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‘Saps’ Remembered

Today’s page of tributes for the late, great Bill Millsaps

Today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch has a fine page of tributes from some who worked for the late, great Bill Millsaps, the legendary sports editor who became managing editor, then executive editor. He died late Friday at 77.

Here’s mine (you can see the whole page below):

Some in the news department looked down on sports writers, confiding condescendingly that they worked in “the toy department.” Saps dissuaded the bigots. For one thing, the guy could write. Sheesh, could he write. Beautiful, straightforward, non-pretentious prose that told the story precisely and artfully. But he would prove at least as valuable as a news advocate when he was promoted to the top editor jobs. Nobody cared more for getting the story, and getting the story right, than he did. Nobody cared more for the First Amendment and for journalism — and for journalists, whether it was someone breaking an award-winning investigative story or just hanging around a lonely school board meeting late at night to file a report.

I always wished Saps had written a book. I told him so several times. He always begged off, saying he was not remotely interested. Too bad. It would have been fantastic. Even a collection of his columns would be. {That’s a hint, Times-Dispatch.)

―Ray McAllister, author, book publisher, former RTD columnist

Ray McAllister, former columnist of The Richmond Times-Dispatch and former editor of Boomer Magazine, is the award-winning author of six books, including four on North Carolina’s islands. Through Beach Glass Books, he is also the publisher of nine books by other authors.