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 John George Taylor Spink

John George Taylor Spink

Birth
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 7 Dec 1962 (aged 74)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Plot Spink Family Masoleum, Block 329, Lot 5374
Memorial ID 9390 · View Source
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Baseball publicist. Born in St. Louis, he was the son of Charles Spink. Two years before his son’s birth, Charles had abandoned a homesteading venture to assist his brother Alfred in founding Sporting News, a St. Louis-based weekly journal of sporting and theatrical news. Alfred soon left Charles in control of the struggling publication. By concentrating on baseball news, Sporting News soon became a leading baseball weekly. Taylor spent his early years training to succeed his father as publisher. Since both parents worked on Sporting News, his interest was encouraged and he was permitted to leave high school in the tenth grade to further his apprenticeship. He served stints as office boy, copy boy, writer and assistant editor. Taylor attained a responsible position with Sporting News in 1912 at a time when circulation had fallen to 12,000 a week. Blaming his father’s ill-advised support of the interloping Federal League for alienating major league officials, he tried to change that policy. When his father died in 1914, he assumed the editorship. Reversing his father’s policy, Taylor ingratiated himself with the baseball establishment by opposing the Federal League “invaders.” Sporting News circulation improved and for the next two years he enjoyed a monopoly of baseball news. The outbreak of World War I posed a threat to the newspaper, but the American League president, a family friend, rewarded Taylor’s loyalty by buying 150,000 copies each week for distribution to servicemen. After the war, baseball and Sporting News prospered. By working seven days a week, he made it “the Bible of baseball.” When World War II brought another circulation crisis, the baseball establishment again subsidized Sporting News by distributing 400,000 copies weekly to servicemen. But the postwar rise of rival sports and leisure publications threatened the life of a journal devoted wholly to baseball. Spink adapted by converting Sporting News into a lively tabloid and extending its coverage to other professional sports. After Spink’s death, his son became the publisher, but lack of an heir prompted him to sell Sporting News to the Times Mirror Company in 1977.

Bio by: Connie Nisinger


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 20 May 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9390
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John George Taylor Spink (6 Nov 1888–7 Dec 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9390, citing Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .