May 24, 2009

INK-STAINED WRETCH:

Linked to Haddix’s Perfection by Western Union Ticker Tape (GERALD ESKENAZI, 5/24/09, NY Times)

The ticker tape in the bell jar began to click.

It was May 26, 1959, my first night at The New York Times. I was a $38-a-week copy boy.

I knew that Western Union ticker was important — it was the sports department’s lifeline to baseball games that were increasingly being played at night. Why, they were even playing on the West Coast now.

The yellow ribbon unfurled out of the jar. Usually, it gave bare information, a line score. This time, it read, in shorthand, as I recall: “Harvey Haddix Pittsburgh Pirates pitching perfect game through eight innings.”

Wow! What a business, I thought. What a way to start what was to be a sportswriting career with the paper for more than 40 years.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 24, 2009 6:50 AM
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