May 15, 1934|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
January 9, 2014
Largo, Florida, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Irma S. Conlin (1960–2009; her death)|
William T. Conlin, Jr. (May 15, 1934 – January 9, 2014) was an American sportswriter. He was a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News for 46 years. Prior to that, Conlin worked at the Philadelphia Bulletin. He was a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Conlin received the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 2011.
- Biography 1
- Sportswriting 2
- Controversies 3
- Allegations of child molestation 4
- Death 5
- Bibliography 6
- References 7
- External links 8
Conlin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. While in school, he was a champion swimmer. He attended Peekskill Military Academy on an athletic scholarship, worked as a lifeguard in the 1950s, and was inducted into the Ocean Rowing Hall of Fame in 1983.
Conlin was a 1961 graduate of Temple University, where he was an editor-in-chief for The Temple University News. Before being hired by the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in June 1960, he received the Sword Award for service to Temple University. After five years at the Evening Bulletin, he joined the Philadelphia Daily News in 1965. He appeared on more than 300 editions of ESPN's The Sports Reporters, a Sunday morning show of debate among American newspaper columnists. In 2009, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
Conlin's sportswriting has been praised for its wit and intelligence. Fellow columnist Mitch Albom wrote, "For years, sitting next to him on The Sports Reporters, all I got from Bill Conlin was the spit of his opinions in my ear. His writing is far less messy. It's also brash, charming, intelligent, historical, and at times almost elegant."
Conlin drew criticism for failing to include pitcher Nolan Ryan on his Hall of Fame ballot. Conlin explained in a follow-up column that he was attempting to make an ill-advised point supporting pitcher Don Sutton, who had the same number of victories as Ryan.
In November 2007, Conlin drew the ire of bloggers after quipping in an email that "the only positive thing I can think of about Hitler's time on earth: I'm sure he would have eliminated all bloggers."
Allegations of child molestation
On December 20, 2011, Conlin resigned from his sportswriting position just hours prior to the publication of allegations of child molestation. One of Conlin's accusers was his niece, Kelley Blanchet, a prosecutor in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The claims of abuse were first reported to the police in 2009 when Blanchet said she became concerned for the safety of Conlin's other young relatives. Three more people later claimed they had been abused by Conlin.
The Baseball Writers Association secretary/treasurer Jack O’Connell issued a "member in good standing" statement on December 20. It said in part, "The allegations have no bearing on [Conlin's] winning the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which was in recognition of his notable career as a baseball writer”.
The day before the story broke,
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award