86 episodes

Sit down with host Todd Jones and other sportswriters who knew the greatest athletes and coaches, and experienced first-hand some of the biggest sports moments in the past 50 years. They’ll share stories behind the stories -- some they’ve only told to each other.

Press Box Access: A Sports History Podcast Evergreen Podcasts

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 58 Ratings

Sit down with host Todd Jones and other sportswriters who knew the greatest athletes and coaches, and experienced first-hand some of the biggest sports moments in the past 50 years. They’ll share stories behind the stories -- some they’ve only told to each other.

    Paul Hoynes part 2: “Those Teams Probably Saved Baseball in Cleveland.”

    Paul Hoynes part 2: “Those Teams Probably Saved Baseball in Cleveland.”

    Part 2 of my conversation with Paul Hoynes picks up with a wild story about Albert Belle and a corked bat. “Hoynsie” shares tales from the 1990s when a new ballpark, powerful lineup, and sterling run of success caused baseball fever to erupt in Cleveland. And you can hear why one of his columns in 2016 sent him into Lake Erie before another World Series run ended in a legendary Game 7.
    If you missed it, make sure to go back and listen to our part 1 episode with Hoynes, who has been covering Major League Baseball in Cleveland for more than four decades: https://evergreenpodcasts.com/press-box-access/paul-hoynes-part-1-im-sweating-bullets-shaking-trying-to-calm-myself-down#episodeContent
    Hoynes has been a Guardians/Indians beat writer since 1983 for The News-Herald (1983-84), The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com (1985 to present). His “Hey Hoynsie” column has been a longtime favorite of readers in northeast Ohio. He is past president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and The Press Club of Cleveland inducted Hoynes into the Club’s Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013. Before becoming a baseball writer 41 years ago, he covered the Browns, Cavaliers and high school sports for The Cleveland Press, News-Herald, and Painesville Telegraph. Hoynes was born and raised in Cleveland, and he earned a journalism degree from Marquette University.
    You can follow Paul on X: @hoynsie
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    • 40 min
    Paul Hoynes part 1: “I'm Sweating Bullets, Shaking, Trying to Calm Myself Down.”

    Paul Hoynes part 1: “I'm Sweating Bullets, Shaking, Trying to Calm Myself Down.”

    This is the first of a 2-part conversation with Paul Hoynes, who has covered Major League Baseball in Cleveland since 1983. We hit some of the “Hoynsie” greatest hits, including the Hawk Call and the tale of two belts. He tells us about working in hometown, competing (and laughing) on the beat with friends, and riding the rush of deadline. Hoynsie puts us in cavernous Municipal Stadium when the stands were mostly empty and the team was awful in the 1980s. Hear about advice he took from Joe Carter, scuffling with Mel Hall, and sailing the choppy waters around Albert Belle. We even work in a football story: Red Right 88. Sorry, Browns fans.
    Part 2 comes out April 24 and that episode will pick up when the Indians, now known as the Guardians, began their glorious run in the 1990s.
    Hoynes has been a Guardians/Indians beat writer since 1983 for The News-Herald (1983-84), The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com (1985 to present). His “Hey Hoynsie” column has been a longtime favorite of readers in northeast Ohio. He is past president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and The Press Club of Cleveland inducted Hoynes into the Club’s Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013. Before becoming a baseball writer 41 years ago, he covered the Browns, Cavaliers and high school sports for The Cleveland Press, News-Herald, and Painesville Telegraph. Hoynes was born and raised in Cleveland, and he earned a journalism degree from Marquette University. 
    You can follow Paul on X: @hoynsie
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    • 42 min
    Writers Bear Witness to Memorable Moments from March Madness

    Writers Bear Witness to Memorable Moments from March Madness

    Celebrate college basketball with this compilation of stories told on Press Box Access by 12 sportswriters who covered some of the greatest moments in NCAA tournament history. Magic vs. Bird. Jim Valvano looking for someone to hug after Phi Slama Jama falls. Villanova takes down mighty Georgetown. The Laettner shot. David Thompson soaring over the Walton Gang. Mario Chalmers forcing OT. Kris Jenkins for the win. The Dream Game in the Bluegrass State. Saint Joseph’s over top-ranked DePaul.
     
    Thanks to Malcolm Moran, Mark Whicker, Dick “Hoops” Weiss, Bob Ryan, Terence Moore, Jerry Tipton, Bud Withers, Tony Barnhart, Geoff Calkins, Dick Jerardi, Mike DeCourcy, and Wendell Barnhouse for their time and stories. Rock on.

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    • 52 min
    Jerry Tipton: “You could just walk into the Kentucky coach’s office.”

    Jerry Tipton: “You could just walk into the Kentucky coach’s office.”

