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  • William Oliver Shannon---AKA Bill Shannon

    Born: July 28, 1941, Easton, PA
    Died: October 26, 2010, West Caldwell, NJ, age 69,---d. in a fire at his home.

    New Jersey sports writer;
    The Record (60's)
    Madison Square Garden, public relations, 60's & 70's
    U.S. Tennis Association, press assistant

    Bill Shannon, a Bergenfield High School graduate who was an official scorer at Yankees and Mets games for 32 seasons, died Tuesday morning in a West Caldwell house fire. He was 69.

    He could not escape the flames but neighbors rescued his mother, Mildred, the Associated Press reported.

    The former Teaneck resident was a ubiquitous presence on the New York-New Jersey sports scene. He was a sports correspondent for The Record in the ‘60s, worked in public relations for Madison Square Garden in the ‘60s and ‘70s and was a press assistant for the U.S. Tennis Association. But he was most familiar in baseball circles.

    In 1975, Mr. Shannon authored a book, “The Ballparks,” that chronicled his visits to every big-league park, including those no longer used. His favorite, he told The Record, was Boston’s Fenway Park, because it was so asymmetrical.

    Mr. Shannon knew the two Yankee Stadiums, Shea Stadium and CitiField better than anyone. He spent hundreds of days and nights in their press boxes.

    He worked at least 60 games a season as an official scorer in New York, most recently last week’s Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium.

    “Bill was the daddy of official scorers in the New York area,” said Phyllis Merhige, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of club relations, who oversees official scorers for all 30 teams.

    “I appointed him to a committee to codify the scoring rules. He was a sincere, warm and loving guy who took his official scoring duties seriously.”

    Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America, said Mr. Shannon was a “fixture” in the New York press boxes. When he wasn’t serving as official scorer, he helped cover Yankees and Mets games as an Associated Press stringer.
    Dictionary of New York Sports:
    Bill Shannon. (Newspaperman. Born, Easton, Penna., July 28, 1941; died, West Caldwell, N.J., Oct. 26, 2010.) A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long-time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner, and public relations head for two Madison Square Gardens, William Oliver Shannon, Jr., was, oddly enough, perhaps known as much for his quirks as his deeds. A tall, broad, friendly, garrulous man and Anglophile easily distinguished by his muttonchops, thick glasses, booming voice, and chain smoking, Shannon possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of seemingly everything, especially baseball, the railroads, theatre, and opera.

    Born in Easton, Penna., to parents who lived in Richmond Hill, N.Y., Shannon moved to Hammond, Ind., where he started covering high school sports, including games in which he played, for The Hammond Times at 13. His family moved to New Jersey when he was in high school, and he was graduated by Bergenfield (N.J.) High School in 1959. As a senior, he was named New Jersey’s high school journalist of the year. Rebuffing his father’s entreaties to go to Rutgers, he attended Columbia. And rather than enjoy the typical college experience, he spent much of his time working in the Columbia sports information office, at the Garden, for various New York newspapers (as a stringer), and for the embryonic New York Titans. In 1960, Shannon convinced owner Harry Wismer to hire him, and the rest of the Columbia football stats crew, to handle Titans home game statistics, beginning his 51-season association with the team. Shannon himself served in numerous capacities on the crew, mostly as press box announcer.

    After a two-year stint in the Army, based primarily in Fort Eustis, Va., where he earned a letter of commendation for helping conduct the 1965 Army Track & Field trials and another for his contributions to the production of Damn Yankees, he joined the Garden, then a public company, as the head of public relations. While he was there, the Garden moved from Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets to its current location atop Pennsylvania Station. During his tenure, which ended in 1973, he oversaw, among other things, the Garden’s promotion of the U.S. Open tennis championships starting in 1968.

    In the mid-1970s, Shannon bought an interest in Bill Doll, a theatrical public relations agency, and wrote (with George Kalinsky, a photographer he had earlier hired at the Garden) a seminal book on baseball stadia, The Ballparks, published in 1975. Shortly thereafter, he determined to cover baseball more or less regularly, and after a couple of years writing for, among other publications, News of the World (sometimes referred to as The Daily Moon), he settled in to working for United Press International. In 1979, he served as an official scorer for the first time. In 1981, in conjunction with the 100th birthday of the U.S. Tennis Association, he compiled the U.S. Open Record Book and the centennial edition of the Official Encyclopedia of Tennis.

