Forgive Us Our Press Passes, But Thank God for Mickey!

Published in 2008: Available at Amazon.Com.

Last night the Houston Media Wall of Honor took on another name in special pre-game ceremony at Minute Maid Park. Local members of the Fourth Estate inducted Houston’s iconic sportswriter, Mickey Herskowitz, into the fold of those who have done this community special service as communicators of news in all its many forms.

Mickey Herskowitz was, and still is, the best. When it comes to writing about sports, and as they alway said about James Bond for other talents, nobody does it better. Houston, indeed, should be proud of this native son and early life cub reporter on the Houston Buffs baseball and Southwest Conference football. He grew up to be the man whose late 1950s articles on this city’s deservedness for major league baseball played their own quiet role in Houston landing a National League franchise that we first knew as the Colt .45s back in 1962.

Mickey covered it all, becoming a nationally celebrated biographer for famous people as diverse as Mickey Mantle and Bette Davis. (Imagine the interview possibilities and problems Mickey might have encountered had he gotten those two figures in the same room for s a single interview back in the day. I would imagine that might have been one “opportunity” that even Mickey might have passed over, if at all possible.)

“Forgive s Our Press Passes: The Mickey Herskowitz Collection II” is a classic collection of Mickey’s work on sports stories from several different areas that will only bring you reading joy, should you choose to acquire a copy. It’s available through Amzon.Com.

Mickey Herskowitz’s daily work with the Houston Post and Chronicle is where most of us got to know him some fifty years ago, but don’t let the passage of time fool you into thinking we are simply talking about a past figure here. Mickey Herskowitz is now a full-time journalism professor at Sam Houston State University. He makes a weekly trek up to Huntsville from his home in the northern Houston hinterlands to teach and then returns home each weekend.

Those lucky SHSU kids! I just hope that some of them are wise enough to appreciate how they’ve been blessed!

Mickey Herskowitz is an inducted member of the Texas baseball Hall of Fame (1997) and he also received the TBHOF’s Jimmy Wynn Toy Cannon Award in 2006.

Speaking of Jimmy Wynn, congratulations to “The Toy Cannon” too for the honor he deservedly received from the Houston Astros, also prior to last night’s Cubs@Astros game. In naming their “Player of the Decade” winners over the half century of their existence, Houston picked Jimmy Wynn as their Player of the 1960s. Jose Cruz was named for the 1970s, Nolan Ryan for the 1980s, Jeff Bagwell for the 1990s, and Craig Biggio for the first decade of the 21st century.

Nice picking, Astros! None of us cold have done it any better!

Back to Mickey for a moment. In case you don’t know, the Baseball Hall of Fame makes an annual award to a single writer that has contributed much to baseball. It’s called the J. Taylor Spink Award in honor of the former publisher of the old Sporting News.

Mickey Herskowitz has never won this award, but a lot us think this omission is an unforgivable, but still correctible passover. If you are interested in supporting Mickey Herskowitz for this honor by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, please get in touch with the man who is taking charge of the campaign in Mickey’s favor. His name is James Anderson and his e-mail address is jamesaa1946@yahoo.com> Mickey did not request this help, nor is he participating in lobbying for himself. The whole idea began and carries through from Mr. Anderson, an enormous Houston and Astros fan.

Publication Date is This Friday, Oct. 8th!

Speaking of books, here’s a reminder. “Toy Cannon” is available for purchase now through Amazon.Com too. This wonderful story of Jimmy Wynn’s life and baseball career is officially available this coming Friday, October 8th.

Have a great weekend, everybody. And let’s hope the Astros can turn back the Cubs in their titanic battle for fourth place in the national League Central.

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2 Responses to “Forgive Us Our Press Passes, But Thank God for Mickey!”

  1. James Anderson Says:

    Bill-
    Great piece on the greatest sports columnist of our generation and likely any generation Mickey Herskowitz. Larry Dierker e-mailed me about Mickey and said he wanted to help try to get Mickey the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. Dierk said he has good relations with the sports columnists over at the Chronicle so he’s going to do some arm twisting.

    As for “The Toy Cannon”. Jimmy is one of my all-time greatest ballplayers period…not just favorite Astros.

  2. Bob Hulsey Says:

    I took a moment to update the “Books For Astros Fans” page at AstrosDaily.com to include Jimmy’s book. See http://www.astrosdaily.com/files/books/ . There are links there to Amazon and Barnes and Noble for ordering.

    Congrats to Mickey and Jim. Both honors well deserved.

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