SBD/April 29, 2014/Media

Highly Acclaimed Writer Gary Smith Retiring From SI After More Than 30 Years

Smith accumulated a record four National Magazine Awards
Longtime SI writer Gary Smith, regarded as the "most revered sportswriter in America," is retiring from magazine writing, according to S.L. Price of Smith is the "most decorated magazine writer, ever," with a record 13 stories selected for "The Best American Sports Writing" compellations. He also accumulated a record "four National Magazine Awards." Price wrote, "All too often the man was competing only with himself" (, 4/28). MEDIA BISTRO's Chris O'Shea wrote Smith, who has been at SI since '83, is "highly regarded as one of the best magazine writers in the nation." He would write four "longform articles a year for SI, and they were all must reads" (, 4/28). Smith's announcement drew plenty of reflections and memories from the Twittersphere. Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde wrote Smith "set the longform bar for a generation of sports writers." Columnist Tommy Tomlinson wrote Smith "showed so many of us what sportswriting could be." Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman: "Most talented sportswriter of his generation. No one else is even close." SI's Lindsay Schnell: "Have long referred to him as 'my version of Michael Jordan,' because he set the standard." The Washington Post's Mike Wise: "Someone complained to me once that Gary Smith tried to make every story the greatest story ever. My reply: 'He very nearly did.'"'s Ken Rosenthal: "Don’t know that I’ve ever heard a writer say, 'I want to be the next Gary Smith.' There is only one, man. Only one." CBS News' Armen Keteyian wrote, "Outside of incomparable Frank Deford nobody probed the human psyche better than Gary Smith. On Mt. Rushmore of SI greats. ... 34 years ago Gary Smith uttered a phrase in my home I never forgot: most people write about the leaves. I write about the roots." ACC Digital Network Exec Producer Andy Siegel: "Love how much admiration those in the industry have for the retiring Gary Smith." SI's Richard Deitsch: "Gary Smith is trending on Twitter. That's pretty awesome."

MAX IS MAD: Tigers P Max Scherzer is featured on the cover of the current issue of SI, and while he called it a "very special moment," he said he is "frustrated that they chose to put the contract stuff on the cover." The headline on the magazine is "Mad Max's $144 Million Bet," and the story inside talks about how Scherzer turned down a contract extension from the Tigers during Spring Training. He said, "They assured us it wasn't going to be like that. They chose a different route, and we felt like we were lied to and misled." SI Assistant Managing Editor Stephen Cannella said that he "knew of Scherzer's feeling but no promises were made" (, 4/28).
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