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nate
08-06-2009, 07:08 PM
Check (http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/08/06/the_hammer_fell_today_and.html) it out. The DDN is retiring Hal.

cincrazy
08-06-2009, 07:13 PM
Check (http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/08/06/the_hammer_fell_today_and.html) it out. The DDN is retiring Hal.

That is absolutely horrible news, and this affects me more than anything that has happened on the field this season.

BCubb2003
08-06-2009, 07:22 PM
Also, the paper is no longer having someone cover the Reds.

Degenerate39
08-06-2009, 07:27 PM
I thought he died or something from the title

Joseph
08-06-2009, 07:28 PM
Albeit forced, I hope you enjoy retirement Hal.

Ltlabner
08-06-2009, 07:31 PM
He's legally blind? Never knew that.

I know lots of people here don't care for Hal, but it does suck to be forced into retirement from a job you love.

Chip R
08-06-2009, 07:40 PM
That's a shame. I thought the DDN may make some cuts in their coverage but I sure thought Hal was safe. I could see him blogging but without direct access to the players it would be tough.

Always Red
08-06-2009, 07:46 PM
That's a shame. I love Hal; he's been an excellent baseball writer through the years and I will miss him. The man loves the game, and it came through in how, and what, he wrote.

johngalt
08-06-2009, 07:50 PM
Is anyone else having trouble with the DDN page that was linked? The ads and header are there but the area where it looks like the post should be is all white. Can anyone post the text?

cincrazy
08-06-2009, 07:52 PM
Is anyone else having trouble with the DDN page that was linked? The ads and header are there but the area where it looks like the post should be is all white. Can anyone post the text?


The hammer fell today and it hurts like hell.

Theyíre putting the olí baseball scribe out to pasture and if there are teardrops on your screen, well, thatís from me, just an old softie.

My run is over - 37 years of bliss, doing a job that wasnít a job. It was pure joy and pure fun.

And I wanted you, all my loyal readers and followers over the past 3 1/2 decades, to be the first to know. The run is nearly over.

The newspaper told me today that it will no longer cover the Cincinnati Reds the same way it has in the past, beginning next season. And donít blame the paper. It is the economic times and weíre all suffering. They just canít afford the more than a quarter of a million dollars a year to send me coast-to-coast.

The Dayton Daily News has been nothing but great to me. How many companies would keep a legally blind employee and furnish that employee with a driver and/or a car service to get him to and from games? The paper did that for me and it certainly didnít have to do it.

The DDN didnít have to do that, but it did and Iím so forever grateful, just as I am for the 37 years they permitted me to do what I love to do so much.

So it is off to retirement after this season ends. It isnít early retirement. Iím 68, soon to be 69. But it isnít something I want to do. I feel like I still have my fastball at the keyboard and can deal with the curves thrown my way.

I feel as if my fingers have been cut off, but the economic times are harsh and I understand and Iím not angry. I just feel as if something good has ended prematurely, something Iím not completely ready to accept, but must.

It was a great run and I thank all of your from the bottom of this decrepit old heart for feeding me the energy to keep doing what I love to do.

Iíll miss the feedback from all of you. Iíll miss going to the ballpark every day, seeing something every week that I never saw before. Iíll miss so many friends Iíve made doing this job. Iíll miss my peers in the press box and the so many people in baseball who have crossed my path and have been so great to me.

Iíll miss sitting down at the laptop every day and reporting on the Reds and major-league baseball. I would list them, but it would longer than George Carlinís list of words you canít say on television and even then Iíd miss too many people who have been part of my career.

Right now Iím on the back patio, enjoying a Tangueray and tonic with my beautiful and supportive wife, Nadine. Iím sure it is the first of many tonight, so I wanted to get this down before I became incoherent.

My miniature schnauzer, Barkley, is looking at me wondering why his old man is sniffling. Well, itís time to get out the old scrapbooks and read of better times.

So many times over the year, Iíve dealt with surly ballplayers who never saw hello until itís time to say goodbye.

Iíll finish the season covering the Reds and baseball, the last hurrah, then say my final goodbyes. Theyíre putting me out to pasture. I only wish it was center field.

johngalt
08-06-2009, 07:57 PM
Thanks Cincrazy!

Spring~Fields
08-06-2009, 07:57 PM
Ouch.
Time is really moving on.
Hal McKoy has entertained me for many years.
Thanks Hal

dabvu2498
08-06-2009, 08:02 PM
I wish he could have covered another winning season. Hal is a good man and a good writer. The DDN will be lesser without him.

redsfan4445
08-06-2009, 08:10 PM
its a sad day.. i have read Hal's articles/and now blog since i was darn geesh 16 years old!! I hope he writes a book.. He prb has many many stories he never shared that would make us laugh..

TheNext44
08-06-2009, 08:13 PM
Just terribly sad news.

Hal is one of a kind, a great writer, who could have made a great career in the literary world had he chose, and a great lover of baseball.

He also is one of the truly funniest men alive. I was lucky enough to spend a night years ago with him at a bar in St. Louis. He spent much of it telling the dirtiest and funniest Marge Schott jokes I have ever heard. And even when he wasn't telling jokes, he had a very quick wit and could turn any statement anyone made into something funny.

I hope he is able to continue with a blog, or in someway, if not, he will be sorely missed. I wish him nothing but the best.

Thanks Hal! :beerme:

RANDY IN INDY
08-06-2009, 08:17 PM
Sad news.

Mainspark
08-06-2009, 08:21 PM
I feel badly for Hal, although he's had a long run and hopefully can find some satisfaction in retirement.

If, as it appears, the DDN took down his blog announcing his upcoming departure, that's disturbing as well. (It's back up, so never mind on the latter point.)

George Anderson
08-06-2009, 09:11 PM
This is to bad.

I didn't know he was legally blind either.

I always enjoyed listening to him in the 2nd inning with Marty or Thom.

Another link to the BRM goes away.

Redlegs
08-06-2009, 09:18 PM
Thanks for all the memories, Hal. :)

HeatherC1212
08-06-2009, 09:18 PM
This is so sad. I've enjoyed reading Hal's articles and blog over the years and he will be missed a great deal. :(

FYI: I just came from the DDN website and his goodbye post is still there. Try this link: http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/08/06/the_hammer_fell_today_and.html

hebroncougar
08-06-2009, 10:02 PM
Wow.......that stinks. Redsland gets smaller, heck it might pay the Reds in the long run to pay for him to travel with the team and write for the DDN. You'll be missed, wish they'd stick him on the radio with Marty or something.

Hoosier Red
08-06-2009, 10:06 PM
This is to bad.

I didn't know he was legally blind either.

I always enjoyed listening to him in the 2nd inning with Marty or Thom.

Another link to the BRM goes away.

Actually he just recently became blind. I think it was between the 2001-2002 seasons. He was going to quit but Aaron Boone sat him down in the clubhouse and wouldn't let him quit.

CrackerJack
08-06-2009, 10:07 PM
Well, we still have the legendary George Grande to fall back on.

Unassisted
08-06-2009, 10:09 PM
How many other out-of-town papers still have a beat writer covering the Reds? It looks like the Columbus Dispatch (http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/redsindians/index.html) has Bob Hunter writing a weekly column about both teams, but isn't sending a reporter to every game.

Indy? Lexington?

George Anderson
08-06-2009, 10:16 PM
How many other out-of-town papers still have a beat writer covering the Reds? It looks like the Columbus Dispatch (http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/redsindians/index.html) has Bob Hunter writing a weekly column about both teams, but isn't sending a reporter to every game.

Indy? Lexington?

No to Indy.

Caveat Emperor
08-06-2009, 10:36 PM
Sad day, but not unexpected. I've always enjoyed Hal's columns and will miss his perspectve on the team, even if I didn't always agree with it.

Chip R
08-06-2009, 10:40 PM
Really an end of an era for the DDN too if they won't have a writer covering the Reds. Si Burick, Ritter Collett and Hal.

chicoruiz
08-06-2009, 10:41 PM
Hope he'll write a book about his years with the Reds... I'd buy it.

MrCinatit
08-06-2009, 10:45 PM
How many other out-of-town papers still have a beat writer covering the Reds? It looks like the Columbus Dispatch (http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/redsindians/index.html) has Bob Hunter writing a weekly column about both teams, but isn't sending a reporter to every game.

Indy? Lexington?

How many out-of-town papers can claim not one, but two writers who were inducted into the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a city with a third writer who achieved the same?
My dad worked the docks for many years at the Dayton Daily News and the Journal Herald. He said there were very few writers who went to the docks and talked with the guys there, just sitting around and BSing with them. Si Burick, Ritter Collett (Dayton Journal Herald) and Hal McCoy were three guys who were down there the most, constantly lovingly talking about the game.
And growing up in the city as a youngster, I had the pleasure of reading all three very talented scribes.

Caseyfan21
08-06-2009, 11:18 PM
DDN article sure makes it sound like Hal's retiring and not being pushed out. Obviously it's a totally different story from what they're saying after reading Hal's blog.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/cincinnati-reds/mccoy-to-end-hall-of-fame-career-238957.html

Cyclone792
08-06-2009, 11:19 PM
Terrible news; I honestly thought that the DDN would have let Hal go his own way before pulling the plug on a Reds' beat writer. Hal truly was a terrific writer too. He may have erred a few times on some Reds' moves that did or didn't happen, but he was a brilliant, talented writer and I'm really going to miss him.

The best Reds' beat writers were always Hal and whoever was at the Post. With the Post now gone and Hal leaving, the Reds' basically do not have any beat writers remaining.

Caseyfan21
08-06-2009, 11:23 PM
This was posted in the comments section, I found it interesting. I assume it would be legit as who would take the time to fake a response about this.


Unfortunately, that's not the way it went down. The paper has decided to not cover the Reds next year due to financial constraints, so Dad was forced into retirement. He was actually planning on one more year and then announcing his retirement. This is not how he had planned on going out. He is devastated, as is the rest of his family, at this development. I cant stop crying. I love you Dad and I am so proud to call Hal McCoy my father.

Brian McCoy
10:09 PM, 8/6/2009

Chip R
08-06-2009, 11:26 PM
DDN article sure makes it sound like Hal's retiring and not being pushed out. Obviously it's a totally different story from what they're saying after reading Hal's blog.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/cincinnati-reds/mccoy-to-end-hall-of-fame-career-238957.html


It was probably something like this, "Uh, Hal, we're not going to have a beat writer cover the Reds next year. But you're welcome to stick around and cover UD soccer."

Right about then was probably when Hal decided to retire.

It always makes me think of one of my favorite movies, Broadcast News. In one scene the network news president is firing people and after firing this one fellow, the guy says, "I'm just old enough to be flattered by the term, 'early retirement.'" The news president says, "What a lovely thought. Now, if there's anything I can do for you..." The guy getting fired comes back with, "Well, I certainly hope you'll die soon."

Team Clark
08-06-2009, 11:40 PM
That's a shame. I love Hal; he's been an excellent baseball writer through the years and I will miss him. The man loves the game, and it came through in how, and what, he wrote.

Agreed. I had a close relationship with Hal for a time. He was first class all the way. I loved being around him. Irregardless of how you feel about his writing, just think about how horrible it must feel to have your life's work ripped away.

Cyclone792
08-06-2009, 11:42 PM
DDN article sure makes it sound like Hal's retiring and not being pushed out. Obviously it's a totally different story from what they're saying after reading Hal's blog.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/cincinnati-reds/mccoy-to-end-hall-of-fame-career-238957.html

That may be quite possibly the most ridiculous newspaper article I've ever read.

Patrick Bateman
08-06-2009, 11:48 PM
That may be quite possibly the most ridiculous newspaper article I've ever read.

The last line was the clincher for me.

savafan
08-06-2009, 11:57 PM
Well, no more reason to read the Dayton Daily News.

I grew up getting all of my Reds information from Hal McCoy. I used to deliver the DDN, and would sit down to read Hal's articles at 2-3 in the morning before leaving them on peoples' doorsteps.

Good luck Hal, thanks for putting words to my childhood vision of my heroes.

OnBaseMachine
08-07-2009, 12:11 AM
I always enjoyed reading Hal's articles and blog updates. I'll sure miss him.

WVRedsFan
08-07-2009, 12:27 AM
I've seen this happen far too often. Many folks in WV can tell you about how West Virginia University "retired" Jack Fleming. Fleming was beloved by Mountaineer fans and many took their radios to games so they could hear his call of the game. He was also the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers and his voice is heard on the call of the "Immaculate Reception" on NFL films. Jack, like Hal, had a health scare and out of the blue they retired him. He didn't know until he read it in the newspaper. Sad.

Another example is a newspaper writer friend of mine who turns 66 on Sunday. He was "retired" even though he was the sportswriter of the year only two years ago in his state. Once again, they just let him go without explanation. He was offered a job writing an internet blog, but he told them to shove it.

It's even happened to me. In February, my manager asked to visit and bluntly asked if I was going to retire this year. I'm 10 years from retirement and my answer was that I still had a kid in school. Several things were said that pointed to the company wanted me to consider retirement. Or else. I'm an independent contrator, so they can't make me retire, but the message is this: if you're over 50 they don't want you anymore.

I'll miss reading Hal, but it wouldn't surprise me if he winds up with a job covering the Reds with someone--even if it's only home games. Yes, many had problems with him, but I did not. And as someone said up above me, that means that the Reds have no beat writers anymore. It's a sad day.

Guacarock
08-07-2009, 02:53 AM
Classy farewell column on Hal's part -- sad and honest, but not at all bitter or boring.

I haven't always agreed with Hal's takes on specific Reds players or personnel, but I'll miss his voice, his insight and his presence. He wore his passions on his sleeves, showing a reverence for the team, the sport of baseball, the journalism professsion and the state of Ohio that most of his peers couldn't hope to match.

That said, he wasn't predictable. He could spout off one night, and purr like a kitten the next. Either way, you knew he could simultaneously chew stale Topps' gum and spit out colorful English colloquialisms, educating and entertaining his readers. He exhibited a disciplined cadence as a writer, but also a flair for the vernacular. Many of the Reds' most mediocre and mundane defeats he transformed into mythic battles involving great drama, strategy and behind-the-scenes legerdemain.

Helped to keep me glued to the team through a few decades of debacle and defeat. I don't know if I'm a masochist or an apologist, but I'm grateful to Hal for being himself, for writing from both the head and the heart, for surviving so long, and for keeping the faith. It does mean a lot in an era when so much is transient and trashy.

Ron Madden
08-07-2009, 03:19 AM
This is sad. Nobody should have to go out like this. I often disagreed with Hal but I always respected him, I will truly miss him.

TheNext44
08-07-2009, 03:27 AM
One of my favorite Hal stories was one night when a beat writer for the opposing team learned that his newspaper and Hal's were both owned by Cox.

He yelled across the press box to Hal,

"Hey Hal, I work for Cox, don't you do too?"

To which Hal replied without missing a beat,

"No, I work for money. But good luck with that."

Hap
08-07-2009, 06:19 AM
no one has mentioned
hal could write for someone else
better than john fay

cumberlandreds
08-07-2009, 07:03 AM
I hate to hear about this. Not a good way for a HOF writer to go out. I have always been a Reds fan from afar. I grew up and followed the Reds from the mountains of eastern Kentucky and now later in life from the DC area. So I didn't always get to read the local writers from the Cincinnati area until the Internet came along. I always found McCoys writings informative and interesting and rarely if ever agenda driven like so many writers are these days. He seems to be throwback to an era when the writers were kinder and gentler to the organizations and players. That's really not a bad thing and is quite refreshing to read these days. I hope he that he will write a blog. I'm sure he has great contacts with baseball people and can still give good opinions and facts about current day players while weaving it with the past that he knows so well. Best of luck to Hal McCoy in whatever he decides to do from here on out. It was a priviledge to read his writings.

Roy Tucker
08-07-2009, 08:42 AM
Really an end of an era for the DDN too if they won't have a writer covering the Reds. Si Burick, Ritter Collett and Hal.

Very true. The DDN/Journal Herald has always had a tradition of great writers following the Reds and this is a sad thing for Reds fans. I've always truly enjoyed the DDN's highly professional and excellent coverage of the Reds starting when we moved to Dayton as a kid in 1964.

