A Trailblazing Sports Reporter: Mary Garber and the Association For Women in Sports Media Pioneer Award
Editor's Note: Melissa Ludke, a former colleague of this editor's (who will be remembered each time I see a woman reporter in a men's locker room), is second from the right in this photo of Association For Women in Sports Media Pioneer Award. The Mary Garber Pioneer Award annually recognizes those who have paved the way and serve as role models for women in sports media. Melissa is also recently known for her work, Touching Home in China; In Search of Missing Girlhoods
Melissa LUDTKE and Time, Inc., Plaintiffs, v. Bowie KUHN, Commissioner of Baseball, Leland MacPhail, President of the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the New York Yankees Partnership, The Mayor of the City of New York, The Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the City of New York, and the Director of the Economic Development Administration of the City of New York, Defendants. http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/461/86/2266331/
About Mary Garber
Mary Garber began her trailblazing sports journalism career in 1944, when the sports editor of the Winston-Salem Journal (then the Twin Cities Sentinel) joined the Navy and Garber replaced him.
"Not because I had any ability in sports," Garber once told the Women's Sports Foundation, "but because it was the war, and every man was in the armed forces."
What the woman who grew up playing baseball and football might have lacked in ability, she made up for in determination. Even though she was banned from locker rooms and forced to sit with the players’ wives instead of in the press box, Garber lobbied to continue covering sports after World War II ended.
She first gained access to a locker room at the ACC basketball tournament in 1974, 30 years after her sportswriting career began. She retired from the Winston-Salem Journal in 1986 but continued to work there part-time until 2002.
Garber credited much of her success to covering stories that others wouldn’t. During the 1950s and ’60s, for example, when North Carolina schools still were segregated, Garber covered black high schools and colleges.
Garber served as president of the Football Writers Association of America and the Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Association, groups that initially denied her entry. In 2005, she became the first woman to win the Red Smith Award, the Associated Press Sports Editors’ highest honor, given to someone who has made major contributions to sports journalism.
Past Mary Garber Pioneer Award recipients include:
1999: Lesley Visser
2000: Claire Smith
2001: Michele Himmelberg
2002: Tracy Dodds
2003: Melissa Ludtke
2004: Christine Brennan
2005: Cathy Henkel
2006: Kristin Huckshorn
2007: Julie Ward
2008: Mary Schmitt Boyer
2009: Linda Robertson
2010: Julie Cart
2011: Rosa Gatti
2012: Sandy Rosenbush
2013: Lisa Olson
2015: Robin Herman
2016: Terry Taylor
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