Earl Lawson (sportswriter)

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Earl Lawson
Born February 1, 1923
Died January 14, 2003
Sacramento, California
Nationality American
Employer Cincinnati Times-Star, The Cincinnati Post
Known for Sportswriter

Earl Lawson (February 1, 1923 - January 14, 2003) was an American sportswriter for newspapers in Cincinnati, Ohio. He covered the Cincinnati Reds from 1949 to 1984 and was inducted into the "writers wing" of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1985.

In 1949, Lawson first began covering the Cincinnati Reds for the Cincinnati Times-Star. He was the beat reporter for the Reds at the Times-Star from 1951 to 1958 and at The Cincinnati Post from 1958 to 1984.[1] Lawson had a series of run-ins with the Reds in his early year as a beat reporter covering the team. In June 1953, manager Rogers Hornsby barred Lawson from the locker room after Lawson questioned Hornsby's decision not to replace a pitcher.[2] In June 1957, Lawson got into a fight with Reds' second baseman Johnny Temple after a game in which Lawson, who also served as official scorer, charged Temple with a fielding error. Temple reportedly greeted Lawson with a "blistering barrage of profanity" and knocked Lawson to the ground before other players separated them.[3] In June 1962, Reds' star outfielder Vada Pinson punched Lawson on the chin after Lawson wrote an article criticizing the Reds for lackadaisical fielding.[4] Lawson joked to fellow reporters that, based on first-hand knowledge, Pinson was a harder puncher than Temple.[5] After a second incident in September 1963 in which Pinson allegedly grabbed Lawson by the neck and pushed him against a wall, Lawson filed assault and battery charges against Pinson.[6] A trial in December 1963 result in a hung jury.[7] He was also a correspondent for The Sporting News for many years. In 1976, he was elected as the president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

In 1985, Lawson was honored by the Baseball Writers' Association of America with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for distinguished baseball writing.[1] Recipients of the Spink Award are recognized at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in what is commonly referred to as the "writers wing" of the Hall of Fame.[8]

In 1987, Lawson published his autobiography, Cincinnati Seasons: My 34 Years With the Reds.[9] Lawson wrote in his autobiography that he had been able to live like a millionaire while being paid to do it. He recalled that he had "mingled with the sports celebrities of the world and formed friendships that I'll cherish forever ... I was a baseball writer."[10]

Lawson moved to Sacramento, California, in 2000 to live with his daughter.[11] In January 2003, half a month before his 80th birthday, he died of cancer.[10]

Selected articles by Lawson[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "1985 J. G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Earl Lawson". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 
  2. ^ "Redlegs Bar Writer From Locker Room". The Milwaukee Sentinel (AP story). June 14, 1953. 
  3. ^ "Temple Punches Sportswriter". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (AP story). June 23, 1957. 
  4. ^ "Pinson Clips Writer at Forbes Field: Reds Star Angry About Article on Sluggish Play". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (AP story). June 21, 1962. 
  5. ^ "Temple Can Punch Harder Than Pinson Claims Scribe Lawson". Los Angeles Times. June 22, 1962. 
  6. ^ "Pinson Facing Assault Charge". The News-Dispatch. September 5, 1963. 
  7. ^ "New Trial Is Slated for Pinson". Beaver County Times (UPI story). December 13, 1963. 
  8. ^ Jim Odenkirk (July 23, 2009). "Henry P. Edwards: Making a Case for His Induction into J.G. Taylor Spink’s Writers Wing of the Hall". SABR. 
  9. ^ Earl Lawson (1990 (original, 1987)). Cincinnati Seasons: My 34 Years With the Reds. Diamond Communications, Incorporated. ISBN 0-912083-36-0. 
  10. ^ a b Karen Andrew (January 16, 2003). "Reds writer Lawson, 79, in two halls of fame". Cincinnati Enquirer. 
  11. ^ "Lawson was Hall of Fame writer". The Sacramento Bee. January 16, 2003.