    Shannon began covering baseball for the Associated Press in 1984 and, each year for the rest of his life, worked over 150 Yankees and Mets games, enhancing his reputation for cheerful generosity with assistance to anyone on anything. In 1983, he became executive editor of Sports Information Data Base, a public company devoted to compiling statistics for all sports, major or minor. SIDB, too far ahead of its time in aggregating and disseminating sports information statistics in what is now commonplace fashion, went bankrupt two years later. Shannon’s next project, launched in 1989, was the New York Sports Museum & Hall of Fame, an educational institution created to build, in Manhattan, a museum of the history of New York-area sports. He served as president until his death.

    His final published book, Official Scoring in the Big Leagues (2006), was the first of its type, detailing, in classic Shannon style, the history of scoring and scorers, and the processes scorers use in making and communicating calls.

    The Ballparks
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-15-2013, 03:52 PM.


    • Robert John Millward

      Born: August 14, 1951, Warwickshire, England
      Died: July 7, 2010, age 58,---d. in Johannesburg, South Africa, of natural causes.

      Associated Press sports writer;
      Birmingham Post

      Wife: Pauline;
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-20-2013, 10:30 PM.


      • James Robert Huber---AKA Jim Huber

        Born: August 28, 1944, Coraopolis, PA
        Died: January 2, 2012, Alpharetta, GA, age 67,---d. leukemia

        Atlanta sports writer;
        Attended Presbyterian College (South Carolina)
        Graduated Central Florida Community College
        Turner Sports, sports writer,

        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-16-2013, 11:53 AM.


        • Darren B. Phillips

          Born: March 21, 1969, Silver Springs, MD
          Died: February 16, 2013, Berrien Spring, MI, age 43,---d. Lakeland Regional Medical Center (St. Joseph, MI), complications from pneumonia.

          Michigan sports writer;
          Graduated Sherwood HS (MD)
          Graduated Michigan State University, (Bachelor's degree)
          Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, IN), sports editor, 1992 - 1997
          St. Joseph Herald-Palladium (MI), sports writer, 2005 - 2013, death.

          Father: David; Mother: Jean Gray; Wife: Jill Warren; Darren married Jill on September 1, 2001 in Alexandria, IN.

          In his spare time he enjoyed golfing, spending time at the beach and going to the movies with his wife. Darren was also an avid Baltimore Orioles, Michigan State and Washington Redskins fan.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-15-2013, 06:28 PM.


          • Donald McLeod---AKA Don McLeod

            Born: August 29, 1906, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (1930 census listed his place of birth as Washington state, around 1902.)
            Died: June 15, 1990, Portland, OR age 83,---d. natural causes.

            Portland sports writer;
            Graduated Commerce HS (Portland, OR), around 1924
            Graduated business college
            Portland, OR, newspaper, sports editor, (April 14, 1930 census)
            Portland, OR, newspaper reporter, (April 10, 1940 census)
            Portland Oregonian, 1926 - 1990; police reporter, Sunday's Northwest magazine editor, sports writer, 1946 - 1973, sports editor, 1973 - 1978.

            Wife: Estelle, born Washington state, around 1913; Daughter: Dona, born Oregon, around 1939;
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 01:22 PM.


            • Ambrose R. Smith---AKA Amby Smith

              Born: September 7, 1917, West Warwick, RI
              Died: July 21, 2005, West Warwick, Rhode Island, age 87,---d. at home.

              Rhode Island sports writer;
              West Warwick, RI, 2.5-years old, (January 2, 1920 census)
              West Warwick, RI, 12-year old, (April 14, 1930 census)
              West Warwick, RI, Packer, Department store, (April 15, 1940 census)
              Pawtuxet Valley Daily Times, sports writer, 1940 - 2005 (newspaper changed into Kent County Daily Times)

              Father: Apton, born Canada, around 1875 (immigrated US, 1980; Mother: Agnes, born Rhode Island, around 1878; Wife: Florida, born Rhode Island, around 1917;

              Providence Journal obituary, July 22, 2005
              "Amby" Smith, longtime sports writer, dies at 87, By Elizabeth Gudrais

              Ambrose "Amby" Smith, a sports writer for 65 years and a legend among Rhode Island's sports media, died yesterday at his home in West Warwick. He was 87.

              Smith wrote the "Ambling with Amby" column for the Kent County Daily Times. He wrote his first sports story in 1940, when the paper was called the Pawtuxet Valley Times. And he kept writing, right up until last week.

              He had a retirement party 25 years ago. Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy was there. "Three days later, he was back at work," his son, James A. Smith, of Woonsocket, said yesterday. "He never wanted to retire. That newspaper was his life."

