Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.

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You’re going to be reading Hal McCoy writing baseball this weekend, but with a different twist. The “Famer” goes south…with the UD Flyers!

For the first time in 43 years Hal McCoy is sitting home in Dayton for the start of Reds spring training.

Why? Well, as a friend of mine is want to say, “Circumstances.” And change. One door closes.  Another opens.

“It’s the first time in 43 years that I haven’t written the Reds in spring training,” said Hal on Friday. “Be a little different. Be nice to be in Arizona for the change of weather, but it’s a long time away from home. I’ve done it for 43 years and frankly, Nadine would rather have me at home. So, I don’t think I’ll miss it that much.”

That, however, doesn’t mean that the 2003 Cooperstown inductee won’t be writing baseball. McCoy will travel with our Press Pros team south to Spartanburg, South Carolina to cover the Dayton Flyers’ opening series this weekend against Stoney Brook, South Carolina (Upper), and the University of Kentucky. Stoney Brook appeared in the NCAA College World Series just two years ago, and Kentucky is enjoying an baseball upsurge in the Southeastern Conference.

McCoy is optimistic about the change in his spring schedule, and explains fully the financial facts to long-time readers who might miss his daily reports from the desert on Reds baseball.

“When I was a regular beat writer I would go every year for the full six weeks with all expenses paid by the Dayton Daily News. When the DDN quit traveling with the Reds and covering them on a daily basis I retired. I hooked up with Fox Sports, in combination with the News, and the paper paid me 1/3 of my salary to write blogs and my Sunday ‘Ask Hal’ feature. Fox and DDN would go together and pay for me to be in Arizona for three weeks of spring training, from ’09 through last year.

“Well midway through last season Fox pulled the plug on all their regional writers, so I’m not working for them anymore. And the Daily News was not going to pay my expenses this spring so I’m not going to spring training.”

That said, McCoy will continue to go to Reds games throughout the season for Press Pros, while continuing to submit blogs and his Sunday feature for the paper.

Unitedbuildingsupply_embedBut another door DOES open, availing for the first him an entirely different, and appreciative, audience to one of America’s most popular baseball writers. Baseball is an enormously popular feature on this website and Press Pros will offer weekly coverage of the Dayton Flyers and Atlantic 10 Conference baseball.  McCoy will contribute regularly to that content.

In addition, he’ll cover other premium area baseball, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament on June 2, 3, and 4 in Columbus. And to the delight of nearly 40,000 daily readers…he’ll continue to write Dayton Flyers basketball.

“Number one, I love to write, I don’t care what it’s about. I just like to sit down and write. I’ve done Flyers basketball on Press Pros now for three years and that’s been a delight,” says Hal.

“And as far writing college baseball…well, baseball is baseball. It’s the same game, only not as many people, the kids aren’t paid millions of dollars, but the game is the same. To be able to write about baseball, regardless of the level, I’m just delighted. I’m looking forward to it and meeting the people.”

The irony is…with the subdued prospects of Reds baseball in the forseeable future, there might actually be a more enthusiastic audience for his new “beat” as compared to contributing daily to what might well be the sad, tired story at Great American Ballpark by the onset of June.

Hal_inset0120“That could well be,” he agrees. “The prospects for the Reds aren’t very good and there’s a possibility of them losing a hundred games for the next three or four years. Even though I still love to write it, and love the personalities around the ballpark, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun to share what they went through last year. Now I’ll be writing about some new personalities that people don’t know. It’s going to be different, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”

The new chapter of Hal McCoy’s career begins this weekend, and the art and details of the Flyers baseball will be available on Press Pros, the likes of which they’ve never previously enjoyed.

Hall of fame coverage…from “the real McCoy”!

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