2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Sheldon Ocker
“And then after a year I got a call from Beacon Journal and covered the Cleveland Cavaliers for 10 years. Then our paper was looking for a baseball writer and they asked me to do it and I said yes. I’ve always really liked baseball. And I was never that good of a baseball player, but I liked the mental part, the strategy of the game. Just hitting a baseball was something that was such a different skill that you didn’t have in other sports. I liked the idea of that.”
Ocker was renowned for his work ethic, rarely missing a game whether it was during the regular season, postseason or Spring Training.
And during his tenure covering the Indians, Ocker had to report on some of the best and worst squads in franchise history.
“There was a seven-year period (1985-91) where they lost 100 games three times,” Ocker said. “I was use to writing a lot of bad team stories. That was kind of my specialty until about 1994.
“But you meet some really great people. And despite what the popular feeling is about players being arrogant, most of them are really good people. It’s rewarding just to get to know all these people.”