Playing a sports game and writing about it are two different things. While playing is a special craft in itself, having the ability to pick out even an ordinary sports person and embellish them requires a good eye and a great deal of effort.
That is why there are only a handful of sports journalists of all time. Although they had their own specialized area of writing, each one of them excelled in their specific sports subject. Let’s throw some light on their immaculate careers as the best ever sportswriters:
Jimmy Cannon (1909 – 1973)
Jimmy Cannon was born in the New York City. He started his writing career at the New York Daily Times when only 17. Later on, he wrote for some other prominent publishers such as King Features Syndicate, Ney York Post, and New York Journal-American.
During World War II, Cannon worked at Stars and Stripes as a correspondent. In 1950s, he began to write a column for Newsday. A versatile columnist, Jimmy was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
His love for boxing turned him into a passionate boxing writer. As an avid fan of Ernest Hemmingway, Jimmy once referred to boxing as the red light district of sports.
Furman Bisher (1918 – 2012)
Having served as a junior grade lieutenant during World War II, Furman Bisher was born in North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when 20, where he also served as manager of the North Carolina Tar Heels football team.
Once he graduated from the UNC in 1938, he worked at the Lumberton Voice newspaper as an editor.
Some of the most prominent highlights of his writing career were an interview with the then professional player of the baseball, Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1949; covered the first stock car race cup, known as NASCAR now, at the time when most of the writers did not acknowledge car racing.
His impeccable coverage of the sports earned him a lot of fame. In 1950, Bisher wrote his first ever column for The Atlanta Constitution.
Mary Garber (1916 – 2008)
She was an American Sports writer who also became a well-known name among female sports writer. Her career spanned 70 years during which she won numerous writing awards. Mary Garber’s most prestigious achievement was the Red Smith Award. In 2002, she was the first woman who got inducted into the U.S.
Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame. Not only she loved writing about sports, she also played football for the Buena Vista Devils. Born in New York, Garber graduated from Hollins College in Virginia. She had only one goal in her mind while completing her studies; become a newspaper reporter.
Dick Young (1917 – 1987)
Young was an American sports writer. He was known for his abrasive and direct writing style. Associated with the New York Daily News for 45 years, Dick was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978.
He was also a president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Young was pretty famous for frequently siding with the owners of professional sports teams where he also engaged in public debates with the players.
Halsey Hall (1898 – 1977)
Halsey was born in Greenwich Village of New York City. He was a son of a popular Minneapolis newspaperman, Smith B. Hall and Mary Hall, who was a stage actress in New York. He initially worked for the Navy, but soon emulated his father’s career as a newspaper journalist.
He started his career as a sports reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune. Hall had a developed a great readership as a sports writer. He went on to become an ace writer for the Minneapolis Journal’s baseball beat where he covered the Minneapolis Millers.
During his illustrious writing career, he became part of a number of noteworthy professional events such as: President of the American Association of Baseball Writers; Covered the World Series for the Minneapolis Journal; Witnessed Babe Ruth’s famous home run at Wrigley Field.
Zander Hollander (1923 – 2014)
Zander was not only an American sportswriter, he was also an archivist, an editor and one of the greatest sports journalists of all time. He was known for being a great supplier of encyclopedias related to almost every major sport.
He wrote around 300 books during his entire professional career that roughly lasted for 45 years. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he wrote columns in high school as well as a neighborhood newspaper. He attended Queens College, but dropped out to serve in the Air Force.