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Si Burick papers

 Collection
Identifier: UASC-010

Scope and Contents

The Si Burick papers comprise 100 boxes of sports memorabilia and files pertaining to Burick's 61-year sports writing career. Materials include manuscripts, articles, correspondence, reporter's notebooks, books, and photographs. They cover sports events of local, national, and international significance, from high school athletics to the Olympics, throughout the mid-twentieth century. The collection spans 1900-1987.

Dates

  • 1900-1987
  • Majority of material found within 1930 - 1986

Creator

Access to Materials

The materials in this collection are open and accessible to the public for use in the University Archives and Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Biography of Si Burick

Simon "Si" Burick was born June 14, 1909, at the family home on Richmond Street in Dayton, Ohio. He was the oldest of seven children born to Rabbi Samuel and Lillian Burick. Si Burick attended Emerson Elementary School from kindergarten through eighth grade and Stivers High School.

During his junior year at Stivers, Burick began working as a correspondent for the Dayton Daily News, earning $2 per week for bringing Stivers High School sports reports to the newspaper. When Burick was only sixteen years old, he received his first byline for an article about Stivers High School football practice that appeared in the Dayton Daily News on August 26, 1925.

Upon graduating from Stivers in 1926, Burick entered the University of Dayton with the class of 1930, with intentions of becoming a doctor. He continued to work at the Dayton Daily News. After one year of college, he left UD, hoping to save money by working and to return to school later. He never returned to his studies at the University of Dayton. However, on April 24, 1977, Burick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

In November 1928, Dayton Daily News publisher James M. Cox offered 19-year-old Burick the position of sports editor, which was being vacated by M. Carl Finke. Burick accepted the position. He remained with the Dayton Daily News until his death. The first installment of Burick's daily column "Si-ings" appeared in the November 16, 1928 issue of the Dayton Daily News. Thousands of columns would follow.

When WHIO radio went on the air February 9, 1935, Burick was its first sportscaster. His daily 15-minute radio programs continued until September 1961. When WHIO-TV was first broadcast on television in 1949, Burick hosted the station's first televised sports program. He continued doing so for ten years.

On June 28, 1935, Si Burick married Rachel Siegal, a school teacher from New York. They had two daughters, Lenore and Marcia. Mrs. Burick died December 31, 1984.

Burick's writings covered nearly every sport, including local high school athletics, area college football, Major League baseball, professional football, the Kentucky Derby, the Olympics, and many other events. He covered the Kentucky Derby for the first time in 1929 and only missed two thereafter in the next fifty years. He covered the World Series in 1930 and, after missing 1932 and 1933, only missed a few thereafter. He attended the Olympics in Rome (1960), Mexico City (1968), Munich (1972), Montreal (1976), and Los Angeles (1984). He is one of few sports writers to have reported on the first twenty Super Bowls.

In 1959, Burick was elected to the Dayton Newspapers, Inc., Board of Directors. Between 1954 and 1979, sixteen of Burick's columns were included in The Sporting News' Best Sports Stories of the Year. He was elected president of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in 1971, president of the Football Writers' Association in 1972, and director of the Turf Writers Association of America in 1973.

In addition to his sports writing talents, Burick was quite active in civic issues of the Dayton community. In 1951, he became chairman of the Montgomery County chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. In 1953, he was involved in a project to construct a high school stadium. He was one of the original members of the Human Relations Commission (1962) and was chairman of a school levy drive in 1966. He was active in and served as an officer of the Jewish Community Council and, later, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. He was appointed to the Montgomery County Recreation Board in 1967 by the county commissioners and was appointed Dayton-Montgomery County Park District commissioner in 1970. Also in 1970, he chaired a Dayton school board committee aimed at studying problems caused by spectators at school athletic events. In 1974, he chaired a Citizens Committee aimed at affecting changes in city taxes.

In 1969, Governor James M. Rhodes chose Si Burick as the recipient of the Governor's Award in recognition of his contributions to the State of Ohio. In 1970, Burick was given honorary membership to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association. In 1972, the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame honored him for his many contributions to amateur football. He was named National Sports Writer of the Year in 1973 by the Columbus Touchdown Club.

In 1982, Burick was awarded the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which is given by the Baseball Writers Association of America to recognize worthy contributors to baseball writing. Burick was the first recipient of the Spink Award from a city having no major league baseball team. He was also inducted into the writers' area of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1984, Burick received the Bert McGrane Award from the Football Writers' Association of America. On April 8, 1985, he was inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. In 1986, the National College Football Hall of Fame and the Associated Press Sports Editors recognized Burick with the Red Smith Award, America's most prestigious sports writing tribute.

Burick wrote three books: Alston and the Dodgers (1966), about Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston; The Main Spark (1978), a biography of Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson; and Byline (1982), a collection of his columns.

Si Burick died on December 10, 1986, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton following a massive stroke earlier that day. He was 77 years old and had been in ill health for several months prior to his death.

Extent

90 Linear Feet (100 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Papers of Simon "Si" Burick (1909-1986), a sports writer and later sports editor (1928) at the Dayton Daily News for sixty-one years (1925-1986). The collection contains sports memorabilia, files, and manuscripts pertaining to Burick's sports writing career. The collection includes some books, but many additional books from Si Burick's library are housed with special book collections.

Arrangement

The Si Burick papers are divided into seven series.

Missing Title

  1. Series 1: Personal files
  2. Series 2: Writings
  3. Series 3: Reporter's notebooks
  4. Series 4: Sports memorabilia
  5. Series 5: Audiovisual materials
  6. Series 6: Personal library
  7. Series 7: Working files

Acquisition Information

The Si Burick papers were donated to the University of Dayton by the Burick family following Si's death in December 1986. Some of the material was used in a semi-permanent display in the UD Arena. This material was transferred to the University Archives and Special Collections in 2008 in several accessions: 2008-011, 2008-016, and 2008-042. Additional collection material was received from Marcia Burick in 2010 in accession 2010-014.

Related Material

Si Burick Book Collection. Bequeathed to the University of Dayton Libraries by Si Burick, this special book collection consists of books on baseball and other sports autographed by their authors. Histories of baseball teams and biographies and autobiographies of baseball players prevail.

Processing Information

Initial processing of the collection completed by Cecilia Mushenheim. Additions to the collection were processed by David Brownell in 2011.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Si Burick papers, 1900-1987, bulk 1930-1986
Status
Completed
Author
Lisa Pasquinelli
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

Contact:
300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360