Bob Hunter (Los Angeles sportswriter)

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Bob Hunter modeling a new baseball helmet in 1939. Bob Hunter LA sportswriter.jpeg
Bob Hunter modeling a new baseball helmet in 1939.

Bob Hunter (March 19, 1913 – October 21, 1993) was a Los Angeles sportswriter for 58 years and the 1989 winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for distinguished baseball writing.

The J. G. Taylor Spink Award is the highest award given by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The award was instituted in 1962 and named after J. G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 to 1962, who was also the first recipient. The recipient does not have to be a member of the BBWAA, but every recipient from the award's inception through 2013 had been a BBWAA member at some time; the first recipient to have never have been a member was 2014 recipient Roger Angell.

Contents

Early life

Bob Hunter was born March 19, 1913, and went to Huntington Park High School in Huntington Park, California. After attending the University of Southern California, he went to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. [1]

Huntington Park High School is a public high school in Huntington Park, California, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Huntington Park, California City in California, United States

Huntington Park is a city in the Gateway Cities district of southeastern Los Angeles County, California.

University of Southern California Private research university in Los Angeles, California, United States

The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California. For the 2018–19 academic year, there were 20,000 students enrolled in four-year undergraduate programs. USC also has 27,500 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, engineering, social work, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and medicine. It is the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles and generates $8 billion in economic impact on Los Angeles and California.

Career

His career as a baseball writer began in the late 1930s at the Post Record in Los Angeles, [2] where he covered the Los Angeles Angels and Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. [1] Los Angeles at that time did not have a major league baseball team, though as many as half a dozen major league teams trained in the area. [3]

The Los Angeles Angels were a Minor League Baseball team based in Los Angeles that played in the "near-major league" Pacific Coast League from 1903 through 1957.

The Hollywood Stars were a Minor League Baseball team that played in the Pacific Coast League during the early- and mid-20th century. They were the arch-rivals of the other Los Angeles-based PCL team, the Los Angeles Angels.

The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one grade below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Round Rock, Texas.

On November 11, 1943, Bob Hunter quit law school to go to work for the Los Angeles Examiner. [4]

In 1957 he covered the Dodgers in their final season in Brooklyn, N.Y., and along with Los Angeles Examiner columnist Vincent X. Flaherty was at the forefront of the group responsible for bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles. [3] [5]

<i>Los Angeles Examiner</i> American newspaper in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Examiner was a newspaper founded in 1903 by William Randolph Hearst in Los Angeles, California, and merged in 1962 with the Los Angeles Herald-Express to form the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.

When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, Hunter was elected the first chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). He was later re-elected chairman of the Anaheim/LA branch, [4] and was the first West Coast writer to be national chairman of the BBWAA. [5]

Baseball Writers Association of America

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is a professional association for baseball journalists writing for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying websites.

His coverage of the Los Angeles Dodgers, spanned more than 30 years and included every spring training through 1992. [5] In honor of this long association, the writer's room at the Vero Beach, Florida training camp is named for him. [1] It was also at the spring training camp that former Dodgers owner and poker buddy Walter O'Malley began calling Hunter "The Chopper" because Hunter was the one who divided up the pot after every hand at the evening high-low poker games. It was a nickname that Hunter was known by to many press-box writer friends from then on. [1] [3]

As a sideline, Hunter was part-owner of a bar called the Sports Club at Fifth and Hill in downtown Los Angeles. Dan Hafner of the Los Angeles Times reported, "His friendship with so many baseball managers enabled him to throw a post-World Series party each fall during the 1950s that was almost always attended by the managers of the World Series opponents." [3]

Hunter continued writing for the Examiner when it became the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner after a merger in 1962, and from 1977 until his retirement in May 1992 he worked for the Los Angeles Daily News . [2]

His column was titled, "Bobbin' Around", and his stories were included in the "Best Sport Stories of the Year" for 25 consecutive years. [4]

In addition to his baseball writing, he authored the script for the Laraine Day/Leo Durocher TV series, "Double Play With Durocher Day," [4] and was honored with the appointment of official scorer for four World Series and four All-Star Games. [4]

Honors

In 1988, Hunter was honored by the Baseball Writers Association of America with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for distinguished baseball writing, and was inducted into the Writers Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in July 1989. [6]

He died at the age of 80 on October 21, 1993 at Sherman Oaks Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles after a long illness. [2] John Werhas, a former Dodgers infielder and pastor of the Friends Church in Yorba Linda, officiated at his funeral. [7] He is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills.

In his honor the Bob Hunter Award is presented by the Los Angeles/Anaheim chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. [8]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Jares, Joe (October 22, 1993). "Bob Hunter, Hall of Fame baseball writer, dies at 80". Los Angeles Daily News.
  2. 1 2 3 Newhan, Ross (October 22, 1993). "Longtime Baseball Writer Bob Hunter Dies at 80". Los Angeles Times.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Hafner, Dan (March 18, 1994). "Hunter Left Behind a Legacy of Good Will". Los Angeles Times.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "1988 J. G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Bob Hunter". Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 "Longtime Los Angeles baseball writer Bob Hunter dies". The Orange County Register. October 22, 1993.
  6. "1989 Induction Ceremony". Archived from the original on August 20, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  7. McHale, Matt (October 27, 1993). "Bob Hunter remembered as personable by peers". The Orange County Register.
  8. "2000 J. G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Ross Newhan". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.