But, its also a sign of the times. Time waits for no man and Hal got caught in the tsunami of the economic down-turn and what's happening to the newspaper industry. Stuff happens. I hope Hal had a few more Tanqueray and tonics and got righteously smashed. A time of reflection and mourning, but also a time of moving forward. Good luck, Hal.

NJReds
08-07-2009, 08:52 AM
I don't live in the area, but I enjoyed reading Hal's work on the Internet. Even if I didn't always agree with his opinions, his personal feel for the organization came through in his writing. The DDN won't get that from an AP story.

Newspapers don't get that it's guys like Hal that differentiate them. I went to the DDN web site to read Hal's take on the Reds. There's no reason for me to go their web site anymore since I can read the AP stories on Yahoo News.

bucksfan2
08-07-2009, 09:01 AM
Its a shame Hal went out like this. To me it is similar to the way Nuxy went out, a couple of years too late, and not on his terms.

I thought Hal was a good writer but he had trouble changing with the new style of media in covering baseball. It would have been much nicer if he had ridden off into the sunset a few years ago, but how many of us go out on top?

I did enjoy his second inning stints with the Reds Radio group. And he did have the ability to churn out very good articles from time to time. It is sad because this is signaling an end to an era of local news coverage. The DDN is a class paper, but I wonder how much longer it will be considered that.

cincrazy
08-07-2009, 02:35 PM
I just read the Daily news article. What an absolute disgrace to journalism. To act like it was a voluntary retirement, and that now the DDN is going to decide whether or not to cover the Reds from here is an absolute joke. Not only are they letting the man go, but they're throwing him out the door with little dignity to spare. I will never read another page of this newspaper. The sooner it folds the better.

Brutus
08-07-2009, 03:30 PM
I just read the Daily news article. What an absolute disgrace to journalism. To act like it was a voluntary retirement, and that now the DDN is going to decide whether or not to cover the Reds from here is an absolute joke. Not only are they letting the man go, but they're throwing him out the door with little dignity to spare. I will never read another page of this newspaper. The sooner it folds the better.

Unfortunately this has less to do with the economy and more to do with that newspapers are a dying breed. The ones that have embraced the internet and adjusted accordingly are still doing fine. The ones that haven't have found their circulations dwindling and revenues crumbling. Sadly, I'm not surprised it's come to this. While I don't like the 'how', the result is really not surprising - it was inevitable.

GAC
08-07-2009, 03:45 PM
Economically, newspapers are hurting direly and struggling all over this country. People' source for media is changing and been very instrumental in this happening.

They could end up going the way of the drive-in theater. ;)

RANDY IN INDY
08-07-2009, 03:52 PM
Probably will, and that is a little scary, to me. I am afraid that what we will get is a "dumbed down" propaganda.

OnBaseMachine
08-07-2009, 03:57 PM
Thanks to the greatest readers of all time
By Hal McCoy | Friday, August 7, 2009, 12:17 PM

As Lawrence Welk used to say, ďThank you, thank you, thank you.Ē

And if a reference to Lawrence Welk isnít enough to push one into retirement, nothing is.

Anyway, your outpourings of love and appreciation that have shown up on this blog caught me flat-footed, something Iíve been all my life. Iíd love to say thank you and shake your hand - every one of you. And maybe now Iíll have time.

But, first, let me address some misconceptions that have popped up, some misconceptions and misunderstandings.

I was NOT fired, as one local television outlet screamed on the air last night. Where they got that idea I canít say. Not from me. Now I know how it is on the other side of the media to be misrepresented. I was not pink-slipped, shown the door, given the boot or 86ed.

Also, I was NOT forced into retirement. I did not have to accept the buyout, which is a generous one yearís salary - one yearís pay for doing nothing, of which Iíve always been extremely competent at doing.

It is MY choice to retire and my choice to take the buyout. I was not forced, coerced or threatened.

Did I want to continue covering the Cincinnati Reds and major-league baseball? Absolutely. Positively. Definitely. But these are hard economic times and the newspaper is unable to do that at this time.

The newspaper and I will talk in the immediate future about me doing some kind of writing for them. What? I donít know. We have to talk and we will.

But I am a baseball writer. Thatís all Iíve known for 37 years. Without it, Iím lost. I have some time to make some decisions and I do have some options.

Until then, Iíll merely say, ďReports of my firing are grossly exaggerated.Ē The Dayton Daily News would not do that to me. We have had a great relationship for nearly 50 years and I appreciate what the folks at DDN have done for me.

Again, I can never thank all of you enough for the comments on this blog. I donít think I have any tears left after reading all your kind and considerate thoughts. Donít worry about me. The pleasure has been all mine. And you, my friends, are the best readers a writer could ever want.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/08/07/as_lawrence_welk_used_to.html

Blitz Dorsey
08-07-2009, 04:35 PM
We don't know exactly what's going on behind closed doors (I think he was kind of forced out but doesn't really mind). However, one thing is clear: Hal McCoy is not only a great baseball writer, he's a class act.

redsmetz
08-07-2009, 04:56 PM
I haven't finished reading the piece, but a writer for the Toronto Globe & Mail has a piece on Hal McCoy today. Take a read:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/unwritten-rules/read-hal-mccoy/article1244656/

savafan
08-07-2009, 05:33 PM
Economically, newspapers are hurting direly and struggling all over this country. People' source for media is changing and been very instrumental in this happening.

They could end up going the way of the drive-in theater. ;)

The Dayton area still has 2 or 3 drive-in theaters. :p:

Matt700wlw
08-07-2009, 06:39 PM
Too bad Hal couldn't leave on his own terms...but sadly, that's a reality of this business, whether it be print, audio, or visual.

Enjoy retirement, Hal...your insight was very much appreciated by Reds fans, whether it be in print, or on the air with Marty, or a TV or radio host.

He lived and breathed Reds baseball, and will continue to do so.

Drink one for him, tonight. He's earned it.

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Always Red
08-07-2009, 09:07 PM
Poz weighs in...

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/08/07/hals-moons/


Hal’s Moons

Posted: August 7th, 2009 | Filed under: Baseball, Media | 6 Comments Ľ

When I first became a sports columnist in Cincinnati — guess that was 1994, the strike year — one of the first terms I was introduced to was: “Hal’s moons.” The whole Cincinnati sportswriting scene was actually a beautiful collection of endlessly repeated gags and inside jokes and nicknames. I remember for a long time we kept playing around with the concept of the “L” — the “L” standing for “Loss.” At the time the Bengals were a losing bunch, and they had a coach named Dave Shula who was very nice and the son of a legend and preposterously in over his head. So we started coming up with L gags for Dave Shula.

“Who is Dave Shula’s favorite singer?”
Ella Fitzgerald.

“No, really, who is Dave Shula’s favorite singler?”
LL Cool J.

“He does Dave Shula get around Chicago?”
He takes the El.

Where does Dave Shula get his clothes?
L.L. Bean.

And so on. Of course it was stupid. But hey, when you are writing about the Bengals you have to find a way to pass the time.

Anyway … Hal’s Moons. I arrived in Cincinnati during the baseball season, and I went out to a game and saw Hal McCoy — the legendary baseball writer for the Dayton Daily News. There have been numerous legendary baseball writers who have covered the Reds … Hal was the natural extension of those men. He wrote game stories with grace and a dry wit, and, more, he seemed perfectly at home in the clubhouse and around the game. It has always seemed to me that there’s a certain nimbleness and presence that the older baseball writers have around the game that is hard for people of my generation to replicate. This isn’t specifically about the job they do but HOW they do the job they do. Some of the veteran writers — people like Hal, Dick Kaegel, Rick Hummel, Tracy Ringolsby, Peter Gammons, on and on — players seem to come up to them to volunteer scoops. General managers seem to go up to them for information. Batting practice seems to revolve around them. Stories seem to float their way … and it never looks forced. Remember that scene in “The Hustler” where Minnesota Fats is working the pool table, and Fast Eddie was saying “Look at that Fat Man move. Like a dancer!” As a young kid — and I was only 27 then — I used to like just watching to see how Hal moved around the field.