              Three days a week, he drove to the office in a blue Dodge Neon with the vanity plate "AMBY." After he had a minor stroke in May and couldn't drive anymore, his "girls in the newsroom," as he called them, would take turns picking him up and taking him home.

              "I just love to do this," he told Journal sports columnist Bill Reynolds in June. "I liked it from the start, and that's never changed."

              Smith interviewed Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, but he savored covering high school sports.

              "He used to say, let the big newspapers cover the national stuff," James Smith said. "If you gave him a choice between going to see West Warwick High School play football or the New England Patriots play in the Super Bowl, he would go to a high school football game. There's no doubt in my mind."

              Smith was born in 1917. He never lived anywhere but West Warwick. "He would never, ever want to live anywhere else," his son said yesterday. "He was a West Warwick boy."

              He grew up on Pulaski Street, which straddles the the town line between West Warwick and Coventry. He played on the baseball team at West Warwick High School. He graduated in the Class of 1936.

              He married Jane, a Coventry girl five years his junior. She didn't fancy him at first, but he persisted. "He just sat in front of the house and waited for her and waited for her and waited for her," their son, James, said.

              They would have been married 64 years in September.

              They raised two children, James, a 58-year-old retired Woonsocket High School guidance counselor, and Elizabeth "Betty" Jalbert, now 61, of West Warwick, a retired Kent County Hospital nurse.

              James recalled attending Providence Reds hockey games at the Rhode Island Auditorium. Wherever they went, Jim would get to sit in the press box -- including at Fenway Park during the 1975 World Series, when the Red Sox played the Cincinnati Reds.

              There were summer trips to Bonnet Shores and the annual family vacation to visit an aunt and uncle in North Carolina, but for the most part, Amby Smith worked hard.

              "My father didn't take many days out of work," James Smith said. "I don't even know if he ever had a sick day."

              Smith was a founder of Words Unlimited, Rhode Island's sports media organization. He emceed "thousands and thousands" of banquets for sports teams; he once hosted three in one day.

              "I don't think anyone in the history of Rhode Island has ever done more community service," says Gregg Burke, deputy director of athletics at the University of Rhode Island and Smith's close friend for 20 years.

              The De La Salle Christian Brothers made him an honorary Christian brother for his work with the Ocean Tides school in Narragansett. He worked faithfully to organize the school's annual fundraiser.

              Just Wednesday, Smith was trying to procure an autographed photo of Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri for this year's fundraiser through a connection with his wife's hairdresser. "He was working on this year's party," his son said, "right up till the last day."
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 01:37 PM.


              • Ralph Bernstein

                Born: July 12, 1921, Philadelphia, PA
                Died: July 7, 2007, Hollywood, FL, age 85,---d. cancer

                Associated Press sports writer;
                Philadelphia, PA, 8-year old, (April 2, 1930 census)
                Philadelphia, PA, 19-year old, (April 17, 1940 census)
                Philadelphia Record,
                US Army, (WWII)
                United Press,
                Associated Press, (Philadelphia office), ? - February, 1994

                Father: Abraham, born Pennsylvania, around 1893; Mother: Esther, born Pennsylvania, around 1900; Wife I: Barbara, died December 29, 1982; Wife 2: Mary Ann Melincoff, died 2003; Son: Robert;

                CBS wire reports obituary, July 9, 2007
                Former Philadelphia AP writer Bernstein dies at 85

                PHILADELPHIA -- Ralph Bernstein, who peppered coaches and players alike with tough questions for nearly a half-century while covering the Philadelphia sports scene for the Associated Press, has died. He was 85.

                Bernstein died of cancer on Saturday, his daughter-in-law, Maureen Bernstein, told the AP on Monday.

                Ralph Bernstein wasn't afraid to ask the hard questions. (AP) "He was ferocious and he made the AP's presence known at football fields, ballparks, basketball courts and hockey rinks in Philadelphia. And if the Nittany Lions were playing at home, Ralph was there," said AP sports editor Terry Taylor, who worked with Bernstein in the Philadelphia bureau from 1977-81.
                "I'll bet you there wasn't a single person involved in sports in Pennsylvania and beyond who didn't know of Ralph Bernstein," she said.

                Bernstein, who lived in Pembroke Pines, Fla., since retiring in February 1994 after more than 48 years at the AP, would have turned 86 on Thursday.

                "No sportswriter in the history of Philly had a more widespread influence or presence," longtime Philadelphia Daily News sports columnist Bill Conlin told his newspaper. "He covered every Phillies spring-training and home game, every Eagles preseason and home game, every Sixers and Flyers home game, every Big 5 doubleheader, all the press conferences for hirings and firings, and everything in between."

