College football kicking legend Fred Mitchell has decided to call it a career at the Chicago Tribune. However, knowing my old pal, don’t say he is retiring. Fred loves to work. Among other things, I expect he will add to his total of producing 11 books.
It is hard to think of another member of sports media in Chicago who is more respected than Fred. He always has been the epitome of “show up and do your job well.” And he did it for more than 40 years at the Tribune.
From Robert Feder’s post:
Legendary sports reporter and columnist Fred Mitchell is stepping down after more than four decades at the Chicago Tribune.
Mitchell, 67, confirmed Wednesday that he has applied for a buyout under the voluntary staff reduction plan offered by Tribune Publishing. He may be the best-known personality among dozens of Tribune editorial employees who are believed to have opted for buyouts.
“My decision is totally voluntary and I plan to pursue other options,” Mitchell said. “It has been a terrific run at the Tribune — over 41 years — and I believe I am the longest-tenured sportswriter in Chicago, covering practically every sport imaginable during my career.
“I have had the opportunity to work with and cover some real pros, as well as some real characters. The experience has been a true blessing.”
And a story I have heard from Fred many times:
As a pioneering African-American sportswriter, Mitchell recalled in a 2012 interview: “I remember sitting around the copy desk my first year on the job and the late sportswriter John Husar walked over and said half-jokingly in his booming voice: ‘The Chicago Tribune has hired a black sportswriter. What is the world coming to?’ ”