Who are you? Don Crim. I was born 10 days before Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history.
Tell us about yourself. I’m the managing editor of The Herald-Whig, where I have worked since 1979, previously as a sportswriter, sports editor and news editor. My wife, Peggy, and I have three grown children (Jessica, Nathan and Jackie) and three grandchildren (Kyndall, Olivia and Alexander). I grew up in Macon, Mo., and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1979.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be … a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals or a sportswriter. My dad taught me Bob Gibson’s windup when I was 9, and he caught me nearly every night during the spring and summer, even when I was 18 and his left hand would swell. Fortunately, I had a backup plan, because there wasn’t much of a market for a 5-foot-7, 135-pound pitcher coming out of high school, even if he had pinpoint control.
What would you rather be doing right now? Playing golf or playing grandpa. It won’t be long before I
can combine the two.
Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone that … I’m a history buff, especially presidential history. I could recite every president and their years in office when I was 10 (LBJ was in the White House then), and I still have the first book I was given on presidents – along with dozens of others. For some reason, most people aren’t interested in discussing the presidencies of Millard Fillmore and Warren G. Harding over drinks. Also, longtime friends will remember my ‘fro. It was natural, the brainchild of Butch Schutte, Quincy’s barber to the stars. The curls are gone, but I still have the black pick.
Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? Walking my oldest daughter, Jessica, down the aisle on her wedding day. That was one of those ultimate dad moments. And I avoided doing an Al Bundy and stepping on her wedding dress.
It really stinks when … people try to get by with the least effort possible. If you don’t wake up every morning wanting to be the best at whatever you plan to do, then stay in bed.
What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Predictable. Good or bad, I’m a creature of habit.
I always laugh when … I’m playing golf with the regular weekend crew. A shrink, a radio executive and a former talking head. The next time any of us pass up an opportunity to needle another will be the first.
Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? Edward R. Murrow, because he was the defining journalist in the 1940s and 1950s who set a standard that few have achieved; Dick Young, the New York columnist who transformed sportswriting in the 1950s and 1960s; and Harry Truman, because he had to make some of the most difficult decisions of any president, and his legacy was not appreciated until long after he had left office.
At the end of a really long day at work, I like to … sit on my patio with newspapers and magazines – and possibly a cold beverage – and read.
People who knew me in high school thought I was … shy and would end up being a sportswriter. I was and I did.
My most unforgettable brush with greatness was with … Being a journalist has enabled me to meet a lot of people the past 30 years. I spent two hours talking with Chicago columnist Mike Royko when he was to receive the Missouri Medal my senior year at Mizzou; I interviewed Arnold Palmer during one of my “working assignments” of covering the Masters; and Bob Gibson, the greatest right-hander of all time, had me sit with him at the head table during an event at Kirksville Country Club in 1980, the year before he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Have I mentioned that the license plates on my Jeep read GIBBY 45?
I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to … play Augusta National. If Don O’Brien can get a birdie, then so can I.
If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would … try to fix anything mechanical. Breaking things is easy, fixing them is not part of my skill set.
America should be more concerned about … the shrinking middle class and the escalating cost of health care. People living in the richest nation on earth should be able to take care of their families and themselves.
I’m OK if there’s ever a national shortage of … copies of The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. I have nearly every copy of both magazines published since 1970. Ask Matt Schuckman what it was like moving that collection into our current house – and that was 19 years and about 2,000 issues ago.
What place in the world would you most like to visit? I scratched the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and Yankee Stadium off my to-do list last year. I’ve been inside the White House and several presidential museums. I still would like to see some of the major European battlefields of World War II, because that conflict was one of the defining events of the 20th century.
What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? Retired Herald-Whig Editor Joe Conover once called into his office a young sportswriter who may have taken a bit of a shot at somebody or something in a column, and offered this nugget about writing: “Make people remember what you said, not how you said it.” As usual, Joe was right. I have repeated that line myself a few times.
When I’m cruising down the road, I’m likely listening to … talk radio or classic rock.
I always get sentimental when … I look through the family history album my mom spent years compiling. It brings back so many special memories of growing up with the people who had an influence on my life.
The older I get, the more I realize … I’m a lucky guy. I have a great family, and I have spent my entire professional career doing exactly what I wanted to do. Now, if only I can figure out how to get off the tee
If I had one “do-over,” I would … have not quit playing the piano. My mother was an accomplished pianist, and I grew up in a house with two pianos and a refurbished electric organ, so I spent years taking lessons and playing. But being a drummer was way cooler in the early 1970s.
My favorite item of clothing is … a hat. Been wearing them since I was a kid. I have about two dozen to choose from now. And I have the bald spot to prove it.
If I’ve learned anything at all … it’s to enjoy today. Too many friends never made it to tomorrow.