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Issue Date: December 2005 Issue

In Memory

Jim Vickers

As a kid, Hal Lebovitz met Babe Ruth at League Park. He went on to spend 65 years writing about the games men play and the legends they become in the eyes of those who watch. He personally knew Satchel Paige, Ted Williams and Jim Brown. He was the referee in the pages of The Sporting News who fielded strange questions about plays that could stump seasoned officials. But maybe the most famous words he ever wrote — the sort of article people clip and save until it’s yellowed and brittle because it rings so true — was “Did You Ever Cut a Boy,” a simple plea asking high school football coaches to allow every kid who walks into their locker rooms to be a part of the team. The column has been reprinted almost annually since 1964, undoubtedly saving scores of boys from being dispatched from the practice field with tears in their eyes. “If he has it, he’ll stick it out,” Hal wrote. “He’ll be a better man for the experience and, by the time he’s a senior, he’ll surprise you. He’ll help make you a winner.” Hal passed away Oct. 18. He was 89.

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