I wasn’t the only one either. After a while, I noticed that quite a few writers didn’t just like watching Hal move. They actually would move with him. They were ALWAYS around him. Hal would go to this corner of the clubhouse … they would go to that corner of the clubhouse. Hal would go behind the batting cage. They would go behind the batting cage.

“You know who those guys are?” our baseball writer said to me once.

“No.”

“Hal’s moons. They orbit around him.”

I think of Hal’s moons today after reading this sad bit of news: After 37 years, Hal McCoy will no longer cover the Cincinnati Reds for the Dayton Daily News. The lead to his blog post — “The hammer fell today and it hurts like hell.” — more or less tells the tale.

And yet … it doesn’t tell the tale. Because you might imagine there being some bitterness in his announcement. And there isn’t. He is sad, but not angry. After all, you may have heard: Newspapers are hurting. Well, just about all media outlets are hurting. And because newspapers are hurting, some painful and awful decisions are being made. Excellent and loyal journalists are being fired. Coverage is being slashed. Newspapers are thinning out. We all know what’s happening here.

And so the Dayton Daily News made the painful and awful decision to stop covering the Cincinnati Reds home and road. Beyond Hal — we’ll get back to him in a minute — this is almost unimaginable. Dayton is less than an hour drive from downtown Cincinnati.

More, Dayton long has been the very center of baseball coverage in America. No paper in the country has had more legendary baseball writers. For 54 years, Si Burick — the son of a rabbi — was the sports editor and baseball-centric writer. He wrote about the Reds when Hall of Famers Chick Hafey and Ernie Lombardi played for the team and still wrote about them more than a half century later when a young kid named Eric Davis was called up. Ritter Collett was also in Dayton — he covered every World Series from the end of World War II until the Reds won their last in 1990. Both of them are Spink Award Winners — that the Hall of Fame lifetime achievement award for Baseball Writers. Then, Hal (of course) is a Spink Award Winner too. Three Hall of Famers from one fairly small paper. And Harry Salsinger — another Spink Award Winner in the Hall of Fame — started his career in Dayton.

If Miami of Ohio claims to be the Cradle of Coaches, then Dayton is the Cradle of Baseball Writers.

Now, the Daily News cannot afford to cover the Reds. Time moves faster than we can keep up.

Stone by stone
Clay on top of clay
We lose what’s known
The howls of yesterday.

This isn’t meant as a farewell for my friend Hal. He can still write one hell of game story … and one hell of a blog too. I suspect that he will not go out to pasture as he says in the post; someone will ask him to write about the Reds and I hope he will write about the Reds for a long time yet. A few years ago, Hal lost much of his eyesight — he is legally blind. But when it comes to this crazy game we love, he still can see a whole lot better than most.

So, no, this is not good bye. Instead, maybe, this is just a momentary pause to think about how the world is changing around us. Maybe we can stop to appreciate a man who has written wonderfully about baseball since the days when Pete Rose was young, a man who started writing sports stories on a typewriter and announced his retirement on his own blog. Maybe we can take a moment and think about Hal’s moons. I never blamed those kids for following Hal McCoy around. The man always had gravity.

RFS62
08-07-2009, 09:55 PM
I may not have always agreed with him, but it's hard to imagine anyone who loved the game and the Reds any more than Hal.

Good luck, Hal. All the tributes coming your way now are well deserved.

One of the last of a dying breed.

mbgrayson
08-08-2009, 10:15 AM
I grew up in a suburb of Dayton, reading the DDN. I always loved reading Hal, and I have continued to read his stuff regularly on the DDN website.

I think he is still a first rate writer, and he will be missed. I really can't blame the paper. Newspapers are a dying breed, and nobody has really figured out how to make money on the internet sufficiently to afford to hire reporters to follow the team around. Ad revenue from banner ads just isn't enough, and none of us likes to pay for a subscription. I pay for BP and BA, and each year I consider whether it is worth the dough. Only dedicatated fans will pay, and all those casual fans will not. It is a lot bigger problem than just Hal and the DDN.

BCubb2003
08-08-2009, 10:20 AM
I grew up in a suburb of Dayton, reading the DDN. I always loved reading Hal, and I have continued to read his stuff regularly on the DDN website.

I think he is still a first rate writer, and he will be missed. I really can't blame the paper. Newspapers are a dying breed, and nobody has really figured out how to make money on the internet sufficiently to afford to hire reporters to follow the team around. Ad revenue from banner ads just isn't enough, and none of us likes to pay for a subscription. I pay for BP and BA, and each year I consider whether it is worth the dough. Only dedicatated fans will pay, and all those casual fans will not. It is a lot bigger problem than just Hal and the DDN.

Maybe RedsZone should hire Hal and C. Trent, and assign them to ask the questions we want answers for.

OnBaseMachine
09-01-2009, 09:16 PM
Reds to honor McCoy
Posted by JohnFay at 9/1/2009 7:08 PM EDT on Cincinnati.com

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds and the Dayton Daily News will honor longtime beat writer Hal McCoy prior to the 7:10 p.m. game against the Houston Astros on Wednesday, September 16.

McCoy, 68, is retiring following this season. He has covered the Reds for 37 years.

For that night's game, fans can purchase tickets for half price in all non-premium seating areas by logging on to reds.com/halmccoy. The half-price tickets are compliments of the Dayton Daily News.

The longest-tenured baseball beat writer in the country, McCoy has worked for the Dayton Daily News for 46 years and is enshrined in the writersí wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

He has won 47 state and national writing awards, including Ohio Sportswriter of the Year 10 times. McCoy also has covered University of Dayton basketball and football, the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, every major golf tournament and the NBA.

McCoy is a graduate of Kent State University.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3aa2db40ee-6b06-4dc6-a0a2-07190f34a62e&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

HeatherC1212
09-01-2009, 10:23 PM
I actually have tickets to that game. I'll make sure to give Hal a big round of applause during his tribute. That's really nice that the Reds are doing this for him. :)

Caveat Emperor
09-01-2009, 11:05 PM
Just one man's opinion, but I'd like to see Hal spend a full night in the broadcast booth with Marty before this season is all said and done.

Tell some stories, talk about baseball, and get a proper send off.

Ron Madden
09-02-2009, 04:04 AM
Just one man's opinion, but I'd like to see Hal spend a full night in the broadcast booth with Marty before this season is all said and done.

Tell some stories, talk about baseball, and get a proper send off.

Great Idea CE. :thumbup:

I've not always agreed with Hal but I'd love to see this come to pass.

:)

mbgrayson
09-16-2009, 08:57 AM
Hal continues to rack up the honors, and they are well-deserved. I still enjoy reading his stories and columns after 37 years. From today's Enquirer (http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20090915/SPT04/309150103/):


Reds beat writer the real McCoy
By John Erardi • jerardi@enquirer.com • September 15, 2009

Hal McCoy is hoping he has one more strike in his left arm.

There’s no question he still as plenty of words – all of them in the readers’ zone – in his fingertips.

“I just got back up here from the field,” said McCoy, on his cell phone from his pressbox perch Tuesday night. “I threw a practice pitch. Just one. A strike. I stopped there. I didn’t want to end up on the DL (disabled list).”

An era ends with McCoy on Wednesday night. He is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on “Hal McCoy Night” at Great American Ball Park as 32 of his family members and friends – and, no doubt, many scribes who will make a special point to be there – look on and applaud.

McCoy, who has been at the Dayton Daily News since 1967 – and on the Reds beat since 1973 – will write his final game story three weeks from now, the Reds’ final game of the season, Oct. 4 vs. Pittsburgh.

Ted Williams once said that he didn’t think Pete Rose’s 14,000 at-bats would ever be topped. McCoy’s 37 years on the baseball beat likely will not be topped.

“You just don’t see guys hang in there (on the beat) very long anymore,” McCoy says.

It seemed as though the likeable 68-year-old Akron native (he grew up with future New York Yankee shortstop Gene Michael, outhitting him at Akron East High School and Kent State University) could have gone on forever.

But newspaper ink runs toward the red these days, and the Dayton Daily’s News’ financial resources ran out before McCoy’s words did.

McCoy pre-dates the best of the Big Red Machine’s era, the back-to-back World Championships of 1975-76. He came on board the year after Joe Morgan joined the Reds. McCoy covered his first World Series in 1975, when the Reds beat Boston in seven games.

