Larry Whiteside

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Lawrence W. Whiteside (September 19, 1937 - June 15, 2007),[1][2] nicknamed "Sides," was a pioneering African-American journalist known for his coverage of baseball for a number of American newspapers, most notably The Boston Globe.

Early life and career[edit]

Whiteside was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1937. He graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959.[3]

Whiteside started with the Kansas City Kansan in 1959. He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he covered the Milwaukee Braves as well as civil rights issues. Team owner Bud Selig offered Whiteside a job with the Milwaukee Brewers when the franchise relocated from Seattle in 1970, but he preferred to continue working in journalism. In 1971, Whiteside started The Black List to help sports editors find qualified black journalists to hire. Initially The Black List only had nine names, but by 1983 it had expanded to more than 90.[4]

Career in Boston[edit]

He moved to Boston in 1973 where he worked for most of his career. At that stage, he was the only black journalist covering Major League Baseball on a daily basis for a major paper.[4]

Whiteside covered many of the most notable events in Boston baseball history, ranging from Bucky Dent's home run to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the 1978 American League East playoff, to the Red Sox losing the 1986 World Series to the New York Mets, to Roger Clemens' second 20-strikeout game.[5]

Whiteside was an expert on Negro league baseball, and was one of the first American journalists to follow baseball in other countries.[4]

The National Association of Black Journalists gave Whiteside a lifetime achievement award in 1999.[3] He was part of the panel that chose the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.[4]

Whiteside developed Parkinson's disease early in the 21st century, which led to the end of his career with The Boston Globe in 2004. After his death, the Red Sox observed a minute's silence in his honor prior to a game against the San Francisco Giants.[4]

Posthumous award[edit]

In July 2007, Whiteside was selected by a Baseball Writers Association of America committee as one of three finalists for the J. G. Taylor Spink Award,[6] and he was announced as the winner on December 5 following a vote by the BBWAA membership; he was honored in July 2008 with inclusion in the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.[7] Whiteside is the first African-American beat writer to receive the Spink Award.[8]

References[edit]

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