Every sport has its exceptional writers, ones you can’t wait to read, ones who tell stories so eloquently that they stay with you long after you read them.
Bob Verdi has long been one of those writers. On Thursday, he was recognized for his great work.
Verdi will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism. Verdi, who worked for the Chicago Tribune from 1967-97, first as a beat writer and later as a columnist was named Sportswriter of the Year for Illinois 19 times. He was named the Blackhawks’ team historian in 2010.
“This is great honor and I am very thankful to Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for the opportunity to continue writing about hockey for an institution like the Blackhawks,” Verdi said in a statement. “John brought me out of moth balls — I mean golf balls — to cover a sport that was my first beat. I was spoiled by hockey people because when I went to cover other sports, I saw how unique hockey people were in the respect they showed for the game. Winning this award is a bonus for me as I have been very fortunate in my career.”
Sam Rosen, play-by-play announcer for the New York Rangers, will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster. Verdi and Rosen will be honored at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s media awards luncheon on Nov. 14.
Verdi is also known for his golf writing — he wrote for Golf Digest and Golf World during his career. In 2004 he received the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.