                Colleagues recalled Bernstein's hard-nosed questions sending the normally cool Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry stalking angrily from a stage, and prompting Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark to kick a trash can in the team clubhouse and threaten to punch him.

                "Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- could grill someone in an interview the way he could," said Frank Bilovsky, retired sportswriter for the former Philadelphia Bulletin and longtime friend of Bernstein.

                But after fielding a series of tame questions at news conference shortly after Bernstein's retirement, Philadelphia Eagles coach Rich Kotite groaned, "I miss Ralph."

                "He refused to take 'no comment' for an answer," Conlin said. "But his questions were straight-ahead. He never set anybody up for a cheap shot. And when his story appeared, the quotes were accurate and in context."

                Bernstein, a Philadelphia native, started as a stringer for the old Philadelphia Record while attending Temple University. After serving in the Army in World War II, he returned home and worked for United Press before joining the Associated Press.

                In addition to his work for AP, Bernstein wrote books on Philadelphia A's pitcher Bobby Shantz, La Salle University coach Ken Loeffler and Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning.

                He is survived by a son, Robert; a brother, Bernard; and two grandchildren.

                Bernstein's first wife, Barbara, was stabbed to death during a robbery in their Jenkintown condominium on Dec. 29, 1982, while he was covering the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. A former Philadelphia police officer was convicted in her murder.

                Bernstein's second wife, the former Mary Ann Melincoff, died in 2003.
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 01:42 PM.


                • George J. Kiseda

                  Born: March 31, 1927, Monessen, PA
                  Died: May 13, 2007, Hopewell Junction, NY, age 80,---d. at Alzheimer's care facility (San Juan Capistrano, Ca), of Lewy body disease.

                  Sports writer;
                  Monessen, PA, 3-year old, (April 24, 1930 census)
                  Brentwood, PA, 13-year old, (April 22, 1940 census)
                  Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, sports writer,
                  Philadelphia Daily News, sports writer,
                  Philadelphia Bulletin, sports writer, ? - 1971
                  Los Angeles Times, sports copy editor, 1972 - 1984

                  Father: George, born Homestead, PA, around 1899; Mother: Rose, born Pittsburgh, PA, around 1899;

                  Los Angeles Times obituary, May 14, 2007, by Mark Heisler, Times Staff writer
                  George Kiseda, 80; sports journalist was a cult figure to peers

                  George Kiseda, a cult figure in sports journalism who helped make it possible to put the words "crusading" and "sportswriter" in the same sentence, died early Sunday at an Alzheimer's care facility in San Juan Capistrano. He was 80.

                  Kiseda had been in failing health for some time with a degenerative illness called Lewy body disease, said Liz Pataki, a longtime friend.

                  Principled and uncompromising, Kiseda was ahead of his time in writing about civil rights issues in sports when it wasn't only controversial but career-threatening.

                  Kiseda wrote for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Bulletin in the 1950s and '60s before finishing his career in 1984 as a sports copy editor at the Los Angeles Times.

                  He received few awards but much acclaim from many of his peers. Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, who received the basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Award, calls Kiseda "the greatest NBA writer of all time" as well as his personal favorite.

                  Sandy Padwe, a former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist who became a senior editor at Sports Illustrated and later the acting dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, still gives students a magazine article about Kiseda's career on the first day of class.

                  "I teach George Kiseda," Padwe said. "He's the model of what every sportswriter should be."

                  A 1991 GQ magazine article by Alan Richman, "The Death of Sports Writing," carried a blurb that read: "Where have you gone, George Kiseda? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

                  Born March 31, 1927, in Monessen, Pa., Kiseda was a devout Catholic and intensely private. Except for a short-lived marriage, he lived alone much of his life. He was blind in one eye and never drove a car. Scrupulously honest, he lived his principles. Wherever he was, he had a circle of friends, many of them younger writers who, as Padwe noted, "idolized him."

                  In 1957, the same year that President Eisenhower sent troops to enforce the integration of Little Rock's Central High School, Kiseda wrote a column for the Hearst-owned Sun-Telegraph, saying that Army's football team was about to play Tulane in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where seating was segregated.

                  James Fulton, a congressman from western Pennsylvania, read it on the floor of the House of Representatives. Army was obliged to move the game to West Point's smaller Michie Stadium. Lamenting Tulane's embarrassment as well as the loss of revenue, a New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist replied that Kiseda's column "represented Communism."

                  The Sun-Telegraph banned further political comment in sports stories. When it folded in 1960 -- "on merit," Kiseda said -- most of the staff was hired by the other Pittsburgh papers but not Kiseda who, says former Pittsburgh Press columnist Roy McHugh, a friend and admirer, "was viewed as difficult."

