Blogs > N-H Media Lab and Archive

Following the happenings of The News-Herald Community Media Lab, as well as the library and archive, where we're digging to find historic people, places, events and things to see how much the times have changed or how much they have stayed the same.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Six years after the death of Hal Lebovitz

I didn't grow up in the Cleveland area, so I've never read Ask Hal the Referee. In fact I didn't know much about the legendary sports writer until I started organizing his collection of thousands of sports books.

I've been working (as time permits) for nearly a year on the Hal Lebovitz Collection, which will be auctioned (likely next month), with proceeds going to a foundation in the Lebovitz family name at Lakeland Community College.

I've learned so much about Hal from flipping through his books. I've blogged about the Hal Lebovitz Collection and some of my finds. I now recognize his writing and can decipher his scribbling. Baseball is the most represented sport in his collection, and football comes in second. On several books, he stamped or wrote his name on the side of the text block or within the first few pages. My favorite way he marked one of his books: "STOLEN FROM THE DESK OF HAL LEBOVITZ."

After getting to know him through his books, I'm disappointed that I never met the man or read any of his work before he passed. But I've been thankful for the opportunity to get to know him in such a personal way. After all, book collections are an incredible way to learn about a person, his interests, and what he valued most.

Since the previous incarnation of our website wasn't much to look at, I'm not sure what Hal's last published work was. The latest date I could find was his commentary on the Indians' loss to the Red Sox, which was published Oct. 3, 2005:
It will be interesting to see if they really have won back the fans. The final three sellouts are evidence interest has been rekindled, and it will show in the season-ticket sales. The good news is that it already has picked up. There is much to look forward to for 2006.
Several words can describe the season just past: a tease perhaps. But it was far more solid than a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't peep show. General manager Mark Shapiro calls it a sting, not in a con way, but because the outcome hurt. He is highly encouraged, however, about the future.
We have a good young team returning, the core of a terrific club. There is no question Grady Sizemore, Jhonny Peralta, Travis Hafner and Cliff Lee grew before our eyes, and Victor Martinez and C.C. Sabathia continued to mature.

Hal died Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005. (His wife, Margie, just died Friday.)

The front page from Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005:

Links from the week of Hal's death:

More about Hal:

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home