pp. B6.

            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------October 7, 1937: L-R: Alan Gould (AP sports editor), Jake
            July 15, 1936: on board the SS Manhattan, with photographer Joe Caneva, on way to Olympics in Berlin, Germany.---Babe Ruth, Alan Gould, Joe McCarthy, 193.2-------------Wade (Charleston Observer), Harry Salsinger (Detroit News).

            September 17, 1933, Cincinnati, OH
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-27-2012, 07:55 PM.


            • #36
              Frank Graham, Sr.

              Born: November 12, 1893, Harlem, NYC
              Died: March 9, 1965, New Rochelle, NY, age 71---d. At Nathan B. Etten Hospital, Bronx, NY. Fractured skull in bathroom fall at home on February 28, 1965.

              New York sports writer;
              New York Sun, sports writer, 1915 - 1934, sports columnist, 1934 - 1943
              Look magazine, sports editor, 1943 - 1945
              New York Journal-American, sports columnist, 'Graham's Corner', 1945 - 1965
              Wrote 6 sports books. Boxing authority.
              Covered New York Giants 1915 - 1926; Yankees, 1927 - 1933.

              Father: David; Mother: Frances Sullivan; Wife Gertrude Lillian Whipp; married Gertrude, October 17, 1923. His mother died giving birth to him.
              Frank Graham was the recipient of the 1971 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

              A gentle craftsman, who gave a new dimension to the daily sports column, Frank Graham covered the Giants for the New York Sun as early as 1916. When he succeeded Joe Vila as the paper's columnist more than 15 years later, he still saw himself as a reporter rather than an authority. Instead of adding his voice to the volume of opinion that filled most columns then, he escorted the reader down to the field, the dugout or the clubhouse to see and hear the intimate details that escape the fan in grandstand or bleachers.

              Graham set the pattern for the reportorial column, as distinguished from the editorial essay. His absolute ear for dialogue, his extraordinary memory, and unfailing taste put his "conversation pieces" in a class by themselves. Though his style was widely copied, the simple declarative sentence never served his imitators the way it obeyed him.

              Frank left the Sun for a turn as Look magazine's sports editor, retired from that position to write books (biographies of Lou Gehrig, John McGraw, and Al Smith, as well as informal histories of the Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers) and worked his last years as columnist for the New York Journal-American.
              Biography Resource Center:
              Frank Graham was a New York-based sportswriter who covered a variety of sports for newspapers and magazines and who wrote a number of books, including several for younger readers. He wrote his columns from memory, without notes, and was widely recognized as one of the finest reporters of his time.

              Graham was born in East Harlem in New York City and was raised by a grandmother and sister after his mother died giving birth to him. As a young boy, he lost the sight in his right eye after suffering from a form of spinal meningitis. He dropped out of high school and spent the next six years as a messenger for the telephone company. Although very small in stature, Graham played sandlot ball and won his six amateur boxing matches. While working in his messenger job, he wrote and sold freelance pieces about boxing, which led to a spot on the staff of the New York Sun, first on the crime beat. Graham was transferred to the sports department after he covered the spring training season of the New York Giants for an ill reporter. His work was praised to Joe Vila, his editor, by journalist Damon Runyon, who was then working for the New York American. The Sun carried the syndicated column of top sportswriter Grantland Rice, and Graham occasionally wrote the column for Rice when his workload was heavy. Graham become close to Rice, and also to colleague Red Smith, who spoke about Graham with affection in his book To Absent Friends.

              Through 1926, Graham covered the Giants, whose manager John McGraw he admired, and Graham formed friendships with him and many of the players. From 1927 until 1933, Graham covered the New York Yankees. When Vila died in 1934, Graham took over his sports column at the Sun, and wrote "Setting the Pace" six days a week until 1943. His first column was an interview with heavyweight boxing challenger, Max Baer, and his manager, Ancil Hoffman, shortly before Baer's championship fight with title holder Primo Carnera. Frank Graham, Jr. wrote in A Farewell to Heroes that "the column was, and remained, all that he ever really wanted out of his professional life. He had almost total freedom to make up his mind about what he wanted to do every day and how he wanted to treat what he saw."

              During the Great Depression, Graham supplemented his income with freelance writing. He wrote the children's books Andy Blue and Davy Lane and articles for magazines such as Baseball. He later wrote a well-received biography of baseball great Lou Gehrig. The following year, Graham quit the Sun, which had never paid him what he was worth, and joined Look as the magazine's sports editor. The job lasted only one year, however, as editorial decisions at a higher level thwarted his ability to write as freely as he wished. He then worked as a freelancer until he was asked to write the sports column for the New York Journal, an offer that was brought about due to the efforts of Runyon.

