Falling in love with the sportswriting business

08/13/2014 11:59 AM

08/17/2014 7:23 PM

Sending the story

Generations ago, sportswriters covering events pounded the keys of a typewriter. They typed, hoped the ribbon wouldn’t run out of ink, and handed the pages to a Western Union teletype operator. The teletypists would use the newspaper’s code to send the story to The Star.

This was largely the method of filing newspaper copy from the 1920s until the early 1970s.

“That was big time,” said Fritz Kreisler, 82, who started his career at The Star on Oct. 22, 1957, and worked at the newspaper in various capacities until this June.

And seeing your byline in the newspaper, in this case, a couple of hours after filing a story, is a small thrill for any reporter.

How one writer got hooked

Journalism careers can begin in many ways. For sportswriters, a love of the games and a passion for writing and reporting often merge to form a career.

But as much as he loved sports as a kid, another event pulled Kreisler into the newspaper world. He had bigger stories to cover than games.

Getting there is half the fun

Covering college sports in Kansas City means knowing all of the gas stations, convenience stores and fast food joints between Columbia and Manhattan, Kan. Star sportswriters have made the treks along Interstate 70 countless times, and it can be drudgery.

But it can also provide a memorable moment. One night after covering at game at Kansas State, Kreisler took a detour and was glad he did.

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