My wife Lynn and I saw two of my former Newsday colleagues on consecutive nights this week. Wednesday night, we listed as Randy Cohen interviewed former Times sports columnist George Vecsey at Port Washington Library, followed by a sports trivia contest run by Vecsey. Thursday night, we traveled to the Book Revue in Huntington for Ed Hershey’s book signing of “The Scorekeeper.”
Vecsey and I both went to Hofstra University. He was a Newsday baseball writer when I was breaking into the sports department as a part-timer from 1966 to April 1969, when I was hired full-time by Newsday during my junior year. George was kind enough to come to my talk on “Heroes to the End” at the Dolphin Book Store in Port Washington in January, 2016, and then posted a glowing review of it on his website georgevecsey.com. The other night, he spoke about the pleasures of riding his bicycle around Port Washington and of attending theatrical presentations with his wife at a Kew Gardens movie house. This is a guy who wrote “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and books on Stan Musial and his coverage of eight soccer World Cups. He remains articulate, approachable, down-to-earth and a great conversationalist. We may ride our bikes together this spring.
Hershey, who now lives in Portland, Ore., worked at a New York City paper, and for the Suffolk Sun and Newsday, where he and George Tedeschi were the prime movers in the formation of a union there which covered reporters and other professions. His book details growing up in Brooklyn, his career as a sports and news reporter and his life afterwards, including six years as an alderman in Ithaca, N.Y. and working for several colleges. I went to support him and buy a book because, as he said, after opposing management in union negotiations, he never got decent assignments and basically was black-balled until he left Newsday. So he sacrificed his career for us. I can’t wait to read the book.
I am a 1966 graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY. I graduated from Nassau Community College in 1968 and Hofstra University in 1970. I was a sports reporter at Newsday from 1966-1999, covering 5 Super Bowls and 9 Stanley Cup Finals. I was a features desk copy editor from 2000 to Dec. 31, 2014, when I retired. I am married to Lynn, a social worker, since April 9, 1978, We have one son, Peter, 33, an air traffic controller in Ohio.