Life lesson from baseball’s Tex Simone

By · Saturday, March 7th, 2015

It has taken the passing of a local sports legend and icon of the Syracuse, New York, baseball scene to revive our Think Like an Editor blog, which has been on sabbatical for what was supposed to be a semester — but extended into another half a semester.

Anthony “Tex” Simone — former chief operating officer/ executive vice-president of the Chiefs — died at the age of 86 on Friday, March 6, 2015.

What does Tex Simone have to do with journalism? Actually, plenty.

Here’s the background: For 50 years, Tex Simone’s daughter, Wendy, has been my dear and close friend. My first memory of Wendy is when she and I were walking into school at Our Lady of Pompei, wearing identical spring coats. We were 7 years old. Girls wore spring coats in those days. As I recall, Syracuse actually had spring weather, too.

Any current student or former student in any of my news writing courses at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications would not know this connection. That’s because I have never shared it. Why?

It’s because the Chiefs and Syracuse baseball are always a topic of interest to journalism students, especially those who want to cover sports. Any time students would be given an assignment to write a profile or to pitch an enterprise story, the Chiefs would be top of mind with them. Not once did I mention my connection. Not once did I offer to make a call. Not once did I do anything to help them get the story — except to encourage them to get it.

Our “reporter-editor” conversations sometimes included general statements from students, such as:

Usually, I would counter with: Did you go there?

I can say this with certainty:

It is with sadness that I share these memories, knowing that my friend and her family are grieving. But I also carry with me life lessons from that family, starting with Tex Simone. This blog is all about sharing. Now, you know, too.

Emilie Davis

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