Until tonight, that is.

“I hope I can keep it together,” McCoy says. “I’ve promised my wife I would. But I don’t know. I’m a very emotional guy. When it comes time to thank the fans – and realizing this is the end, it’s going to be tough.”

Of all the things McCoy wrote over the years, nothing showed more of his humor and his rapport with the fans than his “Ask Hal” question-and-answer column, spiced with one-liners.

The fans loved it, and it generated 50-75 questions weekly from fans during the season. Few writers have ever owned a city the way McCoy has, and this long after the days since newspapers were king.

Ever since McCoy’s upcoming retirement was announced in August, he has gotten one sendoff after another around the league, including San Francisco (a trip he didn’t even make), St. Louis, Milwaukee and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

“The ceremony (in Chicago) was down on the field, and (Cubs general manager) Jim Hendry gave me a bottle of wine, and (manager) Lou Piniella gave me a box of cigars,” McCoy said. “And the Cubs gave me the ‘3’ and the ‘7’ from the scoreboard. How about that? I’ll have a piece Wrigley Field in my home forever.”

His newspaper has figured he has written about 20,000 stories, 7,000 of them game stories.

What’s amazing about McCoy isn’t that he can still throw it 60 feet, 6 inches (“I’d never hear the end of it from Marty Brennanman if I didn’t throw the full distance”), but that he hasn’t lost a thing in his game stories after 37 years.

If there’s one thing that distinguishes him, it’s his ability to entertain while he informs.

What was his secret?

“I love to write, I love the game, and I love to try to entertain,” McCoy says. “Some nights I hit it, some nights I didn’t. But I always tried. I felt like I owed it to the readers.”


Heres hoping that Hal throws a strike tonight, and that he finds a way to stay involved with the Reds in years to come.

Roy Tucker
09-16-2009, 09:26 AM
Saw this in Hal's blog the other day on his last day at Wrigley. Thought it was a good piece and some nice gestures from the Cubs' FO...

http://www.pulsejournal.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/09/13/a_piece_of_wrigley_fields_for.html



One last fond look and a good-bye to Wrigley
By Hal McCoy | Sunday, September 13, 2009, 01:14 PM

WRIGLEY FIELD is empty, the 39,805 fans scattered throughout Wrigleyville or on the El or headed home on the freeways - after singing that catchy song they sing after every victory, ďGo Cubs Go.Ē

The Cubs won, 5-2, officially eliminating the Cincinnati Reds from the pennant race, but Iím not giving that much thought.

As I sit in the press box high above Wrigley, scanning the horizon to see the high-rise buildings and Lake Michigan, I think of 37 years of coming to these hallowed grounds. They can talk all they want about Fenway Park, this is THE place to watch baseball. This is what baseball is all about.

Amazingly, the place has changed very little over 37 years - a few new seats crowded into the corners and a bunch of grandstands atop the brownstone buildings on Waveland and Sheffield.

The old-time scoreboard remains the same and the boisterous and belligerent Bleacher Bums remain the same.

But theyíre gone now and Iím left here with my memories, of great times, of mostly day baseball, the way it was meant to be played. I love this park when it is empty and I love it when it is full.

I wonít miss walking the ramps. They finally put in an elevator for former broadcaster Harry Caray, but it is down in the left field corner and usable only when you arrive at the park and when you leave. To go to and from the clubhouse and to and from the field, you walks the ramps, just like the fans.

I could sit here and gape for hours, watch the elevated trains beyond the center field bleachers, watch the fans hitting all the bars in Wrigleyville, listen to the sirens from the firehouse behind the left field wall - a firehouse that has to be one of the busiest in Chicago because sirens are constant.

I can look at the ivy on the brick outfield walls and remember outfielder after outfielder getting tangled in the branches and searching frantically for lodged baseballs.

But I have a plane to catch home, so Iíll take my last look around this baseball pasture, this REAL Field of Dreams, and with a tear or two at the corner of my eyes, Iíll walk to the left field corner, take one last glance very close to the left field foul pole, then walk down a portal to the elevator and leave by the gate across from the firehouse. Iíll hail a cab and watch another dream fade over my shoulders.

AS JONNY GOMES calls it, ďYour victory tour,Ē continued Sunday in Wrigley Field.

I was standing in front of the Cubs dugout chatting with manager Lou Piniella. After a 15-minute chat, I turned around and there was a semi-circle of Cubs writers and officials standing behind me.

General Manager Jim Hendry started it off, presenting me with a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, from his own winery in Napa Valley. Very nice. Hendry is a class act, a great friend over the years, who often asked me why I didnít come to work in Chicago. They didnít want me, Jim, and the Chicago writers are a great bunch of people. They all took me out for a drink near Wrigleyville after Saturdayís game.

A couple of them who were off and didnít cover the game showed up for the mini-party. What a great time with Bruce Miles, Dave Van Dyck, Paul Sullivan, Carrie Muskat and Alan Solomon.

The establishment was The Piano Man on Clark Street and as soon as I walked in I saw the jersey of Redsí pitching coach Dick Pole hanging on the wall. It was a Cubs uniform from the 1980s, when Pole was pitching coach for the Cubs. Then I looked up and there he was, sitting with friends near the bar.

Pole bought the first round and when he got the bill he looked at it and said, ďWhat did I do, break a window?Ē Turns out he always says that and it never fails to get a laugh.

Next on Sunday, after Hendry, was Piniella, who handed me a box of Macanudos and said, ďI first met Hal back in 1990 when I became manager of the Reds. I asked him for a rundown of the team and how to approach them and what kind of guys they were. Hal gave me a great rundown, he was right on all counts, and we won the World Series.Ē

Iím still waiting for my World Series share and my World Series ring, but Piniellaís words and friendship were enough.

Then Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who pitched briefly for the Reds and is one of the all-time great people Iíve met in this game, stepped forward with a gift from the Cubs: The actual No. 37 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard, where they still hang numbers manually. The 37, of course, represents the years I worked the beat. What a fabulous, unique gift. Itíll hang prominently in my home office.

The No. 38 is on the back and Hendry said, ďThatís in case you pull a Brett Favre on us and come back.Ē

EARLIER IN THE DAY, when I was standing in the Reds clubhouse, somebody stuck a bag of cigars in the my face and handed me a note. It was from Cubs home clubhouse attendant Tim Hellmann, who worked the Redsí clubhouse every spring in Sarasota and was an invaluable help to me after my eyes went bad.

The hand-written note said, ďThanks for everything, you will be missed. Hope to see you again down the road. Best wishes and good luck. TIM HELLMANN.

What a great gesture from somebody who some people in the game consider the ďlittleĒ people, but he and many, many other clubhouse personnel, from the Reds to all those around the league, are fabulous folks who are tireless workers doing the menial jobs, but they are giants of the game to me. Thanks, Tim.

Thanks, Cubs.

Before the game, I went on the Cubs/WGN pre-game show with TV broadcaster Len Casper for a well-done interview (not by me, by Len and his questions, which made it easy and fun).

THEN I went back to the pressbox to dig into my late Big A** Burrito. Reds media relations director Rob Butcher always makes the burrito run to a little Mexican hole-in-the-wall place under the El tracks about a half a block away.

It was Butcherís second run of the day. On Sunday morning he ran a half-marathon, The Chicago Half-Marathon. Butcher was one of 15,000 finishers. He did the 13.1 miles in 1:42.09 (980th out of 15,000).

Nice going, Rob. But your short run for the burritos was your best run of the day. It was my third straight burrito for lunch and todayís was my last.

Iíll miss Ďem.

NJReds
09-16-2009, 11:34 AM
Great piece. Thanks for posting. :thumbup:

HeatherC1212
09-16-2009, 11:55 AM
I'm excited to go to this game tonight and I'll try to get some good pictures for you guys of all the pregame festivities. :)

redsfan1966
09-17-2009, 02:11 AM
I decided after much debating to go to "Hal McCoy" night from Columbus at about 2pm yesterday. Unfortunately due to some misfortune at work and a horrific back up on I-71 near Rt. 56, I was unable to see Hal at the Reds HOF. No big deal, I was coming down to pay tribute to the man, not pester him for an autograph.

