Simon “Si” Burick
(1909 - 1986)
Sports editor and featured columnist for the Dayton Daily News for 58 years, Si Burick received the G. Taylor Spink Award on July 23, 1983, and was inducted into the writers section of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is the only writer from a city without a Major League baseball team to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
The son of a rabbi, Burick saw his first byline in the Daily News (the Dayton Journal Herald later merged with the Daily News) on August 26, 1925, two months past his sixteenth birthday. In November 1928, he became sports editor of the Cox-published newspaper, and on November 16, his first daily column “Si-ings,” appeared. He was active as both Daily News editor and columnist until his death. He was the last of a major American newspaper tradition whereby the featured sports columnist was also its sports editor.
Burick was also an Ohio radio personality as early as 1935, when he became WHIO’s first sportscaster. His daily 15-minute programs aired until 1961. For a period during the earlier years, he hosted the Cincinnati Reds pre-game show before home games. In 1949, when WHIO-TV went on the air, Burick was one of its featured personalities and continued to be so for the next ten years.
Burick covered virtually every type of sporting event—from the Kentucky Derby (all but six in 56 years) to local high school sports, from the Olympic Games to regional college football, from Major League baseball to professional football, and most everything else in between.
Sixteen times—the first in 1954—one of Burick’s feature columns was included in The Sporting News’ Best Sports Stories of the Year (from 1954 to 1965, from 1969 to 1971, and 1979). In 1971, he was elected president of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association; in 1972, elected president of the Football Writers Association of America; and in 1973, elected director of the Turf Writers Association of America.
In 1984, Burick was recipient of the Bert McGrane Award from the Football Writers’ Association of America. One year later, he was inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. In 1986, Burick was honored by the National College Football Hall of Fame and the Associated Press Sports Editors, who awarded him the Red Smith Award—America’s most prestigious sports writing honor.
Si Burick authored three books, Alston and the Dodgers in 1966, The Main Spark, a biography of Sparky Anderson, in 1978, and Byline, a collection of his columns, in 1982.
Sources: International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame