It seems incredible that one of the best baseball writers of all time isn’t a member of the BBWA. And that means Roger Angell also doesn’t have a Hall of Fame vote.
“I was hoping to be a member for many years, but it never seemed to be within reach,” Angell said yesterday after receiving the J.G. Spink Award, the highest honor given by the Hall of Fame to a baseball writer.
Angell, 93, wasn’t complaining. That wouldn’t be his style. Rather, he was pointing out that he just wants to be a member of the club.
Yes, Angell isn’t a daily baseball writer or a columnist for a newspaper and website. But surely the magnitude of his writing on baseball merits his inclusion in the BBWA. Obviously, the rules needed to be adjusted a long time ago to get … Continue Reading
Finally, at the age of 93, Roger Angell is going to have his day at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Angell was named Tuesday as the 2014 recepient of the J.G. Spink Award, the highest honor for a baseball writer.
The long-time veteran of the New Yorker hardly is a typical on-deadline baseball writer. This marks the first time the Spink has gone to an essayist, if you will, like Angell.
While I detailed earlier the split within the BBWA over whether someone like Angell should win the award over a traditional baseball scribe or columnist (Furman Bisher and Mel Durslag were finalists this year), it would have been a huge oversight for him not to receive this recognition in Cooperstown.
Angell is the baseball writing equivalent of Sandy Koufax, a one-of-a-kind artist on the game. Fortunately, unlike Koufax, Angell’s … Continue Reading
I saw Dick “Hoops” Weiss in Chicago for the Champions Classic games last month. Like everyone else, I offered my condolences about his dismissal from the New York Daily News last spring. We all figured he was having a tough time.
“Hoops” quickly assured all of us that we had it wrong. “Things couldn’t be better.”
Seth Davis of SI.com did on column on how “Hoops” is busier than ever. His story is a rare happy ending in our business.
It was a sad but all-too-familiar tale: a newspaper lifer, the classic ink-stained wretch, made a casualty of the digital age. For someone like Weiss, who is 66 years old, that kind of phone call almost always amounts to an involuntary retirement. Yet there he was on Nov. 12 at the Champions Classic in Chicago, strolling through the pressroom with
… Continue Reading
Wanted to catch up on this story from late last week. It gives me another chance to vent about the conflicts that arise when writers vote for awards and Hall of Fames, etc.
Last week, Nick Piecoro, who covers the Arizona Diamondbacks for the Arizona Republic, disclosed that he chose Andrew McCutchen over Paul Goldschmidt in his ballot for NL MVP.
Piecoro explained his vote:
I understand this is not a popular decision around here. There are certain realities you have to accept in this job. One of them is that you’re never going to please everyone. Today is a day to keep that in mind.
Voting for these awards isn’t easy for beat writers when the players we cover are among the candidates. If you give them your vote, you risk looking like a homer nationally. If you
… Continue Reading
My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana is on an interesting debate occurring in the sports writing fraternity.
From the column:
The National Baseball Hall of Fame has been awarding the J.G. Taylor Spink Award annually since 1962, recognizing career excellence as a baseball writer. Spink, the long-time publisher of the Sporting News, was the first winner, followed by giants like Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner, Damon Runyan, Red Smith, Jim Murray, to name a few.
The honor doesn’t mean there’s a bust of the writer wearing a team cap at Cooperstown. However, there is a nifty plaque with the roll call of winners. All in all, it’s pretty nice to have your name on that plaque.
Usually, voting for the award flies way below the radar. But not this year in the sports fraternity.… Continue Reading
My connection to Leonard Shapiro is through golf. We walked many fairways in our day and even did a book together, Golf List Mania. We’re still in the process of negotiating the movie rights.
Len, though, also wrote about another game: Football. He was the long-time NFL writer for the Washington Post. If you go to Canton, you’ll see his name on a plaque at the Hall of Fame.
When it comes to respect from his peers, Shapiro sits among an elite group among the golf and NFL writers.
Now semi-retired with time to reflect, Len wrote a piece Sunday for his old paper with this headline: “For too long, sports journalists glossed over football’s violence. I was one of them.”
Definitely pay attention.
I covered the NFL over four decades dating back to 1972. Now semi-retired
… Continue Reading
Everyone is applauding this choice. Claire is one of the classiest people you’ll meet in any profession. And she has been a pioneer, breaking important ground to enable others to follow.
The official release from the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Long-time sports journalist Claire Smith has been named the first winner of the Sam Lacey-Wendell Smith Award presented by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The award is given to a sports journalist who has made significant contributions to racial and gender equality in sports.
Claire Smith, a news editor at ESPN since 2007, has worked as a sportswriter and editor for more than 30 years at news organizations that include The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Bulletin… Continue Reading
Many of Craig Dolch’s friends in the industry are circulating this story by Emily Minor of the Palm Beach Post. It is about Dolch’s son Eric. The piece also includes a video.
Back in 2005, Dolch experienced every parent’s nightmare. Eric came down with a fever that quickly escalated into much more. He eventually suffered from severe brain damage, leaving him disabled with little ability to function on his own.
Craig is a great guy and those of us in the golf writing community rallied around him back then. Since I’ve been off the traveling golf beat for a while, it has been a while since I have chatted with Craig.
So it is good to get an update and to be inspired by Craig’s courage and perspective about Eric.
It wasn’t a mosquito bite that caused Eric
… Continue Reading
My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University points out that there actually is a positive trend occurring in the profession.
Here is an excerpt.
Myth: The current mode of sports journalism is limited to 140-character snarky sound bites. It’s all fast food consumed by people with shockingly short attention spans.
Reality: The long-form genre in sports journalism not only is thriving, it is reaching new levels on multiple platforms. Surprisingly (shockingly?), there is a growing market for long in-depth pieces with strong prose and reporting.
“It’s really exploding,” said Glenn Stout. “The hunger is there. There is a tremendous appetite for long-form stories.”
Stout speaks from his perspective as a content editor for SB Nation Longform. Since launching a year ago, the site has produced 99 stories, ranging from roller derby to ultimate … Continue Reading
T.J. Simers made his debut for the Orange County Register at a familiar spot: Page 2.
To everyone else, and keep this in mind when you get ready to complain to Register management, I’m on Page 2.
How hard is it to turn from Page 1 to 3 without looking? And I’ve got a problem?
I’m 63, and the Orange County Register still hired me. It’s probably the first time Human Resources has done paperwork on a new employee while also preparing retirement documents.
Then there’s this:
A few years back the Times directed its columnists to tone down criticism of McCourt, the publisher’s pal. They asked me to tone down criticism of Moreno recently; I guess it didn’t look good with all the advertising the Angels were doing on the Times’ website. I have no idea who
… Continue Reading