TAYLOR, Jim (1937- )




Author Tags: Humour, Sports

Born on March 16, 1937 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Jim Taylor of West Vancouver was B.C.'s most widely-read sports columnist. Taylor began his newspaper career in 1954 as a part-time sports reporter at the Daily Colonist in Victoria and later wrote for the Vancouver Sun, the Vancouver Province and the Calgary Sun. He became a nationally syndicated sports columnist, author, and broadcaster. His 1987 chronicle of Rick Hansen's wheelchair journey, Man In Motion, reputedly had a record first printing for a B.C. book. In addition to Taylor's books on Wayne Gretzky, entitled Gretzky: The Authorized Pictorial Biography with Wayne Gretzky, and B.C. Lions' Jim Young, entitled Dirty Thirty, Taylor is credited with the re-write of a Soviet journalist's biography of Igor Larionov. In 2004, he compiled The Best of Jim Coleman: Fifty Years of Canadian Sport from the Man Who Saw it All. A member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame, Taylor was awarded a lifetime achievement award by Sports Media Canada in 2000. He began his writing career as part-time high school sports reporter, drank beer from the Stanley Cup, saw Paul Henderson score "The Goal" in 1972, predicted rookie placekicker Lui Passaglia wouldn't last with the BC Lions more than one season and wrote more than 8,000 newspaper columns. He recalls his half-century as a sports writer in Hello, Sweetheart? Gimme Rewrite!

Jim Taylor received the 2010 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award for B.C. journalism at the 24th annual Jack Webster Awards dinner on November 1st at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver.

Coincidentally, Taylor’s acknowledgement by the Jack Webster Foundation comes in the same month as the publication of his new book, fittingly entitled And to Think I Got in Free! Highlights from Fifty Years on the Sports Beat. This fascinating collection reveals why Taylor was awarded this lifetime achievement award for journalism as it boasts an impressive collection of his most entertaining and remarkable stories from his career following sporting events and personalities over five decades. Name any memorable event—from Canada-Russia 1972 to Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour—or any famous name from Wayne Gretzky to Muhammad Ali, Jim Taylor was there giving his insightful and witty take on the subject. And to Think I Got in Free! is slated to be published in mid-late September, 2010.

Even though Cam Tait was unable to speak, sit up or move his arms or legs at birth,
in Cam Tait: Disabled? Hell No! I’m a Sit-Down Comic (Harbour, 2015), co-written by Cam Tait and Jim Taylor, we read that journalist Cam Tait overcame cerebral palsy to parasail, play golf and hang out with the likes of Wayne Gretzky. He cruised alongside Rick Hanson for his Man in Motion tour and helped his grandson take his first steps. Tait benefited from a radical new type of physical therapy that required unwavering commitment by Tait, his parents and his 116-person strong group of volunteers. Eventually he learned to speak, move his hands and maneuver a wheelchair; eventually becoming a writer with a newspaperman’s inveterate sense of timing. According to publicity materials, "Tait moves seamlessly from one-liners and tales of debauched hijinks to candid accounts of his depression, career struggles and loss of loved ones.”

Jim Taylor has produced some 7,500 sports columns, 3 times as many radio shows and 15 books. He lives in Shawnigan Lake, BC.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Bob Lenarduzzi: A Canadian Soccer Story

BOOKS:

Cam Tait: Disabled? Hell No! I’m a Sit-Down Comic (Harbour, 2015) $24.95 978-1-55017-697-1 (co-written by Cam Tait and Jim Taylor)
And to Think I Got in Free! Highlights from Fifty Years on the Sports Beat (Harbour 2010). $22.95 978-1-55017-499-1
One More Time: The Dal Richards Story (Harbour 2009). With Dal Richards
Hello, Sweetheart? Gimmie Rewrite! (Harbour 2008)
Goin' Deep: The Life and Times of a CFL Quarterback (Harbour 2007). With Matt Dunigan.
The Best of Jim Coleman (editor) (Harbour Publishing, 2005)
Greg Moore, A Legacy of Spirit (co-author) (Whitecap/Inspiro, 2000)
You Mean I Get PAID to Do This? (Horsdal & Schubart, 1997)
Gretzky, the Authorized Pictorial Biography (Whitecap/Opus, 1994)
Forgive Me My Press Passes (Horsdal & Schubart, 1993)
Larionov (co-author) (Codner Books, 1990)
Rick Hansen, Man in Motion (Douglas & McIntyre, 1987)
Gretzky: From the Backyard Rink to the Stanley Cup (Avon, 1984)
The Edmonton Eskimos: Inside the Dynasty (Methuen, 1983)
Dirty 30 (Methuen, 1974)

[BCBW 2010] "Sports"