My initial reaction to the tribute ceremony was sadness. Sad to see Hal being forced to retire due to the changing times. Sad to see only a little over 10,000 in attendance. Sad to see the clips from more exciting times for now what is a sad franchise. Hal rallied though with some nice closing comments and a decent first pitch. He made sure to thank his wife Nadine, and to thank the fans.

Normally, I wouldn't even think about driving down for a weeknight game anymore, especially since most are televised. But thanks to a great seat on the right field line and since it was half price thanks to the Hal tribute, things didn't seem so bad.

And I'll be darned if it wasn't one of the better games I had witnessed in person this year --- some home run derby, some hustle from Rolen, Phillips and Gomes and a nice ninth from Cordero. So thank you Hal McCoy. Thank you for the 37 years of great writing, years of great banter with Marty and thank you for motivating me to come down to GABP and enjoy some baseball on a weeknight.

Unassisted
09-17-2009, 09:12 AM
I was stuck with watching the Astros broadcast on cable last night, since MLB.TV was blacked out for me. Astros' announcers Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies had many nice things to say about Hal. Hal seems to be a well-regarded fixture around the league.

bucksfan2
09-17-2009, 09:14 AM
Just one man's opinion, but I'd like to see Hal spend a full night in the broadcast booth with Marty before this season is all said and done.

Tell some stories, talk about baseball, and get a proper send off.

The Reds would be wise to use him in that capacity next season. If I were the Reds I would give him a press pass whenever he wanted it next season. If he wanted to travel with the team I would let him, and then I would put him in the TV booth or radio booth for a couple of innings at a time.

Hal is great at personal interest stories. It would be nice to see the Reds give him a no holds bar access to the team. And have him on the radio and tv talking about the current Reds as well as past Reds. It would awesome to hear as a fan.

Sea Ray
09-17-2009, 09:28 AM
Hal can spin this all he wants but when this first went down he was clear that this retirement was "not of his choosing." He's not exactly being fired but he is being laid off.

Sea Ray
09-17-2009, 09:32 AM
I decided after much debating to go to "Hal McCoy" night from Columbus at about 2pm yesterday. Unfortunately due to some misfortune at work and a horrific back up on I-71 near Rt. 56, I was unable to see Hal at the Reds HOF. No big deal, I was coming down to pay tribute to the man, not pester him for an autograph.



Just curious, what did you do for ticket(s)?

redsfan1966
09-17-2009, 09:47 AM
I bought a ticket at the windows right before the game. I blew by a scalper who had "$5tickets"---the guy at the window sold me a Field Level seat for half price, thanks to the Hal McCoy special the Dayton Daily News was running, even though the guy at the window swore he was doing me a favor and the special was for only internet customers....and yes, Hal was forced out--but not because of poor performance; because of the changing landscape of media...

HeatherC1212
09-17-2009, 04:49 PM
I had a great time at the game last night although we got home too late for me to upload any of my pictures. I'll try to get some of them posted later this evening. It was a great night overall and I'm glad we were able to go. I enjoyed the pregame (and during the game) tributes for Hal, it was a cool night weatherwise which was bad for me since I forgot my jacket (I survived though ;)), and it was a good night for the Reds who never gave up and managed to win and get that sweep of Houston after all. :D

OnBaseMachine
09-17-2009, 09:32 PM
Gomes: ĎThis oneís for youí
By Hal McCoy | Thursday, September 17, 2009, 05:51 PM

AS I WALKED toward the field Wednesday before the pre-game ceremonies on Hal McCoy Night, I passed Jonny Gomes and he said, ďHey, Hal, Iím going to try to hit one for you tonight.Ē

Anybody who has watched Gomes knows that he tries to HIT ONE every time he swings the bat, swings as if he is trying to land a ball in Sparta, Ky.

After the ceremony, I joined family and friends in the outdoor Frontgate suite next to the press box and was not paying attention when Gomes came to bat in the top of the second, leading off, carrying a 3 for 24 slide with him.

On a 0-and-1 pitch, he put the torch to one, blasting a home run off the front facade of the upper deck.

I casually turned to my wife, Nadine, and said, ďHe hit that for me.Ē I was kidding.

BUT WHEN I walked into the clubhouse today, Gomes called me to his locker. When I got there, he proudly handed me the bat with which he hit the home run, complete with the pine tar on the handle and several dents on the barrel.

He had written in silver ink on the black barrel, ďTo Hal, Thanks for the support. HR #20 on Hal McCoy Day, Sept. 16th, 2009.Ē

Now I ask you, how cool is that? How neat is that? Thatís the best thing a player has done for me along those lines since Ken Griffey Jr. handed me the baseball he hit for his 30th home run one year for the Reds.

That was the year Griffey had one home run in April and fans were all over him. I wrote in a column, ďIf Ken Griffey Jr. doesnít hit 30 home runs this year, Iíll eat this column on Courthouse Square and bring my own ketchup.Ē

Well, I had no idea Griffey knew about that column. So it was late August in Washington when Griffey tagged No. 30. After the game, he walked past me and flipped me the ball he hit for No. 30 and it was similarly inscribed: ďHal, thanks for the loyalty and support. Home run No. 30,Ē and that date and his signature were on it.

HAL McCOY NIGHT beyond description, a memorable day in my life. The Cincinnati Reds were so classy and it shows they either understand my job or have a great sense of humor. I havenít been that kind to them over the past few losing seasons, but the show they put on for me Wednesday as outrageously awesome.

I canít begin to thank everybody but know that everything everybody did for me was deeply appreciated. And I thoroughly enjoyed the one-hour autograph session in the Hall of Fame Wednesday. I was astouned how many fans were there, a steady line and a steady flow. It was fantastic to chat with the fans.

And you know those pictures of me they sold for $5 for me to autograph? I didnít get a cent of it. Honest. But it was nice of them to tell me it was the most successful signing session they ever had and they ran out of pictures.

The night was a blur and Iíll have to watch the DVD to drink it all in.

THEN THE night became crystal clear in a heartbeat. I got home at 12:30 a.m. and was sitting in my Man Cave (the garage) smoking a Cuban Romeo y Julieta cigar given to me my Jeff Piecoro when I heard my wife, Nadine, screaming in the kitchen.

I ran in and discovered she had sliced her finger with a pair of scisscors, a deep ugly wound. I wanted to call 911, but she said, ďNot for $900 you arenít.Ē Being the trouper she is, she drove herself to emergency (with me in the passenger seat because I am unable to drive), bleeding all over the steering wheel.

We got to Emergency and they told us, ďHave a seat, itís a four-hour wait.Ē A few minutes later, either a doctor or a male nurse (he had on green scrubs) walked through some double doors, looked at me and said, ďWhat are you doing here? I was just looking at your picture in the paper and I walk out and here you are.Ē

I said, ďMy wife tried to cut her finger off.Ē

A few minutes later, we were inside (thank you, whoever you are) and she was fixed up. She is wearing a wrap that makes her left hand look like a first basemanís mitt, but again being the trouper she is, she went to school to her teaching job this morning.

No0w I[Ďm in the press box tonight, ready to cover the Reds-Marlins game and finding it difficult to concentrate. After last night, tonight is a downer.

Thanks, EVERYBODY, and thanks, Jonny Gomes, for making it even more special.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/09/17/gomes_this_ones_for_you.html?cxtype=feedbot

Homer Bailey
09-18-2009, 12:12 AM
Never thought I would say this, but the Reds would be making an incredible mistake by not bringing Gomes back next year.

WVRedsFan
09-18-2009, 01:40 AM
Hal McCoy has been a part of my life as a Reds fan for the better part of those 37 years. I read my first McCoy column back in 1974, and I immediately was a fan. He got a lot of grief in these pages over the years mainly because he told the truth, but they say a man is judged mainly by his peers. I am on occasion among those who write for a living in another sport, but the business being what it is, they've also done many things in other sports. There is no one more respected by his peers than Hal McCoy.

Given his desire to continue writing, some organization would be a fool not to put McCoy in the press box at GABP and just let him write. I hope it happens, but given the ignorance that newspapers have become, I fear it won't happen. I hope I'm wrong.