              Baseball dugouts, racetrack clubhouses, and boxing clubs were the places where Graham always felt comfortable and enjoyed his many friendships. Following World War II, the role of the traditional sportswriter and broadcaster changed with the popularity of radio and television coverage of sports. In order to hold readers' attention, the new wave of sports journalists had to provide more colorful asides, controversy, and other attention-getting content that was unrelated to the actual coverage of games. Graham retained his own style and often wrote about his old heroes and memories of games past, yet some of his articles of the 1950s and 1960s were among the finest he ever penned. He wrote for Baseball Digest for nearly twenty-five years and contributed to other national magazines, including Collier's, and Saturday Evening Post.

              Edward J. Tassinari wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography that "although Graham was universally considered a gentle man with a gentle writing style, he could be blunt when he saw fit. In a June 1956 piece for Sport, 'Say, Isn't That Willie Pep in There?'--on the ring wanderings of the broke, embattled former featherweight champion, reduced to fighting nonentities for meager purses before sparse crowds--Graham flatly asserts that Pep had thrown his controversial 1954 fight against Lulu Perez. Throughout his career Graham admonished once-great veterans to quit the ring when their skills had clearly eroded." Tassinari noted that "many of Graham's pieces reflect the New York ambiance of the 1920s and the influences of Runyon and Hemingway in terms of characterization, atmosphere, and dialogue. Graham loved the offbeat, shadowy figures and rogues that dwelt on the fringes of his favorite sports--the gamblers, bookies, struggling horse trainers, and injury-riddled jockeys, and fight managers and promoters hustling for a buck or demonstrating the resiliency to continue in search of that elusive big payday."

              In addition to his biography of Gehrig, Graham wrote another of Giants manager McGraw, and histories of the Yankees, the Giants, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Tassinari called the team books "Graham's finest." Baseball historian Peter C. Bjarkman wrote in the Cooperstown Review that "in the genre of baseball team histories, the best of them emphasize plot structure akin to well-crafted novels, a wealth of memorable characters, and a clearly defined team personality. Graham's trilogy consistently adheres to those standards. They combine his flawless narrative skills, firsthand knowledge of the principles, fringe characters, and long-forgotten lore, and a striking sense for the dramatic moments. The books have remained fresh, wonderfully informative, and lively, and their factual errors are relatively few and generally minor."

              After he left Look in 1944, Graham wrote a biography of Al Smith, the recently deceased governor of New York who had made an unsuccessful bid to be the Democratic Party's candidate for the presidency in 1928. Smith's family interfered with his writing of Al Smith, American: An Informal Biography, and he finished the book but never even reviewed the final galleys before it went to print.

              Baseball Extra is a collection of twenty of Graham's Sport articles. Third Man in the Ring is the life story of boxing referee Ruby Goldstein, as told to Graham. Goldstein had been unsuccessful as a lightweight contender and chose to become a referee while serving with the army during World War II as a physical training instructor. During the period in the 1950s when boxing was a popular television event, Goldstein became a recognized sports figure as he presided over nationally broadcast bouts. Baseball Wit and Wisdom: Folklore of a National Pastime, written with Dick Hyman, is Graham's collection of baseball-related anecdotes, drawings, and cartoons.

              Beginning in 1960, Graham's health began to fail. He cut back his number of columns, many of which were memorials to his old friends. Dying of cancer, he wrote in one column of his desire to be buried at the Saratoga Racetrack. Ironically, Graham suffered a skull fracture from a fall in his home in the spring of 1965 and died shortly thereafter.

              Among the tributes written after his passing was one by Jimmy Cannon which said, "A gentle man who seemed to walk on the tips of his toes as if he intended to pass through the world without disturbing anyone. He was, this shy and noble man, exactly as he wrote. The copy was pure and so was he. He typed it quickly on the toy machine with the dainty tapping of polite fingers. He frisked the characters of even the rogues for their good traits and cherished them for that. He was an original, this embarrassed poet, who changed sports writing, and brought to it the dignity of folk literature."

              PERSONAL INFORMATION: Family: Born November 12, 1893, in East Harlem, NY; died of a skull fracture, March 9, 1965; son of David and Frances (Sullivan) Graham; married Gertrude Lillian Whipp, October 17, 1923; children: four.

