Minkoff, Randy 1949-
Minkoff, Randy 1949-
Born May 14, 1949, in St. Louis, MO; married Sue Castorino (a communications consultant), October 29, 1983. Education: Drake University, B.A., 1971.
Office—WGN-Radio, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Agent—Shari Lesser Wenk, 857 W. Belden, Chicago, IL 60614.
Sportscaster and writer. United Press International, news editor and state bureau chief in Des Moines, IA, 1970-75, state bureau chief in Frankfort, KY, 1975-78, Midwest sports editor in Chicago, IL, 1978-88; WGN-AM Radio, Chicago, sportscaster and host of Sports Central, 1988—.
(With Ron Santo) Ron Santo: For Love of Ivy, Bonus Books (Los Angeles, CA), 1993.
Author of weekly columns, syndicated by United Press International (UPI), 1978-88, and in the Daily Herald. Regular contributor to Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and Crain's Chicago Business.
Randy Minkoff is the sports anchor for a Chicago, Illinois, radio station as well as a frequent contributor to numerous Chicago newspapers. He has a long background in news journalism that has afforded him a unique perspective as a sportscaster. Minkoff once told CA: "I began writing as a freshman at Drake University. In my sophomore year, Drake went to basketball's Final Four, and I was allowed to cover the team all the way. It led to part-time employment with United Press International (UPI). The rapid-fire reporting at UPI helped sharpen my skills as a journalist who would be required to cover the president one day, write hog markets the next, cover a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball game the next day, and wind up the week rewriting weather forecasts.
"Sports was only a part-time requirement in the early 1970s at UPI in Des Moines; the major challenge was covering the Iowa Legislature and Supreme Court. It helped to have some background in political science and the law. In 1975 I was dispatched to be the state editor in Kentucky. Again, covering sports was on a ‘need’ basis only. I tried to work in sports whenever time would permit, and that was rarely.
"By 1978 I was tabbed as Midwest sports editor, a job I held for ten years. The versatility of my background enabled me to cover all the major sporting events of the country, but baseball has always been my passion. In many ways, baseball writing is the easiest and the most difficult: easiest because there are so many different stories and personalities in the game; difficult because baseball is filled with the traps of cliche and generalization.
"My news background made me stand back from sports-writing and put it in perspective. I've been fortunate to write about sports as an observer, rather than a fan, a trend that, sadly, is in reverse in sports journalism in the 1990s."
Minkoff's journalism experience came to good use in 1993 when he cowrote a biography of Ron Santo, a third baseman for the Chicago Cubs from 1959 to 1974. Ron Santo: For Love of Ivy traces Santo's career from the age of eighteen, the year before he began playing professionally and the age at which the athlete developed type I diabetes. Santo never let the condition affect his playing and often kept it secret from other athletes and even roommates. In a review for the Diabetic Athletes Corner, a critic remarked that the book "presents a positive image for living with diabetes and participating in sports." A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that Minkoff and Santo wrote with "great fondness" for former teammates and with "modesty" of past accomplishments.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, March 22, 1993, review of Ron Santo: For Love of Ivy, p. 65.
Diabetic Athletes Corner, http://members.tripod.com/˜jman17/ (September 24, 2007), review of Ron Santo.