                  Kiseda's unswerving perspective led to frequent complaints from management. An anonymous editor, quoted in The Times several years ago, called Kiseda "more of an idealist than a journalist."

                  Nevertheless, Kiseda was admired by peers as much for his irreverence and sense of humor. Covering the Pittsburgh Pirates en route to their 1960 world championship, he gave his MVP vote to groundskeeper Eddie Dunn, who kept the Forbes Field infield rock-hard, benefiting their ground-ball hitters. The tradition-minded Baseball Writers Assn. of America didn't think it was funny and kicked Kiseda out of the organization.

                  Hired by the Philadelphia Daily News, Kiseda took a brief, if colorful, turn on the City Hall beat. When Mike Quill, the tough-talking head of the Transport Workers Union, gave a long, theatrical explanation of his motives for a strike that tied up the city and then asked if there were any questions, Kiseda replied, "Yes. You don't expect us to believe any of that, do you?"

                  Daily News sports columnist Bill Conlin later called Kiseda "the best City Hall reporter ever around here."

                  It was a time of change for sports sections previously devoted to poetic myth-making. Larry Merchant, the young Daily News sports editor who helped launch a new wave by hiring Kiseda, Stan Hochman, Sandy Grady and Joe McGinnis, once said that if anyone had bothered to go downstairs and ask, Babe Ruth might have actually said if he really called his shot in the 1932 World Series.

                  The young writers were independent -- as Kiseda said, "I root for my story" -- and, as former Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Pat Williams later told Richman, "scared everyone in sports to death."

                  Covering the team for the Bulletin, Kiseda was a celebrity in his own right in Philadelphia's Center City. Trim, dapper and prematurely silver-haired, he was known by the nickname he got from 76er guard Wally Jones, "the Silver Quill."
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 01:57 PM.


                  • Michael Daniel Penner---AKA Mike Penner---AKA Christine Daniels

                    Born: October 10, 1957, Los Angeles, CA
                    Died: November 27, 2009, Los Angeles, CA, age 52,

                    Los Angeles sports writer;
                    Los Angeles Times, sports writer,

                    Mother's maiden name, Wistain;

                    Mike Penner (October 10, 1957 – November 27, 2009) was a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times. Penner self-identified as being transsexual in a 2007 column and returned from a vacation writing with the name Christine Daniels, before resuming his original name in 2008 and then committing suicide in 2009.

                    Born Michael Daniel Penner in Inglewood, California, Penner graduated from Western High School in Anaheim and from California State University, Fullerton.
                    Professional career

                    Penner began his journalism career at the Anaheim Bulletin as a writer and sports editor. He then joined the Los Angeles Times in 1983 as a staff writer for the paper's Orange County edition. Initially reporting on high school sports, Penner went on to cover a variety of national and international sporting events including the Olympics, Major League Baseball, tennis, and World Cup soccer.

                    Later in his career, in addition to covering sports, Penner also began writing about transsexual identity and the process of gender transition from an autobiographical perspective. The first such piece he wrote for the Times was an essay entitled "Old Mike, New Christine" that appeared in the paper in April 2007. In it, he wrote about his lifelong struggle to come to terms with his transsexuality:

                    I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. ... When you reach the point when one gender causes heartache and unbearable discomfort, and the other brings more joy and fulfillment than you ever imagined possible, it shouldn't take two tons of bricks to fall in order to know what to do.

                    Penner lived and wrote as Christine Daniels for more than a year, continuing to document his own experience with gender transition in the LA Times' blog "Woman in Progress". Daniels' writing became a source of hope for people across the country with gender-identity issues.

                    Penner wrote as Christine Daniels from July 2007 until about March 2008; without elaboration, he resumed using Mike Penner as his byline in October 2008.

                    Penner was a member of the Times' sports staff at the time of his death.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-15-2013, 09:19 PM.


                    • Gene Albert Pullen---AKA Gene Pullen

                      Born: February 22, 1939, Columbus, MS
                      Died: April 2, 2013, Jacksonville, FL, age 74,---d. McGraw Hospice (Jacksonville, FL)

                      Florida sports writer;
                      Columbus, MS, 1-year old, (April 15, 1940 census)(listed as S. A.)
                      Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, MS), sports writer, 1961 -
                      News Journal (Pensacola, FL),
                      Times Union (Jacksonville, FL), sports editor, 1967 - 1991

                      Father: Clyde, born Misssissippi, 1904?; Mother: Adelle Cole, born Mississippi, 1920?;

                      Florida Times-Union obituary, April 16, 2013.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-03-2013, 05:02 PM.