              AWARDS: J. G. Spink Award and inclusion into the Writers Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Baseball Writers Association of America, 1971; A. J. Liebling Award (posthumous), Boxing Writers Association, 1997, for outstanding boxing writing.

              CAREER: Sportswriter and author. Worked as a telephone company messenger; New York Sun, New York, NY, reporter, sports columnist, 1914-43; Look, New York, NY, sports editor, 1943-44; New York Journal American, New York, NY, sports columnist, 1945-64.
              Frank Graham (Sportswriting. Born, New York, Nov. 13, 1893; died, New York, Mar. 9, 1965.) There is little doubt that Frank Graham was one of the major forces in the evolution of sportswriting in New York. His keen ear for dialogue and incredible memory enabled him to recreate dugout and lockerroom conversation verbatim without the benefit of notes but to the great benefit of his readers. Graham began as a sportswriter on The Sun, one of the best newspapers of that time, in 1915 and remained on the staff for 28 years, covering most of the major sports but concentrating primarily on baseball. While he was perhaps a somewhat better beat writer than most of his confreres, a major change in his career came on April 27, 1934, when Joe Vila (q.v.), The Sun’s sports editor, died. The publisher and managing editor decided to divide the jobs of sports editor and lead sports columnist. Graham got the column. Red Smith (q.v.), among others, later observed that this single event changed forever the nature of sports columns in New York and moved it to a higher plane. Graham, who also began turning out books with a biography of Lou Gehrig in 1942, tired of the daily column grind in 1943 and accepted the job as sports editor of LOOK Magazine. However, by 1945, he was back in harness as a columnist, this time at the New York Journal-American, where he stayed for the next 20 years, until shortly before his death. He also wrote books on the history of all three New York baseball teams of the day, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Giants and the Yankees. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

              Lou Gehrig: A Quiet Hero: 1942
              The New York Yankees, 1943
              McGraw of the Giants: An Informal Biography, 1944
              The Brooklyn Dodgers: An Informal History, 1945
              The New York Giants, 1952
              Baseball Wit and Wisdom, 1952 (with Dick Hyman)
              Al Smith, American: An Informal Biography, Putnam (New York, NY), 1945.
              The New York Giants: An Informal History of a Great Baseball Team, Putnam (New York, NY), 1952.
              Baseball Extra, Barnes (New York, NY), 1954.
              (With Ruby Goldstein), Third Man in the Ring, Funk and Wagnalls (New York, NY), 1959.
              (With Dick Hyman), Baseball Wit and Wisdom: Folklore of a National Pastime, McKay (New York, NY), 1962.

              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Frank's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 505.

              -----------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, March 20, 1965, pp. 28, col. 1.

              ----------------1933---------------------------------------------------------------L-R: Frank Graham, Granny Rice, Red Smith

              New York Times' obituary, March 10, 1965, pp. 41.

              --------------------------------------------------------------November, 1948, covering Army/Navy game.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-14-2012, 11:28 AM.


              • #37
                James Joseph Aloysius Powers---AKA Jimmy Powers

                Born: February 9, 1903, Cleveland, OH
                Died: February 11, 1995, Bal Harbour, FL, age 92-----d. in his sleep at home

                New York sports writer;
                Marquettte University (Milwaukee, WI)
                Cleveland Press, 1925 - 1926
                New York sports editor NEA syndicate, 1927 - 1928
                New York News, 1929 - 1933
                New York Daily News, 1936 - 1959

                Baseball Personalities: Vivid Stories Of More Than 50 Of The Most Colorful Ball Players Of All Time, 1949
                Biography Resource Center:
                James Joseph Aloysius "Jimmy" Powers worked in the sports department of the New York Daily News for thirty-five years and was sports editor there for more than twenty years. His staff included such sportswriting greats as Dick Young, Joe Trimble, Jim McCulley, and Gene Ward, and cartoonists Bill Gallo and Leo "the Lion" O'Mealia. He rose to become the paper's top sports columnist with his popular six-days-a-week column, "The Powerhouse," which he continued writing after his retirement. During his decades as a sports journalist, Powers exerted considerable influence, not only in the printed page but also through the new medium of television. He was the announcer for the longest-running boxing broadcast, the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, from 1948 to 1960. The live matches originated from Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the show was popularly called the "Friday Night Fights."