You Mean I Get Paid To Do This? (H&S $15.95)
Info



"I can't run, jump, hit, tackle, throw or catch. I was born to be a sportswriter." – Jim Taylor

No longer appearing in the pages of either The Vancouver Sun or The Province, Jim Taylor isn't taking his split with Pacific Press lightly.
"First the sport section went backwards," says Taylor, referring to The Province Go Big sports department, "then the coverage. As the English language sinks into a sea of rap, and video games foster a generation with trigger-quick reflexes and the attention span of hummingbirds, today's sports-page fan seems more concerned with numbers than with the people putting them up."
Taylor's comments introduce his new collection of humourous columns, You Mean I Get Paid To Do This? (H&S $15.95) dedicated to two venerable scribes, Jim Coleman and Eric Nicol, who Taylor calls national treasures.
Taylor, who served his rookie season with the Times Colonist in Victoria, remains a widely sydicated columnist and non-fan of baseball, which he says is mainly useful for putting himself to sleep. "To be properly appreciated," Taylor says, "baseball requires a great sofa."
0-920663-54-0

[BCBW 1997]


“Hello, Sweetheart? Gimme Rewrite! My Life in the Wonderful World of Sports”
Excerpt



When i left the sports pages for good in 2001 I swore not to become one of those tiresome carping old farts who bitch at the way things are and long for the days that were. I’d like a mulligan on that. Just a little one.

I need to know where the laughter went.
The weekly crop of fiscal foolishness, fat-headed owners, tunnel-visioned executives and jockstrap me-firsters has never been more bountiful. Yet I see little laughter in the sports sections. It’s not that there’s no one who could do it. There are gifted young writers out there, sharp and sardonic and fully capable of inserting needles in the hides of the pompous or poking fun at silly masquerading as important.
But somewhere between press box cynicism and laptop creativity they sip the cliché Kool-Aid and slide the sabre back into the sheath.

I’m not sure why. Maybe, in this new mixed-media universe, management doesn’t want it. Were I still with one of the Vancouver dailies I doubt I’d be allowed to lambaste Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics bid, that monument to excess and misguided enthusiasm, as I would have from the day the bid was announced.
In a city where the media race to see who can over-cover the Vancouver Canucks has turned into a year-long preoccupation, there might not be room for a guy who looked at the old black, orange and yellow uniforms and suggested they looked like there should be a candle under every helmet, and that the huge V was on the front of the jersey to point them to where they were to put on the jockstraps.

Well, of course I’m biased. I made a living laughing. Mind you, I was blessed with editors who let me run even as they wondered what the Lone Ranger was doing in a sports column; or what the hell I was doing writing about riding an elephant in Thailand and telling our guide that in North America all elephants were named Gerald in honour of the great jazz singer Elephants Gerald.

Or why I demanded that Disney president Michael Eisner explain, as his company created the NHL’s Anaheim Mighty Ducks, how a family-oriented business could let Donald Duck care for his three underage nephews when he had no visible means of employment and they were all running around without pants.

But early in the game I learned an important lesson: people like to laugh. If you can amuse them as you make your point there’s a better chance they’ll see it, or at least read to the end. The other half of the equation: When you stop laughing, when you really get ticked about something, rear back and throw the high hard one, it has even more impact.—excerpt from “Hello, Sweetheart? Gimme Rewrite! My Life in the Wonderful World of Sports”
-
Jim Taylor was once B.C.’s most widely-read sports columnist. He drank beer from the Stanley Cup, saw Paul Henderson score “The Goal” in 1972, and he once predicted rookie place-kicker Lui Passaglia—who became the all-time top scorer in professional football—wouldn’t last with the BC Lions more than one season. Along the way he wrote more than 8,000 newspaper columns.

Born on March 16, 1937 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Taylor began his newspaper career in 1954 as a part-time sports reporter at the Daily Colonist in Victoria and later wrote for the Vancouver Sun, the Province and the Calgary Sun. His 1987 chronicle of Rick Hansen’s wheelchair journey, Man In Motion, reputedly had a record first printing for a B.C. book. In addition to Taylor’s books on Wayne Gretzky and B.C. Lions’ receiver Jim Young, Taylor is credited with the re-write of a Soviet journalist’s biography of Igor Larionov. Always mindful of his predecessors, he compiled The Best of Jim Coleman: Fifty Years of Canadian Sport from the Man Who Saw it All in 2004. A member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame, Taylor was awarded a lifetime achievement award by Sports Media Canada in 2000.

