Written by Chris Boyle Saturday, 21 September 2013 00:00
Legendary sports journalist Hal Bock held a book signing at the East Williston Library on Tuesday, Sept. 10, celebrating the release of his ode to a special cartoonist who spent decades making poignant observations and poking good-natured fun at the great American pastime: baseball.
His newest tome, entitled Willard Mulling’s Golden Age of Baseball Drawings 1934-1972, is an ode to a great sports cartoonist and co-worker from his days at the World Telegram and the Sun.
An East Williston resident for 37 years, Bock seemingly has done it all during his 40-year career writing sports at the Associated Press. He covered 30 World Series and 30 Super Bowls. He attended his first fall classic and Super Bowl II in 1968. In fact, when he finally called it quits in 2004, he did so held a record.
“When I had retired I had covered more World Series and more Super Bowls than any other AP reporter,” he said. “That record may have been broken since, but that’s my claim to fame.”
Born in New York City, Bock grew up in The Bronx and eventually attended New York University. While there, he worked part-time for the World Telegram and Sun newspaper, where he first met Willard Mulling, not knowing that, decades later, he would be writing a book about him and his work.
After graduating from NYU, Bock joined the Army for six months and then worked for the New York Rangers hockey team for two seasons. Then he embarked upon his dream job: writing sports for the Associated Press.
“Working for the Rangers was fun, but what I really wanted to do is write sports, and I knew this all of my life,” he said. “When I was 8 years old, my father took me to my first baseball game, and when I saw the press box and found out that there were people whose job it was to come and watch a baseball game every day...bingo! I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”
After retiring, Bock taught journalism at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus for eight years.
“I really enjoyed talking to the kids and helping them to learn about sports journalism,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, but after a while the drive got to be too much.”
Over the course of his career, Bock has penned 13 books; the one he’s most proud of is The Pictorial History of Baseball, published in 1993. The new book is a chance to bring old-school visual storytelling to the Instagram generation.
“I can’t say I really knew [Mulling] personally, because at the time I was 17 years old, but I admired him and I watched him work...he had a new comic in the paper every day, and I always read it,” he said. “He died in 1978, and I thought it would be great if someone would put together a book of his cartoons and bring it to a new generation.”
Richard Pinsker and his wife Enid—an East Williston couple, who “live and breathe baseball,”—share that dream. “I remember reading the Daily News as a kid, and those cartoons were so great...they made a parody of everything and brought humor to a serious sport,” said Richard. “There’s a feeling of the cartoons back then that you just don’t get out of the text of the history of that time. Nothing represents sports like a great cartoon.”
Bock originally proposed the book to celebrate Mulling’s 100th birthday, which would have been in 2003; however, due to the long, bumpy road of assembling the cartoons, getting a publisher, and other sundry tasks, it is now celebrating Mulling’s 110th birthday instead.
At the library, Bock gave a lecture on the life and career of Willard Mulling, followed by a Q&A session and a signing of the book.
In speaking about his life and times as a sports writer, Bock’s remembrances brought a constant smile to his face; he said there isn’t a single thing he would change.
“I have led a charmed life,” he said. “I’ve been able to report on sporting events all over the world...it’s been a great adventure, and I’ve loved every moment of it.”
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00
The Water Authority of Western Nassau County opened its new 16,000 square-foot headquarters on Monday, Dec. 2 on Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park. They previously operated on South Tyson Avenue in Floral Park since 1996.
“As people walk by, even during construction, [the building] was so well-received,” Water Authority Superintendent Michael Tierney said. “It’s a modern-type building and designed to look like a water storage tank.”
While Western Nassau’s new facility is ready, Tierney stated there is still work to be done before moving in. The majority of the project was funded by a 2010 bond issuance by the water authority. It helped build the central garage and main
headquarters at the site.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
New Hyde Park residents gathered Saturday, Dec. 7 to kick off the holiday season when The Village of New Hyde Park hosted their yearly Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Village Hall.
The auditorium at the Marcus Christ Community Center, decorated for this holiday season, filled up quickly as families and local residents came to enjoy the Christmas festivities. Mayor Robert A. Lofaro, who’s been on the board for the last 15 years, welcomed guests.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano presented citations to honorees at the recent Milan Senior Program.
The mission of the Milan Senior Program is to offer educational and recreational activities, to promote personal growth and socialization, to foster feelings of achievement, companionship, and well-being
that would enhance the quality of life for people 60 years of age and older. For more information on the Milan Senior Program visit http://www.herricksindous.org/Milan
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
More than 300 friends and family attended the “Pig Roast” benefit for Dave Kelnhofer, a local New Hyde Park Volunteer and former FDNY fireman at Spanky’s Bar & Grill in New Hyde Park recently. Kelnhofer contracted a rare cancer, (Amyloidosis) while working at ground zero after 9/11. His wife Fran could not believe how many people turned out for her husbands fund raiser, saying “it is incredible what New Hyde park does to help someone who is in need.”