                      • Joseph Emmanuel Gross

                        Born: December 9, 1940, Philadelphia, PA
                        Died: February 13, 2013, Annapolis, MD, age 72,---d. Anne Arundel Medical Center due to cardiac arrest.

                        Annapolis sports writer;
                        Upper Darby, PA, 1-year old, (June, 1940 census)
                        Graduated Neshaminy HS (Langhome, PA), 1958
                        Attended Temple University
                        US Navy, 1962 - 1966 (Intelligence at Pearl Harbor
                        Graduated University of Hawaii, (Mechanical Engineering degree)
                        Bucks County Courier-Times (PA), sports writer,
                        The Capital (Annapolis, MD), sports editor / columnist, February, 1973 - November, 2007 (began as associate sports editor, retired as sports editor.

                        Father: Milton, born New Jersey around 1909; Mother: Helen, born New Jersey around 1915; Wife: Susan Cloud; Joe married Susan October 11, 1975; Son: Max; Daughter: Mara Alissa Archer;

               obituary, Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:00 am, By BILL WAGNER, Staff Writer
                        Annapolis loses colorful figure with passing of Joe Gross

                        Annapolis lost one of its most colorful personalities in the early hours of Wednesday morning when Joe Gross, former sports editor and columnist of The Capital, died of cardiac arrest.

                        Gross was stricken at home and pronounced dead at Anne Arundel Medical Center, according to his wife Susan. He was 72.

                        In 1973, Gross became a sportswriter for The Capital, where he spent 34 years. He was responsible for expanding the newspaper’s coverage of Naval Academy athletics, working the beat for all but the final years of his tenure.

                        “People need to know how funny he was,” said Eric Smith, former editorial cartoonist and columnist at The Capital who served as best man at Gross’ wedding. “I have a million stories.”

                        The Capital primarily focused on high school, recreation and other local sports before Gross arrived in Annapolis.

                        Gross, formerly a sportswriter with the Bucks County Courier-Times in Pennsylvania, increased coverage of the region’s professional sports teams such as the Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and Washington Bullets.

                        He covered the Orioles in the World Series, the Redskins in the Super Bowl and the Bullets in the NBA finals.

                        Smith said Gross had a knack for picking an odd thing going on in a game and make a running joke out of it. “He just made me laugh an awful lot over the years,” Smith said.

                        Gross particularly enjoyed pro boxing and talked fondly about covering the heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and Jimmy Young at the old Capital Center in 1974. He also covered the Olympics and America’s Cup sailing.

                        Gross served as the lead sports columnist for The Capital and was never afraid to voice his opinions — however controversial. Gross was famous for often biting commentary that elicited strong opinions from readers, who wrote letters to the editor in droves either to support or to criticize one of his columns.

                        Gross' "Talk of the Town" column regularly appeared on The Capital's Arundel Report page and included his musing about and observations of Annapolis.

                        Gross was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Bucks County, attending Neshaminy High (Class of 1958) in Langhorne, Pa. He attended college at Temple University and later served in the Navy at Pearl Harbor.

                        Gross met the former Susan Cloud at The Capital, where she worked as a news writer. They were married for 37 years and raised two children in a home near the Annapolis Library.

                        Their daughter Mara Gross, 33, is an Annapolis High School graduate and lives in Tucson, Ariz. Max Gross, 31, is an Archbishop Spalding graduate and is living in Annapolis after serving in the U.S. Army.

                        Susan Gross said her husband was trained as a mechanical engineer, but found that type of work boring and fell in love with sportswriting after working as a freelancer for the Bucks County Courier-Times.

                        He answered an advertisement for a full-time position at The Capital and for many years served as associate sports editor alongside sports editor and Annapolis Alderman (and eventual mayor) Al Hopkins.

                        Gross three times was named Maryland Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and earned numerous first-place writing awards from both the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Maryland-D.C.-Delaware Press Association.

                        In retirement, Gross was working on a book about former Naval Academy cross-country runner Willie McCool, the pilot of the space shuttle Columbia on the mission when it disintegrated upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

                        Gross was active in the arts around Annapolis and once acted in the Colonial Players’ production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” He was a board member for the Annapolis Fine Arts Foundation, the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis and the Annapolis Opera.

                        Gross was a longtime member of the Touchdown Club of Annapolis, serving as that organization’s president in 1983. He also served on the board for the Annapolis Boys and Girls Club and coached recreation athletics for both Peninsula Athletic League and Annapolis Optimists.