Jim Taylor has recalled his half-century as a sports writer in Hello, Sweetheart? Gimme Rewrite! (Harbour $32.95). 978-1-55017-437-3

[BCBW 2009]


Nominated for One More Time: The Dal Richards Story
BC Book Prizes (2010)


from BC Book Prizes catalogue
Here are legendary bandleader Dal Richards’ memories of the stars and the wannabes, the hustlers and bootleggers and hat-check chicks, all of whom paraded through his life in the days when Vancouver’s nightclub scene rivaled San Francisco’s and Hollywood’s big-name performers made it a regular tour stop. It was a time when the music business was rich with characters like Two-for, who ran the spotlight at the Cave and frequently took it off the performer to turn it on his girlfriend lest she was cavorting with a new beau, and the one-hit wonder singer and piano player who had to hide between performances because a Mafia hit man was looking to turn out his lights. Dal Richards is a musician, bandleader and radio show host. He lives in Vancouver. Jim Taylor is the author of thirteen books and his sports writing has earned him a lifetime achievement award from Sports Media Canada. He lives in West Vancouver.

Lifetime Achievement Award 2010



The 2010 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to celebrated sports journalist and author, Jim Taylor, at the 24th annual Jack Webster Awards dinner on November 1st at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver.

In 1991, the Jack Webster Foundation established a lifetime achievement award and presented it to Canadian journalism legend and the award’s namesake, Bruce Hutchison. Founded in 1986, The Jack Webster Foundation carries on Jack’s legacy by promoting and recognizing the achievements of BC based reporters with the Jack Webster Awards.

Coincidentally, Taylor’s acknowledgement by the Jack Webster Foundation comes in the same month as the publication of his new book, fittingly entitled And to Think I Got in Free! Highlights from Fifty Years on the Sports Beat. This fascinating collection reveals why Taylor was awarded this lifetime achievement award for journalism as it boasts an impressive collection of his most entertaining and remarkable stories from his career following sporting events and personalities over five decades. Name any memorable event—from Canada-Russia 1972 to Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour—or any famous name from Wayne Gretzky to Muhammad Ali, Jim Taylor was there giving his insightful and witty take on the subject. And to Think I Got in Free! is slated to be published in mid-late September, 2010.

Jim Taylor has produced some 7,500 sports columns, 3 times as many radio shows and 13 books. His passionate sports writing has earned him membership in the CFL and BC Sports Halls of Fame and a lifetime achievement award from Sports Media Canada. He is the author of Goin' Deep: The Life and Times of a CFL Quarterback with Matt Dunigan and "Hello, Sweetheart? Gimmie Rewrite!": My Life in the Wonderful World of Sports. He currently resides in West Vancouver, BC.



Bob Lenarduzzi: A Canadian Soccer Story (Harbour $28.95)
Article



If you discount Whitecaps co-owner Steve Nash of NBA fame—who grew up playing soccer in Victoria and would dearly love to have played professionally with his brother, Martin Nash—there is only one soccer folk hero in B.C.

Arguably it should be John Catliff, the Vancouver-born striker who has scored the second-most goals for Canada’s national team, or it should be prolific scorer Christine Sinclair, who is leading the Canadian women into the London Olympics, but the household soccer name for decades remains Bobby Lenarduzzi, current president of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Co-written with veteran sportswriter Jim Taylor, who accompanied Lenarduzzi, his brother Sam Lenarduzzi and the rest of Canada’s national men’s team to their only World Cup appearance, Bob Lenarduzzi: A Canadian Soccer Story (Harbour $28.95) ranges from:

• Lenarduzzi serving as a ball-boy during raucous matches at Callister Park in East Vancouver
• his character-building apprenticeship at age fourteen with Reading FC in England
• the Whitecaps’ heady 1979 championship of the North American Soccer League after which some 100,000 Vancouverites attended a victory parade
• his experiences as a coach and player for the Vancouver 86ers.

It’s seldom noted that Lenarduzzi’s 86ers won four straight Canadian Soccer League titles and amassed a 46-game unbeaten streak, a record for any professional team in North America.
The wryness of Taylor is evident in much of the text: Nobody saw Canada lose its final game at its first-ever World Cup appearance because the live broadcast was pre-empted. By Sesame Street.

Lenarduzzi describes the ancient Elm Park stadium at Reading: “It’s said that once in your place it was impossible to squeeze down the line to get out to the loo or your place would be lost. So, it’s said, you peed in the pocket of the man next to you. ‘Liverpool hot pocket,’ it came to be called… Folkore, no doubt. One can only hope.”

This memoir is far from a ‘tell-all’ page-turner, opening as it does with a chapter of appreciation for current Whitecaps majority owner Greg Kerfoot, but there are some lively bits and some beguiling humility.

Lenarduzzi has been inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame, United Soccer League’s Hall of Fame, the North American Soccer Hall of Fame, the BC Sports Hall of Fame and he’s a recipient of the Order of B.C. Not bad for an east-end kid whose father was once busted for making homemade wine. 978-1-55017-546-2

[BCBW 2012]