TheNext44
09-18-2009, 02:46 AM
Hal Mentioned in his interview with Grande and Welsh that he would definitely start writing a book about his years covering the Reds as soon the season was over.

Count me as the wanting to be first in line to get a copy. I can't imagine a more authoritative source nor a better writer to write a history of the Reds over the last 37 years.

mbgrayson
09-18-2009, 08:26 AM
Hal Mentioned in his interview with Grande and Welsh that he would definitely start writing a book about his years covering the Reds as soon the season was over.

Count me as the wanting to be first in line to get a copy. I can't imagine a more authoritative source nor a better writer to write a history of the Reds over the last 37 years.

I'd buy it too. Why hasn't Hal written one already? He has had winters off anyway, hasn't he? One would think he could have used the time from October through when pitchers and catchers report....

OnBaseMachine
10-04-2009, 09:25 PM
A happy/sad kind of day
By Hal McCoy | Sunday, October 4, 2009, 02:36 PM

Some great things happened before the reality hit - my last game as the Cincinnati Reds beat writer for the Dayton Daily News.

Brandon Phillips walked up to me in the pre-game clubhouse Sunday and handed me one of his bats on which was inscribed: ďTo Hal ĎHofFí McCoy. Thank you for all the support! Sorry that you have go go, but I know itís not the last!í Brandon Phillips, #4, Your boy, 30/30.Ē

That was special enough, but I was later told by Reds assistant PR director Jamie Ramsey that Phillips will not sign 30/30 at the end of his signature for anybody but his mother and father. People sometimes ask, but he doesnít do it (30 homers, 30 stolen bases). The bat was enough - without being asked - and the 30/30 gives me the shudders.

WHEN IT was time for breakfast in the media dining room, Denise, the very lovely woman who runs the room as if it is her own dining room/kitchen, refused to take my $7 for my meal, then handed me a box with a small chocolate cake in it.

DURING THE GAME, Reds media relations director Rob Butcher announced, ďThere is pizza in the back room, compliments of LaRosaís in honor of Hal McCoy.Ē Butcher said the delivery guy showed up at the gate and said he had a pizza delivery for Hal McCoy. Said Butcher, ďHal McCoy ordered pizza?Ē Said the delivery guy, ďNo, this is from LaRosaís.

Then I discovered it was my lovely, beautiful thoughtful wife, Nadine, who ordered it and had it delivered to the pressbox. Thank you, honey. Youíre the best.

BEFORE THE GAME, I was summoned to the back of the press room to meet a father and his son.

Remember on Hal McCoy Night at the ballpark when Jonny Gomes hit a home run and then signed the bat he used and gave it to me?

I neglected to get the sonís age because I was so flabbergasted, but he looks about 14 and his name is Kevin OíNeill of Erlanger, Ky. On the night Gomes hit his home run, OíNeill was in the upper deck in left field and got the ball.

On Sunday, he came to the game carrying the ball in a plastic cover and gave it to me - this treasure of a ball that he could have kept, a ball used in a major-league game that was hit for a home run.

But he gave it up for me. All he asked for was that I autograph my last game story and send it to him. I agreed. I also plan to get a new ball and have Gomes sign it and Iíll send it to Kevin. What an unselfish, caring teenager. Awesome, just awesome.

IN THE SIXTH inning they invited me to the TV booth so George Grande and I and could chit-chat on the air. Grande announced Sunday that he was stepping down and itís a great loss for me. George and I have been together with the Reds for 17 years, sharing a lot of time together, sharing some meals together at Charley Gittoís in St. Louis. Heís a proís pro and Iím going to miss him - one of the nicest men who ever walked the face of this olí earth.

AND I FINALLY lost it. They had a nice tribute on the scoreboard, showing George and I together in the booth. The crowd gave us a standing ovation and I saw the Cincinnati Reds in the dugout, standing and applauding, and that was it. The tears flowed and theyíre still flowing as I write these words.

Homer Bailey is mowing down the Pirates, a fitting conclusion to the season. Just when he is finally saying hello, Iím saying good-bye. the kid has a great future, he finally gets it.

AND NOW the stadium is empty and I see the Ohio River flowing behind the right field stands. Olí Man River keeps rolling along, and hopefully, so will this olí man.

My time as a traveling baseball beat writer is over. But Iím not done. I promise you that. I have some options and Iím going to take one or two of them. Which ones is to be determinedÖsoon.

My OFFICIAL retirement date from the Dayton Daily News isnít until October 31 and Iíll be writing some blogs and a few pieces for the paper, including ASK HAL for the next three weeks. Send me some questions. Donít let me get lonely.

And Iíll let you know whatís ahead for me. A blog of some kind is a ďfor sure.Ē

It was Elvis who sang about the final curtain. For me, the big show is over. But Iím ready for a few curtain calls.

Cheers.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/10/04/post_3.html?cxtype=feedbot

Caveat Emperor
10-04-2009, 09:41 PM
:clap:

Can't wait to see what Hal has on deck -- hopefully whatever it is will have him covering the winter meetings. Until then, he'll be missed.

HeatherC1212
10-04-2009, 10:48 PM
I was in that crowd standing and cheering for Hal and George earlier today and now I'm finally crying thinking about him not covering the Reds beat anymore. :( Hal is such a wonderful human being and I REALLY hope he's covering the Reds in some capacity again sometime soon. That was an awesome tribute at the ballpark today and I'm so glad they did that for those guys.

And as promised, even though I forgot about it and they're really late, here are a few pictures I took from Hal McCoy night earlier this season.

From the Ceremony
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170846.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170847.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170858.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170869.jpg

Hal's Speech
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170880.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170891.jpg

Just a neat picture I got during the anthem
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170917.jpg

Hal throws out first pitch....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170920.jpg

to Aaron Boone!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/KwanFan1212/Reds/P1170921.jpg

fearofpopvol1
10-04-2009, 11:03 PM
great pics heather. too bad it couldn't have been in front of a bigger crowd though. :(

HeatherC1212
10-04-2009, 11:21 PM
great pics heather. too bad it couldn't have been in front of a bigger crowd though. :(

Thanks and no kidding about the crowd. :eek: A Wednesday night really isn't the best night to do a tribute to someone but I gotta give the crowd some credit. They were loud and cheered pretty well during and after the ceremony so that was nice in spite of the small numbers.

WVRedsFan
10-04-2009, 11:57 PM
Wonderful pictures, Heather. The sad part (other than Hal not having a place to write) is all those empty seats everywhere. The fans may have given up on the Reds, but Hal did not. For 37 years, he was there lose or win. If my calculations are correct, Hal covered 5,879 regular season games and 15 World Series games for the Reds (not to mention various divisional games). During that time, the record was 3018-2861, a .513 winning percentage (really skewed because of the last nine years). In the last nine seasons, the Reds only won 666 games (yeah, i noticed that too) while loseing 792. I think the empty seats now need no explanation. Wish it had been a full house.

OnBaseMachine
10-11-2009, 02:29 AM
Hal McCoy will still write in retirement
Fan favorites ĎAsk Halí and ĎThe Real McCoyí blog wonít go away.

Staff Report
10:52 PM Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hal McCoy is retiring at the end of October, but heís not done writing.

McCoy, the Dayton Daily Newsí hall-of-fame baseball writer, has agreed to continue working for the DDN in a freelance capacity. McCoy, who covered the Cincinnati Reds for 37 seasons, will continue to write his popular Ask Hal column on Sundays. He also will continue to interact with fans through his blog, The Real McCoy, on DaytonDailyNews.com.

ďNow that I have retired from working full-time, I am delighted and gratified to be able to continue writing for the Dayton Daily News,Ē McCoy said. ďDoing blogs is something I love to do and I receive more comments on Ask Hal than anything Iíve ever done.Ē

In addition to blogging year-round and writing Ask Hal during the baseball season, McCoy will work on special projects.

ďHalís voice is the equivalent to comfort food for thousands of our readers, and Iím thrilled that he will continue to entertain and inform readers in the Dayton area,Ē DDN Sports Editor Brian Kollars said. ďHeís a legend and Iím proud to say that heíll remain in our lineup.Ē

McCoy, who has won numerous state and national writing awards, started his career in Dayton in 1962. He left briefly for a stint at a Detroit newspaper in the late 1960s but returned after less than a year in Michigan.

