By Mike Sherman, APSE First Vice President/Contest Chair
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2013 contest in Column Writing category in over 175,000 circulation category.
Plaschke, whose five-column entry included a story on the death of a Dodger Stadium usher who had been with the team since it arrived in Los Angeles in 1958, will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2014 APSE Banquet June 28 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
Plaschke received four of six first-place votes to finish ahead of runner-up Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe and third-place finisher Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports. The top 10 is listed below with links to each columnist’s Twitter pages and entries.
Sports editors in the over 175,000 circulation category submitted 78 Column Writing entries. Contest catchers 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 early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Indianapolis selected a top 10, 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 1 point for a 10th-place vote. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.
The Column Writing category is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal. There is no restriction on subject matter and no requirement that the column appears regularly. Each news organization is permitted two entries in this category.
The contest is open to APSE members. Go to this link to join.
2013 APSE Contest: Column Writing, over 175,000 circulation
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times (4), 57 points
Dodger Stadium usher worked to the end
As Jackie Robinson was making history, Wendell Smith wrote it
The cold truth Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis can't completely escape
They were two Caltech games for the record books
Lakers, Dwight Howard need to walk away from each other
2. Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe (1), 46 points
No chance Jacoby Ellsbury is staying with Red Sox
Your sports columnist is here to write, not to root
Sudden end to Bruins' magical Stanley Cup run
David Ortiz rejects talk of steroid use
Boston Marathon will never be the same
3. Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports, 44 points
Michigan star Trey Burke pays high regard to Rumeal Robinson, who'll be watching from prison
Harbaugh family tree branches out to comfort, celebrate Jim and John in emotional locker rooms
Johnny Manziel's suspension exposes ridiculousness of NCAA's double standards
Fourteen-year-old Tianlang Guan's mom has everything covered as he begins Masters journey
Scene at Daytona 'was like a war zone'
4. Tim Kawakami, The Mercury News, 34 points
In the first crisis moment of the Jim Harbaugh era, the 49ers fail, and fail badly
San Francisco Giants overpay Tim Lincecum for a reason
How Colin Kaepernick stole the job as 49ers quarterback
Are the Warriors a better playoff team without David Lee? You see it, you know it, and here’s why it’s true
Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll: How the rivalry began, what it tells us about both, and why it endures
5. Matt Hayes, Sporting News, 32 points
Like it or not, Jameis Winston is part of broken process
Carlos Hyde saves Buckeyes, but never should have played
Johnny Manziel can blame only Johnny Look At Me for troubles
Baylor's new look: Lots of wins, top talent and playing for titles
Auburn vs. Alabama: It's the Tigers' state now
6. Chris Gasper, The Boston Globe, 28 points
Patriots dropped the ball with Wes Welker
Johnny Manziel case latest example of NCAA hypocrisy
This Red Sox team achieved greatness quickly
NFL must take a stand on bullying and hazing
NHL losing fight with hypocrisy
7. David Lennon, Newsday, 23 points
Mets need to make a decision on Jordany Valdespin
Yankees know Robinson Cano is money
For baseball, instant replay is quite a challenge
MLB declares open season on A-Rod
Sources: Major changes coming to Japanese player posting system
8. Jill Painter, Los Angeles News Group, 23 points
Meet the Kings' Darryl Sutter — the quirky L.A. coach who knows how to win
Angel Cabrera, Adam Scott deserve thumbs up
UCLA on best behavior before Sun Bowl
Dwight Howard should do more than walk off the court
Awkward news conference begs question if Don Mattingly will return for Dodgers
9. Mike Wise, The Washington Post, 22 points
For Washington Redskins’ Alfred Morris, it’s too good to be believed
Colin Kaepernick isn’t out of central casting, but he may become new poster boy
Steve Gleason remains the spirit of New Orleans
Chief Zee, the Redskins and the setting sun
A word you shouldn’t use in any sentence
10. Steve Rosenbloom, Chicago Tribune, 21 points
Chicago Blackhawks keep their promise
Bears' defense saves dumbest for last
NHL has to suspend Boychuk for hit on Toews' head
How do Bulls find the superstar Rose never will be again?
NFL must think we're all brain-damaged
(Mike Sherman, APSE first vice president and contest chair, is sports editor of The Oklahoman. Email him at email@example.com, follow him at @MikeSherman or call 405-475-3164.)