                The eldest of ten children, Powers was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but raised in Enid, Oklahoma. He was an athlete who lettered in football, baseball, and track while attending Marquette University and was also a golfer, sailor, tennis player, deep-sea fisherman, and horseback rider. Before signing on with the Daily News, Powers wrote for newspapers in Cleveland, Muskogee, Oklahoma and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Once he settled in New York, the only break in his career with the Daily News came when he served four years in the U.S. Navy.

                His peak years as a sports journalist were from the Depression through the years immediate following World War II. Rob Edelman wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography that it was during these years that Powers "was at his pithiest, most combative, and most confrontational." In 1940 Powers called baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis a hypocrite for criticizing player Joe DiMaggio's friendships with gamblers. Powers also pointed out the owners and team executives who were connected with gambling and other shady practices. He was a colorful writer, and his story about the final game of the 1945 World Series was selected by publisher E. P. Dutton as the year's best sports story and was included in its annual collection.

                Because of the number of batters who suffered fractured skulls from wild pitches, Powers was a proponent of batting helmets. Such crusades were popular with his readers, who numbered more than two million every day. At the height of Powers's career there were seven other competing papers, but he received more than 30,000 letters from his readers each year. Powers was also one of the first to speak out in favor of the integration of the major leagues. In 1938 he lobbied the New York Giants to sign pitcher Ray Brown of the Homestead Grays. The Negro League player had a perfect record of ten wins, no losses. When integration of the leagues became a reality with the signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Powers was less supportive, saying that "Robinson will not make the major leagues. He is a thousand-to-one shot at best." In I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography, Robinson said Powers "wrote that I would not make the grade in the big leagues 'next year or the next.'" Sports historian Harvey Frommer, in New York City Baseball: The Last Golden Age, 1947-1957, quoted Powers as saying, "we would like to see him make good, but it is unfair to build high hopes and then dash them down. . . . he is a thousand to one shot to make the grade."

                Between 1943 and 1949 Powers did all he could to destroy the career of Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey. Rickey was the focal point of at least eighty columns, and Powers made references to Rickey in nearly as many more. He accused the executive of underpaying and manipulating his players, and his smear campaign effectively disrupted the club's operations and turned away fans and potential players. The attacks stopped suddenly when an anonymous correspondent sent Rickey a copy of a letter written by Powers, a letter that had anti-Semitic overtones. If Rickey had released the copy to the press, Powers's career would probably have been destroyed. Instead, a Dodgers representative called Powers and told him Rickey was in possession of the letter. Powers stopping writing critically about Rickey almost immediately.

                Powers was embroiled in other controversies. According to Daily News reporter Dave Kaplan, in a memorial piece published in that paper after Powers's death, Powers angered the boxing world in 1938 when he called promoter Mike Jacobs and the New York boxing commission "Snow Mike and the Seven Dwarfs." The following year, when an ill Lou Gehrig did not appear in the lineup, Powers wrote under his fictitious byline, "Jack Smith," that the Yankees slump was being caused by Gehrig's "contagious" disease and said the team was suffering from a "mass polio epidemic." Gehrig sued, and Powers issued a public apology. A long-running feud developed between Powers and Dan Parker of the rival New York Mirror. Parker said Powers was taking credit for pieces written by young staff members. Bill Gallo backed up this allegation but noted that in one instance Powers saw talent in the young man from another department whose article Powers had run, an opinion reenforced when readers praised the story, and then brought him into the sports department.

                Another Daily News columnist, Ed Sullivan, had made the jump to television in 1948 with his Toast of the Town, later renamed the Ed Sullivan Show. In 1949 Powers moved to television as well, becoming the announcer of Bowling Headliners, broadcast live on ABC from the Rego Park Lanes in Queens. That same year he began announcing the Friday-night fights from Madison Square Garden on Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. Powers sat in the mezzanine with boxing expert Arthur Susskind, seventy-five feet from ringside, sometimes using opera glasses to observe the fight. Susskind provided his expertise and trivia about the boxers, which he gave to Powers on index cards as Powers commented on the action.

                Powers's last column appeared just before the long New York newspaper strike that began in 1963. After he retired to Florida, he never wrote again but spent his time relaxing and pursuing his favorite pastimes. His wife predeceased him, and in his later years he developed a friendship with former Olympic swimmer Eleanor Holm. In writing Powers's New York Daily News obituary, Gallo said that "they got old together, kind of, playing tennis. All he did was just go to Mexico, go deep-sea fishing. He believed in living a full kind of life, but without doing anything. The only thing he wrote was letters."

                PERSONAL INFORMATION: Family: Born February 9, 1903, in Cleveland, OH; died February 11, 1995, in Bal Harbour, FL; married Winona Smyser; children: Patricia, Michael, Mary Ann. Education: Attended Marquette University.

