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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hal Lebovitz - Rest in Peace


An icon of the Cleveland sports scene has passed away. Hal Lebovitz died Monday night at the age of 89. Hal was a fixture in Cleveland for nearly 60 years starting with the now defunct Cleveland News. Even longer if you include selling hot dogs at old League Park. His "Ask Hal" columns were carried in the nation weekly The Sporting News for decades. He continued writing right up until the end and always had information not available from other sources. Unfortunately, for the last few years, he wrote for News Herald & the Lorain Journal which were unavailable online. To give an idea how much Hal's columns were enjoyed, my brother would get up every Sunday morning and drive one county over to get a second Sunday paper just for Hal's column. I can say with a great deal of certainty that circulation for the News Herald will decrease without Hal's contributions.

My prayers go out to his family and the legion of fans who will surely miss him greatly.

UPDATE:

I'll add a few links to columns about Hal here at the bottom. People may not understand how full a life he lived.
Here is a great article about Hal from a couple years ago. After graduating from college he stayed on and coached the freshman team to an undefeated season. One of his players was Steve Belichick father of the Patriots coach. Lots of other neat anecdotes in that article.
Bob Dolgin's obit for Hal in the Cleveland Plain Dealer included this story:
Once, on a dare from a rival and a ballplayer who mocked his abstinence from liquor, he drank four straight shots of whisky to show them he could do it. He never took another drink.


Terry Pluto remembers his friend and mentor.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer provides links to a few of Hal's best columns.
The Morning Journal has an article that includes these comments from Jim Brown who never gave out his trust easily.
''He was a wonderful man, a great writer,'' Brown recalled yesterday after learning Lebovitz died earlier in the day. ''He was the man I had trust in. When I retired, I gave him the exclusive from London because I knew he would write it correctly. I never saw an individual that had any more integrity.''

2 Comments:

Blogger Call Me Jack said...

LB - I too would get a copy of the NH every Sunday just to read Hal (our family was strictly Pee Dee).

What a great man, a generous writer, and a huge life lived.

Cleveland has been (and remains) blessed in its sportswriters. But Hal was king among them.

6:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best

(It's Don Surber. At work so no blogging)

10:49 AM

 

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