    We welcome back Jerry Tipton to Press Box Access to share stories from his new book: “Déjà Blue—A Sportswriter Reflects on 41 Seasons of Kentucky Basketball.” He takes us behind the scenes with the Wildcats, as he did with his fair, objective and relentless reporting during four decades on the pressure-packed beat. Rick Pitino. Tubby Smith. John Calipari. Eddie Sutton. The Mardi Gras Miracle. Players who thrived in the spotlight. SEC coaches who were characters and Kentucky foils. And there’s more about the Laettner shot, which Jerry detailed in our first episode with him on Aug. 17, 2022: https://evergreenpodcasts.com/press-box-access/jerry-tipton-every-once-in-a-while-you-feel-like-youre-witnessing-history#episodeContent
    Tipton served as the Kentucky basketball beat reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1981 until his retirement in July 2022. In that time, he covered three national championship teams (’96, ’98, ’12), nine Final Four teams, six head coaches – Joe Hall, Sutton, Pitino, Smith, Billy Gillispie, Calipari – and more than 1,200 games played by the Wildcats. He also covered the university’s football team for six years before turning exclusively to basketball in 1987. A Lexington website once listed the Top 100 Most Influential People in University of Kentucky Sports History and ranked Tipton at No. 74. He has been enshrined in the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Marshall University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Hall of Fame. He was the 2018 winner of the Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award.
    Tipton also worked eight years for the Huntington (W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch from 1973-81. There, he was the beat reporter on Marshall University basketball for two seasons, covered Ohio and West Virginia high school sports, and wrote a Sunday column about bowling. The native of Hamtramck, Michigan earned a journalism degree from Marshall University after first studying math in college.
    “Déjà Blue—A Sportswriter Reflects on 41 Seasons of Kentucky Basketball,” is scheduled to be released in late April. You can order Jerry’s book online at https://www.acclaimpress.com/books/deja-blue/
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    • 56 min
    Helene Elliott: “Gretzky was like no one we had seen before.”

    Helene Elliott: “Gretzky was like no one we had seen before.”

    We’re paying a special salute to Helene Elliott by once again publishing my conversation with her in an episode from February 2022. She recently accepted a buyout and ended her stellar 34-plus years at the Los Angeles Times, where she was a sports columnist for the last half of her tenure. Elliott became the first female journalist to be honored by the Hall of Fame of a major professional sport in North America when the Hockey Hall of Fame recognized her in 2005 as winner of the esteemed Elmer Ferguson award. Helene earned widespread respect from her peers and those she covered while also helping to pave the way for other women in sports media during her 47-year career.
     
    In this episode, Elliott recounts how Wayne Gretzky set 61 NHL records and triggered a hockey boom in Southern California as an ambassador for that sport. She also has a funny tale about the Great One’s fear of flying. Elliott tells us why the Stanley Cup is the most difficult trophy to win in sports, how great players rise to the occasion like Mark Messier did for the ’94 Rangers, and what it was like to cover the “Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Olympics. And we hear how Helene overcame barriers faced by female sportswriters to become a Hall of Famer. Oh, and she has a story about Lenny and Squiggy from the old “Laverne & Shirley” TV show.
     
    Elliott began writing for Los Angeles Times in 1989. She was a beat reporter for the Lakers and Angels, then spent many years covering hockey and Olympic sports before becoming a columnist in 2006. Helene has covered 17 Olympics, the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Wimbledon, men’s and women’s World Cup soccer tournaments, and nearly every Stanley Cup Finals since 1980. She won the Best Breaking News Story award from the Associated Press Sports Editors for her story on the labor agreement that ended the NHL lockout in 2005. Her career began at the Chicago Sun-Times in 1977. She moved to New York City in 1979 and wrote for Newsday for the next 10 years before going to the West Coast. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Elliott is a 1977 graduate of the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, which inducted her into the Medill Hall of Achievement in 2020.
    Follow Elliott on Twitter: @helenenothelen


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    • 56 min
    Dave Molinari: “Lemieux Taxed the Limits of my Ability to Describe What I Saw.”

    Dave Molinari: “Lemieux Taxed the Limits of my Ability to Describe What I Saw.”

    We head to the rink for hockey talk with Dave Molinari, a Hall of Fame writer who has covered the Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL since 1983. His legendary dry, sharp wit comes through in tales about superstars Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, as well as other great players who have produced five Stanley Cup championships during his tenure on the beat. Molinari tells us about coaching legends Herb Brooks and “Badger” Bob Johnson, a playoff game lasting five overtimes, and old arenas that made the hair stand up on his neck. You’ll laugh about Gene Ubriaco’s escape tunnel, Lou Angotti’s epic rant, and witch doctors entering the press box.
    Molinari was enshrined in the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 when he received the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for print journalism, which is given each year by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. After beginning his journalism career at the McKeesport Daily News, Molinari joined the Pittsburgh Press as a copy editor in 1980. That paper assigned him to cover the Penguins and NHL in the summer of 1983. When the Pittsburgh Press folded at the end of 1992, Molinari moved to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and continued covering the Penguins and NHL until 2017, when his primary responsibility became Penn State football. He returned to hockey writing and the Penguins beat in June 2019 when, after 39-plus years at newspapers, he joined DK Pittsburgh Sports, a subscription website. Molinari began writing for a different website, Pittsburgh Hockey Now, in May 2022.
    After growing up in the McKeesport suburbs of Glassport and Elizabeth Township near Pittsburgh, Molinari earned a journalism degree from Penn State. He is the author of two books:
    “Mario Lemieux: Best There Ever Was,” written along with Ron Cook and Chuck Finder.
    “Best in the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions”

    You can follow Dave on X: @MolinariPGH
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    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

VGregorian ,

Terrific podcast

As Todd’s longtime friend and colleague, I always appreciated him as a writer, reporter and interviewer. And his zeal for the work. He brings those powers to this podcast in a wonderful way. He is so well-prepared and has such a knack for asking the right questions to get at the stories behind the stories … and the glue and camaraderie of all that makes sportswriting such a challenging and rewarding life.

Habs 86 ,

Informative and entertaining!

A glimpse into the lives of the men and trailblazing women who covered sporting events—major and minor—around North America and the world.

I only like 1 Williams sister ,

Fantastic podcast for sports journalists and fans

Discovered this gem of a podcast recently, and absolutely love it! As a former sportswriter myself it’s so terrific to hear from legends like Charlie Pierce and others talk about their famous stories and experiences. Highly recommend this!

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