                        “The Boys & Girls Club family is deeply saddened by his death,” said Reggie Broddie, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. “Joe was a true friend and a friend of the club for a number of years. He’ll be missed.”

                        In addition to his wife and children, Gross is survived by a brother, Frank Gross, and sister, Diane Levin.

                        Arrangements, which were incomplete at press time, are being handled by Taylor Funeral Home in Annapolis.
                        [email protected]
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 08:53 AM.


                        • Roy Patrick McHugh

                          Born: June 12, 1915, Cedar Falls, Iowa
                          Died: Stive alive as of May 14, 2013

                          Pittsburgh sportswriter;
                          Cedar Rapids, IA, 4.5 years old, (January 8, 1920 census)
                          Cedar Rapids, IA, 15 year old, (April 9, 1930 census)
                          Novato, CA, airplane mechanic, (April 5, 1940 census)(listed as Robert P.)
                          Attend Coe College, (1940),
                          Army (1942-46).
                          Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter, (1940-47),
                          Pittsburgh Press (sportswriter, 1947-61, sports columnist, 1963-69, sports editor, 1969-72, general columnist, 1972 - May 6, 1983),
                          Evansville Sunday Courier & Press sp.ed. (Ind.) (1961-63),
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 02:15 PM.


                          • Jimmy Bryan

                            Born: February 28, 1934
                            Died: July 29, 2006, Birmingham, AL, age 72,---d. at home after a lengthy illness.

                            Birmingham sports writer;
                            Gadsden, AL, 6-year old, (April 9, 1940 census)
                            Gadsden Times, sports editor,
                            Birmingham News (AL), sports writer,

                            Father: Hubert Bryan, born Georgia, around 1908; Mother: Doris, born Alabama, around 1916.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 01:27 PM.


                            • Joseph Philip Mooshil---AKA Joe Mooshil

                              Born: November 4, 1926, Chicago, IL
                              Died: September 7, 2012, Chicago, IL, age 85,---d. St. Francis Hospital (Evanston, IL), after a brief illness of sepsis and complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

                              Associated Press sports writer;
                              Chicago, IL, 3.5-year old, (April 16, 1930 census)
                              Chicago, IL, 13-year old, (April 12, 1940 census)
                              US Navy, (WWII), 1944 -
                              Graduated University of Illinois, (bachelor of arts degree, 1950
                              Associated Press (Huntington, West Virginia office), 1952 - 1953
                              Associated Press (Chicago office), 1953 - 1993

                              Father: Ben, born Persia, around 1890, immigrated to US, 1912; Mother: Marie, born Persia, around 1900, immigrated to US, 1925; Wife: Claire Lesslie; Daughter: Maria; Daughter: Leah durst; Daughter: Angele Butler;

                              Associated Press obituary, September 8, 2012, by JIM LITKE, AP Sports Writer
                              Former AP Chicago sports editor Joe Mooshil die
                              CHICAGO (AP) - Joe Mooshil, who became a fixture on the Chicago sports scene over the course of four decades covering the city's teams for The Associated Press, died Friday night. He was 85.

                              Maria Mooshil, his daughter, said he died at St. Francis Hospital in suburban Evanston after a brief illness and the cause of death was sepsis and complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

                              Known as a sharp dresser with an even-sharper wit, Mooshil was as recognizable around town as many of the athletes he covered. He could be gruff, trading rapid-fire quips with scrappy manager Leo Durocher one minute, then turn around and write moving profiles about Cubs ballplayers like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams, who persevered through years of losing.

                              "We're losing a good man," former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said early Saturday. "We were from the era when guys understood that writers had a job, and as long as they did it with respect, you co uld be friendly. Players today don't even want to talk to writers, let alone get to know them. That's a shame. He was a great guy."

                              "A helluva guy," echoed former Bears player and coach Mike Ditka. "It's sad to hear of the passing of one of the truly great guys ever in the business."

                              Few sports writers enjoyed the kind of access accorded Mooshil. He toured the Rush Street taverns with announcer Harry Caray on occasion, became a sounding board for some of the pioneering schemes hatched by late White Sox owner Bill Veeck and came up with the phrase "Million-Dollar Line" to describe the Blackhawks' combination of Bobby Hull, Bill "Red" Hay and Murray Balfour two full seasons before their 1961 Stanley Cup-winning campaign. He had few peers in cranking out fast, accurate stories on deadline, day after day for 42 years - often with a still-smouldering cigar perched on the edge of his desk - and took particular pride in training young sports writers.

                              A cadre of cur rent AP sports writers still call themselves "graduates" of MSU - Mooshil Sportswriting University.

