Writing Samples

As a general assignment reporter for The Press of Atlantic City, I've gotten to write about some great people and wonderful moments. Here are some articles from The Press:


Former Flyers goalie Leighton in limbo as he waits for another shot in the NHL (Jan. 29, 2012)

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - Factory smoke billows in the distance. Hardly any traffic lights direct cars - just a tiny circle in the middle of town with roads leading in several directions. 

This is the where former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton plays, hoping one of those roads will lead back to the NHL. 

Leighton, 30, has spent the entire season with the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate. It's not uncommon to have older players in the minor-league AHL, a step below the NHL.

But it's somewhat rare to have a player such as Leighton - an instrumental part of the Flyers' 2010 Stanley Cup Finals run - stuck in small-town purgatory. 

Glens Falls' population of 14,700 is 4,800 less than the average number of people that packed the Wells Fargo Center to watch him play with the Flyers two years ago. 

"I can hang my head and pack it in and struggle for a job next year," Leighton said last week. "Or I can work hard and be a good guy in the locker room and help the young guys develop. Hopefully, someone will see that aspect and I will have a job next year."  (Read more)


Mike Trout gets call up to major leagues (July 9, 2011)


When Debbie Trout's phone rang at 2 a.m. Friday, she worried as any mother would.

Her son, Mike, was calling. His tone was different than normal.

Was he OK? Did something happen to his girlfriend who was visiting him in Arkansas?

"I got the call," Mike Trout told his mother.

"What call?" she asked.

"I got the call, Mom," Trout repeated. "I got the call to the majors!"

Initially, Debbie didn't know how to react to the news that her 19-year-old son received a promotion to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

So she yelled. ... (Read article)


Stone Harbor fan witnesses history twice (Oct. 9, 2010)


John Atwood didn't move from his seat until the ninth innings Wednesday night. That's when he stood with the rest of the crowd of 46,411 at Citizens Bank Park, with Roy Halladay three outs away from a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of their National League Division Series.

One batter down.

Atwood, 64, looked around him. People stared at Halladay, then the scoreboard and then back to the mound. Atwood's family, sitting alongside him in Section 427, didn't speak. No one wanted to say anything that would jinx history.

Two batters down.

That's when the memories flashed back to Atwood. ... (Read article)



Giving on and off the field/Cape grad, Villanova star donates marrow for girl (May 7, 2010)


VILLANOVA, Penn. - Matt Szczur did what most freshman football players do when they first get to Villanova University -- he registered to become a bone marrow donor.

He didn't think much of it at the time and never expected the phone call he received last fall when he was told someone needed his help. But on Tuesday, he sat in a chair at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia with needles in both arms donating his peripheral blood cells to a little girl.

"I wasn't even sure what the donor program was," Szczur said during a news conference Thursday on campus. "I was just going through the motions and getting my cheeks swabbed.

The 2007 Lower Cape May Regional High School graduate learned he was a match for a 19-month-old girl with leukemia in November. He doesn't know anything more about her because of the National Marrow Donor Program's confidentiality clauses. ... (Read article)


New York Yankees home more than just a stadium to some fans (Sept. 21, 2008)


48 hours to go.

The tears have already started.

It's the last Friday night game at Yankee Stadium, a night that has become a staple for the regulars through the years.

Most "Bleacher Creatures" were there Friday, including those who thought it would be too difficult to show up today for the final game in The Cathedral.

"I've been crying the whole weekend," said Tina Lewis, 46, better known in the bleachers as The Queen. "It's been 30 seasons. I practically grew up there. It's like losing your home."

The Section 39 Bleacher Creatures became famous for more than their raucous behavior. It wasn't for the battery-throwing incidents or the profanities directed at opposing players.

The Creatures started the roll call, when each Yankee starter is called by the crowd in right field, until the players wave back. It's a unique relationship between players and fans, but it's not why anyone started sitting in the bleachers.

It just made it better. ... (Read article) As a contributing editor for Beckett Media, I've gotten to write about people I grew up admiring around the hobby whether that was an athlete or a dealer or a collector. Beckett Media has allowed me to write about a hobby I have loved over the years. I get to meet great people and talk about collecting baseball cards.

Here are some of the articles that have appeared on Beckett's magazine and website.

DON WEST RETURNS TO HIS ROOTS, SELLING MEMORABILIA 
(SOURCE: Beckett Sports Card Monthly, January 2011)

No matter the arena. No matter who is wrestling. Don West undoubtedly hears someone yell out one of his catchphrases.

“Gem Mint 10”

“The phones are locked up!”

Even though he works for TNA Wrestling hosting shows on the company‘s websites, West is known for the 10 years he spent selling trading cards and memorabilia late at night on the Shop at Home network with his aggressive style and gravelly voice.

West, 47, is getting back to his roots. As the face and voice of WildWestDeals.com, West is selling sports cards and collectibles once again.

“You don‘t know how much you miss something until you dabble in it again,” West said from his home in Nashville, Tenn. “I‘m glad to be doing sports card again. I love it. It‘s what I collect.” ... (Read more)

WOMEN ARE CARD COLLECTORS TOO
(SOURCE: Beckett Sports Card Monthly)

Walking on the floor of a card show is an interesting experience. There aren’t usually hawkers trying to get me to look at their wares. Rather they look behind me in hopes to find the child who dragged me to the show.

For the record: there are never children with me at card show and I didn’t go there kicking and screaming. 

I’m a card collector. And, I’m a woman.

The surprise from many vendors can be laughable at times. When they finally realize I’m a customer with cash to spend, they’ll do whatever it takes. There is no discrimination now even though some can hardly believe a woman collects cards.

Then, they pull out their greatest collection of WNBA cards.

That’s when I usually walk away.

While collectors are overwhelmingly male, there are still many female collectors out there, which shouldn’t come as surprising as many people seem to be. ... (Read more)