Lorain County Community College announces the availability of The Hal Lebovitz Memorial Scholarship. The Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving student attending Lorain County Community College and pursuing an educational program that will support a career in the writing field. The scholarship may be used for tuition, fees, books and supplies.
APPLICANT AND RECIPIENT CRITERIA
- Be a high school graduate;
- Be enrolled at least half time at LCCC or the University Partnership in a program leading to a degree or certificate by the application due date;
- Pursuing an educational program at LCCC and/or its University Partnership that will lead to a career in writing (journalism, marketing, communication, etc.).
University Partnership Students: In your Universal Application, you must attach your most recent transcripts and proof of enrollment in the UP Institution for the semester of the scholarship. LCCC students’ status can be accessed by LCCC’s Student Financial Aid; therefore, they are exempt of having to show proof of enrollment and transcripts.
ABOUT HAL LEBOVITZ
Hal Lebovitz's career as a Cleveland sports journalist spanned 63 years and four generations of readers. After breaking into the business with the Cleveland News in 1942, Lebovitz worked at the afternoon paper until it went out of business in January 1960. He was the Indians beat writer through most of those years at the News and also covered the Browns.
Lebovitz was hired by The Plain Dealer the day after the News folded. He was named sports editor of The Plain Dealer in 1964 and held that job until his retirement from the paper in 1984. In addition to the ''Ask Hal, the Referee'' features running weekly in the Sporting News from 1957 to 1993, for many of those years Lebovitz was the Indians correspondent for the St. Louis-based magazine.
The same as most boys in the Glenville and west side neighborhoods where he lived, Lebovitz played pickup baseball, football and basketball. Looking back on his younger days, Lebovitz spoke fondly of summer afternoons spent watching the Indians at League Park on Lexington Avenue. He admired the way Hall of Famer Tris Speaker and Charlie Jamieson patrolled the outfield for the Indians. From his usual perch in the left-field bleachers, Lebovitz also watched Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the Yankees, Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers and other of the game's greats from the 1920s and '30s in action. By the time he was in Glenville High School, Lebovitz was accumulating money for college tuition by working as a vendor at League Park.
On one particularly memorable afternoon when the Yankees were in town, Lebovitz recalled that Ruth was out of the lineup and sitting in the seats behind home plate. Lebovitz was an outstanding student at Glenville High School while playing on the varsity football, baseball and basketball teams.
After graduating from Glenville in 1934, he enrolled at Western Reserve University. A chemistry major, the 6-foot-3 Lebovitz was the starting center on talented WRU teams coached by Roy Clifford. Back then, Lebovitz and his WRU teammates played Stanford, Michigan State and other big-name opponents.
Tellingly, the busy student and athlete somehow found time to serve as sports editor of the WRU newspaper, the Reserve Tribune.
In the summer of 1938, the nation was still in the grips of the Great Depression when the newly married Lebovitz landed a job at Euclid Central High School. For a weekly salary of $25, Lebovitz taught chemistry and math, supervised home room and study hall, served as an academic counselor and helped coach the basketball, football and baseball teams.
To supplement that modest income and to stay active in sports, Lebovitz umpired sandlot baseball games. He also officiated baseball and basketball games for junior high schools, high schools and colleges. In 1938, while coaching baseball at Euclid Central, Lebovitz started collecting box scores from the 25 schools in the Metropolitan Interscholastic Baseball League.
He struck a deal with the sports editor of the Cleveland Press to run the batting averages and pitching statistics that he compiled from those box scores. The Press also agreed to purchase trophies for the winning teams and individual statistical leaders. Four years later, the News offered Lebovitz $15 a week to write a thrice-weekly notes package about local highschool sports. By 1944, the pay was raised to $25 and Lebovitz got his first byline.
Lebovitz came to a fork in the road in 1946, when the News offered him a full-time job as science writer for $75 a week. As much as he loved teaching, Lebovitz couldn't pass up the money and the opportunity to have a career in journalism.
News Sports Editor Herman Goldstein loved the fact that Lebovitz was a go-getter and made sure the newcomer stayed in his department instead of getting moved to the science beat. For the rest of his life, the Cleveland sports scene was Lebovitz's domain. Lebovitz covered the Indians until 1964, when he succeeded Gordon Cobbledick as sports editor.
It never occurred to Lebovitz to slow down or rest on his laurels when he left The Plain Dealer. He immediately started working for The Morning Journal and The News-Herald. His Sunday column, full of news, views and insights, was immensely popular with readers of this newspaper. It also was a can't-miss proposition for many of the leading figures in Cleveland sports who paid little or no heed to other sports columnists.
To gather material for the Sunday column, Lebovitz would go to games and practices whenever possible during the week. Then, on Friday morning, he'd get on the phone and touch base with a roster of contacts that was the envy of every sports reporter in town. Lebovitz is a member of halls of fame administered by Cleveland Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi, Case Western Reserve University, Glenville High School, Euclid High School and Sports Media Association of Cleveland and Ohio.
He was a 1999 inductee into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame along with former Browns offensive lineman Gene Hickerson, former Indians slugger Andre Thornton, college and pro football great John Hicks, figure skater Tonia Kwiatkowski, boxer Jackie Keough, auto racing impresario Roger Penske and Cleveland sandlot baseball legend Nobby Lewandowski. Lebovitz's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2000 was an especially important milestone in a career full of them.
A devoted husband and father who enjoyed going to movies and plays, Lebovitz jogged or exercised daily well into his 80s. He loved life and meant every word of his customary column sign-off, ''Stay well and see you somewhere, I hope.''