                AWARDS: Best sports story of the year award, E. P. Dutton, 1945, for "Tiger Triumph."

                CAREER: Sportswriter. New York Daily News, New York, NY, 1928-63, sportswriter, columnist, sports editor, 1935-59, contributing columnist, 1959-63; radio show host; announcer for television programs, including Bowling Headliners, ABC, 1949, Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, NBC, 1949-60, Sports Newsreel, NBC, 1951-60, and Famous Fights, DuMont Network, 1952; interviewer for WPIX; host of syndicated shows Big Playback and Grantland Rice Story. Also worked for newspapers in Muskogee, OK, Milwaukee, WI, and Cleveland, OH. Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY, instructor, 1950s. Military service: U.S. Navy, served four years; become commander.
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------New York Times' Obituary, February 15, 1995, pp. D22.

                1948: L-R: Jimmy Powers, Jimmy Jemail, George Zaharias, Babe Didrickson, Gen. John Reed Kilpatrick.

                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-10-2013, 07:45 PM.


                • #38
                  Edward Hugh Prell

                  Born: November 25, 1904, Pittsburg, Kansas
                  Died: September 1, 1981, Kansas City, MO, age 76

                  Chicago sports writer;
                  HS senior at Pittsburgh HS in Kansas in 1921,
                  Attended Kansas State Teachers College (now Pittsburg State University) 4 years. Enjoyed wrestling.
                  Pittsburgh Sun (Kansas) sports editor till 1927;
                  Ponca City (Okla.) News late in 1927 as sports editor, telegraph editor and police reporter.
                  Wichita Beacon (Kansas) (1928)
                  Omaha Bee-News, night sports editor;
                  Chicago American, 1929 - January 23, 1936) & started writing ML baseball in 1932.
                  Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, sports editor, ? - September 10, 1937
                  Toledo News-Bee sports editor, September 10, 1937 - ?
                  Chicago Tribune (copy-reader, November 16, 1939 - 1941), Football editor (June 21, 1941-1955), Baseball writer (September, 1955 - around 1970)
                  Sporting News correspondent, 1966 - March 3, 1979

                  Father: George, born Germany, July 10, 1875, died Joplin, MO, September 1, 1951; Mother: Mamie, born Missouri around 1880; Wife: Callie Lucille Taylor, born June 11, 1907 in Croweburg, KS, Died: July 10, 1980, Kansas City. Married around 1928, in Woodson, Kansas;

                  Authored: Jolly Cholly's Story: Baseball, I Love You!, (as told to Ed Prell), 1968.

                  Ed's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball,
                  edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 501.---------------------------Sporting News' obituary, September 19, 1981, pp. 70, column 3.


                  Chicago Tribune obituary, September 2, 1981, pp. C15.

                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-24-2011, 09:18 AM.


                  • #39
                    Harold Francis Parrott

                    Born: January 10, 1909, Brooklyn, NY
                    Died: July 30, 1987, Palm Desert, CA, age 78

                    Brooklyn sports writer / Dodgers' Traveling Secretary / Ticket Director for Dodgers, Angels, Pilots, Padres
                    Graduated St. John's University (Queens, NY), 1927
                    Brooklyn Eagle, 1931-43
                    Brooklyn Dodgers' traveling secretary, January 1, 1944 - 1958
                    Director of Dodgers' ticket sales, 1958 - 1963
                    Director of California Angels' ticket sales, February, 1964 - 1968
                    Director of Seattle Pilots' ticket sales, 1968 - April 16, 1969
                    Director of San Diego Padres' ticket sales, July 19, 1969 - December, 1969.
                    Executive Manager of Pacific Northwest Tennis Association, 1976

                    Someone once wrote that after Walter O'Malley fired him from the Dodgers' ticket sales position in 1963, Harold spent the rest of his career and life bad-mouthing him, finally writing his book as a final, farewell slam on O'Malley. That may very well have been true, but that doesn't mean his criticisms of O'Malley were not true, relevant or well-founded. O'Malley gave many people good reasons to criticize him. Parrott simply had the inside track on him and his many corruptions. For example, O'Malley would fine anyone who said Branch Rickey's name out loud around the Dodgers' offices.

                    The Lords of Baseball: A Wry Look at a Side of the Game the Fans Seldom See-the Front Office, 1976

                    Sporting News' obituary
                    August 17, 1987, pp. 53, column 2.

