Play Ball!

In the Big Leagues

Edward Hershey just about grew up in New York newspaper city rooms and stadium press boxes, interning at the New York Journal-American and covering sports for the New York World Telegram & Sun, the New York Times, and the New York Herald-Tribune while still in college. Named Long Island University’s George Polk Outstanding graduate in journalism, at 22 he was covering the major leagues for the Suffolk Sun when Newsday recruited him after George Vecsey left for the Times. He chronicled the stars of a shining era—aging Mickey Mantle and young Nolan Ryan, brash Joe Namath and confident Bart Starr, cerebral Bill Bradley and enigmatic Pancho Gonzales, football coaches Vince Lombardi and Paul Brown in their twilight, tennis legends Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe at their peak, Pro Football Digest reprinted his four-part series on Brown’s return to football with the Cincinnati Bengals and his portrait of Ashe was included in Best Sports Stories of 1969. Following a stint on active military duty that year, Hershey wrote Cleon (Coward McCann) with New York Mets leftfielder Cleon Jones before leaving sports for general assignment reporting.


Best Sports Stories 1969.

Jones and Hershey check out Cleon in front of the Mets’ dugout.