ďFor 46 of the last 47 years, The (Dayton) Journal Herald and the Dayton Daily News have been my journalistic home, the last 37 covering the Cincinnati Reds for the Daily News,Ē McCoy said. ďIt was a cushy comfort zone, and although I had several opportunities to leave for bigger markets, I stayed and never regretted it.Ē

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/cincinnati-reds/hal-mccoy-will-still-write-in-retirement-342201.html

Matt700wlw
10-11-2009, 02:39 AM
I'm a little late on this, but good pics, Heather!

Hal will be missed...big time. I may not have always agreed with what he wrote, but that's why he was so good at his job. He gave you the story, and the opinion. You're not supoosed to agree with opinions sometimes...but the stories were always accurate and concise.



Glad to see he'll still be writing some after the retirement.

HeatherC1212
10-11-2009, 01:25 PM
That's great news that Hal will continue writing! :)

OnBaseMachine
10-11-2009, 09:20 PM
The Real McCoy, Ask Hal (To be continued)
By Hal McCoy | Sunday, October 11, 2009, 12:16 PM

Retirement is for the birds, except Iíve never seen a robin or a sparrow sitting in an easy chair wearing a t-shirt and boxer shorts while eating Fritos.

I donít officially retire from the Dayton Daily News until October 31, but with baseball season over for those with leanings toward the Cincinnati Reds (no playoffs - again) I have had a weekís dose of watching sports on TV until my eyes are bleary and my posterior is numb.

My fingers, though, are itchy. I need the laptop on my lap and hopefully I can keep the Fristos from between the keys.

If you read The Dayton Daily News this morning (Sunday), you already know Iím going to continue doing some writing for them. I wonít be an employee of the DDN, but Iíll be a free agent, a contractor, a contributor.

The DDN and I have come to an agreement whereby The Real McCoy remains alive. During baseball season Iíll do at least five blogs a week and I will continue doing my Ask Hal questions and answers from the fans that appears in the paper every Sunday and on-line.

In the off-season, Iíll do a couple of blogs a week (and if you know me, probably more) and a few special assignments.

No, I wonít be traveling with the Reds as a baseball beat writer. Anything I do comes out of my own pocket. But I will make some cameo appearances at Great American Ball Park to gather some inside information and do some interviews to take you inside the clubhouse and dugout.

The DDN provided me with a driver last year, a fine gentleman named Larry Glass. He lives in Fairfield and loves baseball, has been involved in the game all his life, including coaching national championship youth teams.

Get this. Larry lives in Fairfield, at least an hour from my home in Englewood. Because of my vision problems, I canít drive. For nearly every home game last season, Larry drove from Fairfield to Englewood and picked me up. He then drove down to Cincinnati and stayed with me at the games, sitting next to me in the press box.

After the game, he drove the 1:15 from Cincidnnati to my home, dropped me off, then drove the hour back to Cincinnati. Thatís about 4 ¬Ĺ hours of driving every day, leaving his home shortly after noon and getting back to his home after games sometime near 2 a.m.

Amazing. And he did it all for just gas money and a press pass. Even more amazing, he has agreed to drive me any time next season when I want to go to Great American Ball Park.

While I wonít be in the inner circle as a traveling writer, I know I can entertain and inform you with 37 years worth of experiences and I can utilize contacts Iíve made through the years.

While weíre at it, Ask Hal continues for the next three weeks, so keep those great questions coming.

In addition to the work for the DDN, I have a couple of other things going that will keep me attached to the baseball world and Iíll let you know if and when those materialize.

So Iíll be doing more than emptying Fritos bags and burning up cigars in my Man Cave. I look forward to keeping in touch with all you great, great fans who have supported me through the yeas.

In the meantime, pass the Fritos.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/10/11/the_real_mccoy_ask_hal_will_co.html?cxtype=feedbot

TheNext44
10-11-2009, 11:56 PM
The Real McCoy, Ask Hal (To be continued)
By Hal McCoy | Sunday, October 11, 2009, 12:16 PM

Retirement is for the birds, except Iíve never seen a robin or a sparrow sitting in an easy chair wearing a t-shirt and boxer shorts while eating Fritos.

I donít officially retire from the Dayton Daily News until October 31, but with baseball season over for those with leanings toward the Cincinnati Reds (no playoffs - again) I have had a weekís dose of watching sports on TV until my eyes are bleary and my posterior is numb.

My fingers, though, are itchy. I need the laptop on my lap and hopefully I can keep the Fristos from between the keys.

If you read The Dayton Daily News this morning (Sunday), you already know Iím going to continue doing some writing for them. I wonít be an employee of the DDN, but Iíll be a free agent, a contractor, a contributor.

The DDN and I have come to an agreement whereby The Real McCoy remains alive. During baseball season Iíll do at least five blogs a week and I will continue doing my Ask Hal questions and answers from the fans that appears in the paper every Sunday and on-line.

In the off-season, Iíll do a couple of blogs a week (and if you know me, probably more) and a few special assignments.

No, I wonít be traveling with the Reds as a baseball beat writer. Anything I do comes out of my own pocket. But I will make some cameo appearances at Great American Ball Park to gather some inside information and do some interviews to take you inside the clubhouse and dugout.

The DDN provided me with a driver last year, a fine gentleman named Larry Glass. He lives in Fairfield and loves baseball, has been involved in the game all his life, including coaching national championship youth teams.

Get this. Larry lives in Fairfield, at least an hour from my home in Englewood. Because of my vision problems, I canít drive. For nearly every home game last season, Larry drove from Fairfield to Englewood and picked me up. He then drove down to Cincinnati and stayed with me at the games, sitting next to me in the press box.

After the game, he drove the 1:15 from Cincidnnati to my home, dropped me off, then drove the hour back to Cincinnati. Thatís about 4 ¬Ĺ hours of driving every day, leaving his home shortly after noon and getting back to his home after games sometime near 2 a.m.

Amazing. And he did it all for just gas money and a press pass. Even more amazing, he has agreed to drive me any time next season when I want to go to Great American Ball Park.

While I wonít be in the inner circle as a traveling writer, I know I can entertain and inform you with 37 years worth of experiences and I can utilize contacts Iíve made through the years.

While weíre at it, Ask Hal continues for the next three weeks, so keep those great questions coming.

In addition to the work for the DDN, I have a couple of other things going that will keep me attached to the baseball world and Iíll let you know if and when those materialize.

So Iíll be doing more than emptying Fritos bags and burning up cigars in my Man Cave. I look forward to keeping in touch with all you great, great fans who have supported me through the yeas.

In the meantime, pass the Fritos.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/10/11/the_real_mccoy_ask_hal_will_co.html?cxtype=feedbot


I would take Larry's job for gas money and a press pass, just to be able to spend a few hours a day talking to Hal. It would never be a boring drive.

WVRedsFan
10-12-2009, 01:56 AM
Hallalujah! Now let's find some organization that will at least give Hal a daily column for home games. I'm sure there's one out there somewhere. Surely.

BCubb2003
10-12-2009, 08:41 AM
Hallalujah! Now let's find some organization that will at least give Hal a daily column for home games. I'm sure there's one out there somewhere. Surely.

RedsZone?

Chip R
10-12-2009, 10:05 AM
RedsZone?

I don't think we can afford him unless Boss and GIK want to take pay cuts. ;)

BCubb2003
10-12-2009, 10:29 AM
I don't think we can afford him unless Boss and GIK want to take pay cuts. ;)

Not enough payflex, I suppose. Still, it would be kind of cool to take up a collection and assign Hal to do certain kinds of stories, asking the questions we want answered.

nate
10-12-2009, 10:38 AM
I don't think we can afford him unless Boss and GIK want to take pay cuts. ;)

Maybe we can trade someone.

:cool:

Chip R
10-12-2009, 10:58 AM
Maybe we can trade someone.

:cool:

Well, nate, since you mentioned it... ;)

medford
10-12-2009, 11:01 AM
I thought CTrent has hinted that Hal will be doing something for CNati.com next year. Perhaps he can't announce it or talk about it until after his DDN contract is up, but I know CTrent has at least mentioned that he's talked w/ Hal about it, and kind of hinted that Hal had an interest.