                              "Going to cover a baseball game in Chicago with Joe was like going to Mass with the pope. Everyone knew him and everyone treated him with the utmost respect, from the parking lot attendant to the players to the owner of the team, and particularly his colleagues in the press box," said John Dowling, a rookie reporter in 1982 who is now AP's director of news training.

                              Mooshil, the son of Assyrian parents who came to Chicago from Iran, grew up on the city's North Side, hawking pennants, peanuts and scorecards at Wrigley Field. After graduating from high school in 1944, he joined the U.S. Navy, served as a radio operator in the South Pacific during World War II and then helped repatriate Chinese and Japanese prisoners afterward. He returned home and attended the University of Illinois on the G.I. bill, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1950 and joined The AP a s a newsman in Huntington, W.Va., soon after. By 1953, he was back in Chicago and assigned to the sports desk.

                              Until his retirement in 1993, his byline was atop nearly every important story that involved the Bears, Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and nearby Notre Dame. While covering one Cubs' opener, Mooshil became part of the story. At the start of the ninth inning, as he began dictating his story to the sports department in New York, something whizzed through the open window of the press box and cracked the window behind him. Assuming it was a broken light bulb, Mooshil hardly took note and finished dictating. It wasn't until he read the Chicago Sun-Times the next day that he learned someone had fired a bullet into the press box.

                              "I never missed a word," Mooshil recalled a few years later. "It was the one 'no-hitter' I really appreciated being able to cover."

                              He is survived by his wife of nearly 51 years, Claire; three daughters, Maria, Leah and Angele and five gr andchildren; and one brother, Edward. A funeral mass was scheduled Tuesday at Queen of All Saints Basilica.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 09:25 AM.


                              • Kevin Francis Buey

                                Born: May 5, 1946, Everett, MA
                                Died: January 12, 2012, Deming, NM, age 65,---d. was found dead in his home. He had been recovering from a medical procedure performed in September 2011.

                                Journal, sports writer;
                                Deming Headlight (NM), sports writer, February, 2000 -
                                Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA), reporter,
                                Sante Fe New Mexican (NM),
                                Albuquerque Journal (NM),

                                Santa Cruz Sentinel (NM) obituary, January 16, 2012---Sentinel staff reporter Stephen Baxter contributed to this report.
                                DEMING, N.M. - Kevin Buey, longtime newsman and former Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter, was found dead Thursday in his home. He was 65.

                                Buey had been on medical leave from the Deming (N.M.) Headlight and rehabilitating from a medical procedure performed in September 2011. Police in Deming, a small town about 100 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas, responded to the discovery of Buey's body and began an investigation.

                                "It's a shock to us all," said Billy Armendariz, editor of the Headlight. "Kevin was a career newspaperman and a fixture in our community. He will be sadly missed in the newsroom."

                                Buey began his work in Deming in February 2000 covering the local law enforcement and education beats. He also worked at the Santa Fe New Mexican, covering high school sports and also at the Albuquerque Journal. He also handled feature writing and filled in for sports while at the Headlight.

                                He first found a nose for news as a young boy living with his family in post-WWII era Japan. His father worked in broadcasting for "Stars and Stripes" while the family was stationed with Allied occupying forces.

                                Buey's family lived in Live Oak in the 1970s and Buey reported for the Sentinel. Peggy Bryan knew Buey through Buey's younger sister.

                                Bryan often drove Buey to sports events that he covered at Cabrillo College and other locations.

                                "He loved writing and he was so committed to getting the story right," Bryan said.

                                Bryan said she sometimes went with him to the old Sentinel newsroom in downtown Santa Cruz.

                                "He was smoking his cigarette, pounding his coffee, trying to meet his deadline," she said. "He loved it. He loved the work."

                                Buey moved to New Mexico and continued reporting. He was briefly married and had no children.

                                "Kevin's passing brings an unfortunate and tangible reminder of days long passed in our industry, when deadlines stretched into late evening hours and the print edition reigned supreme," said Matt Robinson, a Deming Headlight reporter.

                                "The man was a treasure trove of knowledge and experience and I personally owe him greatly for those memorable lessons early in my career on the proper use of the English language and its role in newspaper reporting," Robinson said. "He will be greatly missed."

                                Huey was born May, 5, 1946 in Everett, Mass. He is survived by his sister Maureen Wells of Hood River, Ore.; brother John Buey Jr., of Denver, Colo.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

                                Funeral arrangements are pending through Baca's Funeral Chapels in Deming.
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-29-2013, 03:06 PM.


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