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Saturday, 31 October 2015

On the Death of Grantland: US Sportswriters and their Typewriters

To mark the sad end of Grantland (named in honour of the great American typewriter-belting sports writer Grantland Rice), here's a look at 91 US sports writers and their typewriters from over the years. Grantland, the sports and pop-culture blog owned and operated by ESPN, was started in 2011 by veteran writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons (above), who remained as editor-in-chief until May this year. ESPN announced on Friday it was suspending the publication of Grantland.
This, seemingly, is how the modern-day sports writer desports her/himself. (It's Mexican Ines Sainz taking a break from the hard slog of sports reporting in 2010.) The image below is a lot more like I remember it, squashed up on unsteady benches, uncomfortable seats, sometimes no seats at all.
Or sometimes this, perhaps
Looking through these images, can you pick which brands were the indoor (offices, homes) and outdoor (ball park press boxes, press rooms) favourites of the sports writers? Indoors, I'd say it's a toss-up between Royal and Underwood, while outdoors, Remington on top, but the Hermes Baby seems to have done quite well. My favourite image is the one of Harry Grayson, followed by Stan Isaacs.
Al Stump
Al Thomy
Arthur Daley
Babe Young
Barney Kilgore
Barney Kremenko, centre
Bill Corum (with Joe Louis and an Underwood 5, right)
Bill Cunningham
Bill Driscoll
Bill Heinz
Bill Nicholls
Bill Saroyan
Bob Considine
Bud Shaver
Charles Beane
Charles Doyle
Charlie Roberts
Chet Smith
Chuck Heaton
Cullen Cain

Damon Runyon (my No 2 favourite)
Dan Daniel
Dan Parker
Dave Egan
Denman Thompson

Dick Young
Ed Bang
Ed Burns
Ed Danworth (with Furman Bisher)
Ed Pollock
Ed Wray
Eric Zale
Faye Lloyd
Frank Deford
Frank Graham
Fred Lieb
Furman Bisher
Gene Fowler
George Lederer
Gordon Cobbledick
Grantland Rice (all-time great No 2)
Gus Steiger
Hal Lebovitz
Harold Parrott
Harry Grayson
Harry Keck
Henry Newman
Henry Smith
Herb Wind
Heywood Broun
Hunter S. Thompson

Jack Kofoed
Jerry Izenberg
Jim Coleman
Jim Leonard
Jim Minter
Jimmy Breslin (right, with Red Smith)
Joe McGuff
Joe Williams
John Drebinger
John P. Carmichael (is it a Barr?)
John Lake
Johnny Kilbane
Ken Smith
Larry Robinson
Lou Effrat

Mary Garber
Max Kase
Melissa Ludtke
Mickey Walker (Woodstock)
Ned Cronin
Oscar Kahan

Paul Gallico
Paul Rickard
Philip Wylie
Quentin Reynolds, my idol in my teens

Red Smith (all-time great No 1)
Rex Edmonson
Ring Lardner (my No 2 favourite)
Robert Lipsyte
Royal Brougham
Sam Lacy
Sec Taylor
Shirley Povich
Stan Baumgartner
Stan Isaacs
Sydney James
Unnamed US sports writer at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games
Unnamed golf writer
Unnamed something (dog?) writer
Westbrook Pegler (another of my favourites)


Joe V said...

It's a shame about Grantland. But what an historic roll call of sports writers! Thank you.

Bill M said...

Except for recognizing many of the typewriters and a few names this is all new to me. I seldom read the sports pages or periodicals unless it was on local hunting/fishing. Most of my spectator sports reading came off the teletype when I was on the air.

Thanks for sharing all the great photos.

Taylor Harbin said...

Wow at Frank Deford! I've never seen a period photo of anyone using a Royal Empress.

Nick Bodemer said...

I've never seen a picture of Royal Brougham--he was a well-known sportswriter in Seattle--the City of Seattle renamed S. Connecticut St in his honor--Royal Brougham Way borders both of our stadiums--Safeco Field (baseball) and CenturyLink Field (football)

Richard P said...

What a huge collection of superb photos!

I don't think that's a Barr, it's a Remington noiseless portable.

Never realized that Saroyan was a sportswriter.

David Lawrence said...

A lovely assembly, but the brilliant [sepia] shot of the sports writers all up in the gods, it appears to have sixteen [16] odd (even?) Lord Kitchener Mouse Taches attached to otherwise smooth-shaven faces!

Spanish and ESL Instruction said...

Thank you for featuring my father. That photograph epitomizes the Daily News with its teletype constantly chattering and the old fashioned telephone used to call in stories from sports events. I still have my dad's typewriter shown in the picture.