                    -----------------------------------1988 Baseball Guide obituary-----------New York Times' obituary, July 31, 1987, pp. B14.


                    ----------Around 1932: Inset photo, around 1976.

                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-28-2013, 06:13 PM.


                    • #40
                      Harry Waid Neily---AKA Senor

                      Born: March 7, 1881, Spartanburg, PA
                      Died: August 26, 1948, Holgate, OH, age 67---buried on August 29, 1948 in Holgate, OH.

                      Sports writer;
                      Worked for 17 newspapers in his career, starting in 1898.
                      Warren (PA) Democrat, 1899 - ?
                      Warren (PA) Times,
                      Warren (PA) Mirror, ? - 1902;
                      Philadelphia North American,
                      McKeesport Herald, 1902;
                      Kane (PA) Courier,
                      Warren (PA), linotype operator,
                      Pittsburgh Post, lineotype
                      Pittsburgh Post, News, 1902;
                      Youngstown Vindicator (Ohio), 1902 - 1906, sports editor
                      Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1907 - 1909;
                      Penton Pub Co, 1909;
                      Detroit Times, 1910; sports editor
                      St. Louis Times, sports editor, 1910 - 1913;
                      St. Louis Federals business manager, (Federal League, 1914),
                      Denver Rocky Mountains News, 1914 - 1915;
                      Denver Times, sports editor
                      Chicago Herald, assistant sports editor, 1916
                      Chicago Evening American, 1916 - 1933,
                      Henry County Review, owner/editor, 1944 - 1948

                      early member of BBWAA,; Father: Harry Neily Mother: Jennie W. Koehler; Wife: Thello Wertz, born Bryan, OH; Married Thello June 9, 1908 in Cuyahoga, OH

                      Article talking about Harry.---(The Bryan Times, Wednesday, April 23, 1969, pp. 11.)
                      Professional baseball is observing its centennial year. . . . The state of Ohio has contributed much toward the century-long development of baseball, furnishing many of the outstanding players and managers, umpires, sports scribes, announcers and teams.

                      One of the well known baseball writers was the late Harry Neily, of Bryan, and his name is likely to be mentioned whenever there is a discussion of the great players, personalities and characters who have helped make up Organized Baseball, particularly those who participated since the turn of the century.

                      Neily traveled for many years with the Chicago teams, the Cubs and White Sox, covering games for the Chicago American.

                      Upon his retirement from that work, he settled down in Bryan, occasionally helping a little with the news work at the the old Bryan Democrat. He also was active in organizing the local industrial basketball and baseball leagues in the 1930's, and added some color by umpiring at the old Twilight League games.

                      Later he moved over to Holgate and became a country editor as publisher of the weekly Review. He was among the group of area scribes who in 1947 formed the Press Box Club of Northwestern Ohio. He was 67 years old when he died Aug. 26, 1948.

                      In an article in The Sporting News saluting the centennial of professional baseball, Frederick G. Lieb gave a colorful account of scores of he great sports writers. Of course, he mentioned Neily, giving him the following paragraph:

                      "Baseball writers distinctly have been characters and haven't been afraid to be different. Harry Neily, of Chicago, sported a goatee and went around wearing a big sombrero, Mexican attire and boots with spurs attached. You could hear his spurs rattled against the concrete aisles."

                      A former Napoleon sports writer, Judd Arnett, likes to recall Neily's days as a weekly editor at Holgate, and observes that "they just don't make country editors like him anymore."

                      Arnett, now a columnist with the Detroit Free Press, once wrote the following description of Neily, who he said was one of the last of the old breed with color.

                      "He was constructed, for example, along the general lines of Santa Claus, with a goatee instead of a beard, and his garb consisted of a blue pin-striped suit, cowboy boots and a ten-gallon hat. Early in his tenure, when he walked the streets of Holgate, the natives collapsed with laughter. But later, they came to understand and love him."

                      Arnett also declared that Neily was a better writer than the famed Westbrook Pegler, but said he was not mean or vindictive. (The Bryan Times, Wednesday, April 23, 1969, pp. 11.)

                      Harry's photo/entry in Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 14.
                      Harry was the Assistant Editor on the Project.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, September 1, 1948, pp. 7.

                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-29-2011, 12:11 PM.


                      • #41
                        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, 12:27 AM.


                        • #42
                          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, 10:39 AM.


                          • #43
                            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, 04:18 PM.


                            • #44
                              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, 11:16 AM.


                              • #45
                                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, 04:36 PM.


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