In honor of Black History Month, we’ll set aside space to honor some of the pioneers who paved the way for minorities in sports media. Obviously, we can’t get to everyone, so if we leave someone out, please understand.
Pictured above is the late, great Sam Lacy, a true pioneer in sports journalism. Lacy began his career in 1920 were he was a sportswriter at the Washington Tribune. From 1934-39, Lacy was managing and sports editor for the paper. After spending a few years in Chicago, he returned to the D.C. area where he was sports editor and columnist for the Baltimore Afro-American for nearly 60 years until his death back in 2003.
While Lacy covered all sports, he was a baseball guy at heart, covering the Baltimore-Washington area extensively. He was a huge proponent of integration, having had numerous conversations with then Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith about the subject. He also consulted with former commissioner Branch Rickey about the selection of Jackie Robinson to the first African-American player.
While diminutive in stature, Lacy was a giant in the industry. You will never, ever in this age of digital media see a columnist stay at one place for over 50 years. Lacy did that.
Perhaps Lacy was best know for his “A to Z” columns in the Afro-American, he was one of the first black media members to be elected to the Baseball Writers Association of America and in 1998, he was elected into the writer’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.