By Jeff Rosen
APSE First Vice President
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times won first place in Column Writing in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest’s Over-175,000 circulation category.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo was runner-up to Plaschke, with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald placing third.
Plaschke will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2017 APSE banquet in June. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Summer Conference in New Orleans.
Sports editors submitted a total of 56 entries in the large-organization Columns category this year. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.
Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.
In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and off-site around the country selected a top 10 in this category, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on down to one point for a 10th-place vote. The final 10 were then given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings were determined by tallying the two sets of ballots.
The winners in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. The second- through 10th-place entrants will receive frameable certificates. (Click here to register for the conference.)
Judges evaluated the column entries on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.
Here is the top 10, with links to writers’ Twitter pages (where applicable), APSE member websites and winning entries.
1- Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 46 points, one first-place vote
2- Dan Wetzel, Yahoo, 41 points
3- Armando Salguero, Miami Herald, 40 points, two first-place votes
4- Jeff Passan, Yahoo, 39 points, two first-place votes
5- Ian O’Connor, ESPN, 35 points
6- Jerry Brewer, Washington Post, 30 points, one first-place vote
7- Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 28 points
8- Martin Fennelly, Tampa Bay Times, 25 points
9- TIE Vahe Gregorian, The Kansas City Star, 23 points
9- TIE Sam Mellinger, The Kansas City Star, 23 points