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'Dear God . . . Here's Mud in Your Eye' --JOSEPH W. PITCHFORD, Bermuda Dunes

September 21, 1996

I learned to enjoy Allan Malamud's column 22 years ago at the breakfast table with my father. . . .

I eagerly read his column as an adult. . . .

I learned Allan always reserved his final "Note on a Scorecard" for heartfelt obituaries when friends and colleagues passed away. . . .

I appreciated his gracious comments when my father passed away in December 1991. . . .

I wonder how Allan would write his own goodbye. . . .

"Sportswriting lost a passionate and genuine professional this week. His viewpoint was always insightful. His comments always above the belt. His column always the first read in the morning."


Son of Joe Scibelli

Los Angeles Rams, 1961-1975


When I went to USC journalism school they scolded me to break my habit of turning to the sports section first. I would learn to read the "real news" first, they said. Well, I confess: I still turn to sports first, and, rest his soul, the first story I would read every morning was Allan Malamud's column. I don't know when this habit started, but I am so sad it has to end. As one of his loyal, faceless readers, I will never forget this man I never met.


Beverly Hills


A few years ago, when that year's Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees were announced, Allan Malamud's comments were something like " . . . were good choices. But [he named his own choice whom I cannot remember] would have also been a good choice."

I faxed him my choice (USC's Amby Schindler) and said that he would have also been a good choice. Allan called my answering machine and said: "Amby would be deserving too, but they have a tough job and are doing very well."

So hesitant to criticize. He could use the word but so cleverly. He could criticize and make you feel good about it--a trait that, in current times, too many writers are sadly in need of.

To know what is going on, everywhere, and put it into such simple form, day after day, was the rare gift Malamud had. The morning Times will indeed now seem very empty.




I never read the Herald Examiner, so I didn't come to know "Mud" until 1989. That first morning I read his column I remember thinking: "This is sportswriting? For crying out loud, I could do this."

It wasn't until weeks later that I noticed I was routinely turning to his column first thing every morning. He was so easy and entertaining to read. A year later I found myself copying that same style of using sports vignettes when I began to write the newsletter for the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles.

Recently I saw the movie "Tin Cup." At the very end when Mud came on screen I nudged my wife and said loudly enough for those around me to hear, "Honey, that's Allan Malamud." I don't know how many others recognized him, but I wanted everyone to know that I did. She didn't know who he was then, but when I woke her this morning with news of his death, she remembered him. That's all any of us can do now.


Santa Monica


I always complained whenever Allan Malamud went on vacation and "Notes on a Scorecard" was not in the paper: "Dammit! I should call those guys and tell them that Allan Malamud can't go on vacation! I need my column!"


Los Angeles


In 1956-58, I was a member (along with Allan) of the L.A. Examiner's Scholastic Sports Assn. (SSA), an organization of 20 or so young fellows who were sports editors and writers of their high school newspapers. We met every Monday night at the Examiner offices to learn sportswriting under the tutelage of crusty Ralph Alexander of the Examiner. On Friday nights, we would take phone calls from field correspondents for high school football or basketball games to write short stories for the Examiner sports page.

We had quite a group of exceptional 14- to 17-year-olds, including Allan Malamud; Mitch Chortkoff, who became a noted sportswriter; Vic Holchak, who went on to report for ABC radio sports; Stan Sanders, the baby among us, who has become a leader in the L.A. community; Jeff Breslaw, founder of Penguin's Frozen Yogurt, and me, Dave Tsoneff, former president of Thomas Bros. Maps and senior vice president of the Walt Disney Co.

One thing we all knew--Malamud was the star among us, the guy who really loved sports more than anything in life and who knew how to express that love with the written word. Mud as a 15- and 16-year-old already seemed to the rest of us to be an adult--a Damon Runyan character come to life.

Boy, was he special. He will be sorely missed.


Huntington Beach


Angelenos, notably old-timers with memories about big games and sports people, mourn the loss of Allan Malamud. He was that rare columnist whose bits and pieces made the roar of the crowd and smell of a jersey alive for us all.

I found Bill Plaschke's remembrance--that the beauty of Malamud's column was that he wrote it by listening, then jotting in a tiny wrinkled notebook--insightful. The late Red Smith had the same disciplined memory.


Los Angeles


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