Ray Melick, Editor-in-Chief of 1819 News, has been named one of the 50 Legends of the Alabama Sports Writers Association in conjunction with the association’s 50th-anniversary celebration.
The Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) is a professional organization for sportswriters and editors throughout the state of Alabama. The recognition comes as part of the ASWA’s 50th Anniversary, and the 50 Legends will be recognized at the annual ASWA banquet on June 12.
Melick was named the Alabama Sportswriter of the Year three times by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sportscasters, is a two-time winner of the Herby Kirby Award given to the best story of the year, and a past president of the ASWA.
“As much as I’d like to say something self-deprecating about being named a legend, to do so would be to diminish the deserved recognition of the other legends selected by the ASWA,’’ Melick said. “Simply put, I’m honored to be included in this field of people that I have read, admired, worked with, competed against and almost all of whom I call friend.
“To be in the list with two people I came up with in this business, Charles Hollis (of the Birmingham News) and Cecil Hurt (of the Tuscaloosa News) – both of whom passed away earlier this year – makes this even more special.”
After beginning his career at the Gwinnett Daily News in Georgia, Melick moved to Birmingham to join the Birmingham Post-Herald, where he was the beat writer covering the United States Football League in the spring, and Auburn football in the fall. When the USFL folded, he became the Post-Herald’s beat writer responsible for coverage of University of Alabama athletics, remaining in that position from 1986 to 2000. He was named lead Sports Columnist for the Post-Herald that year and finished his sports career as a sports columnist for the Birmingham News.
Melick also co-hosted, alongside Herb Winches, a long-running afternoon sports talk show on WJOX radio and with Mike Raita and Doug Segrest co-hosted “The Zone” on ABC 33/40 TV. His work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Sports Spectrum, BP Sports and CNN, among others.
Each of the 50 Legends was selected at the end of an extensive process, which began with nominations from the ASWA membership, and numerous rounds of voting by the selection committee, which was primarily made up of the sitting executive council.
Among those joining Melick on the list are former Post-Herald sportswriters Paul Finebaum and Rubin Grant, as well as former News sports staff Tom Arenburg, Segrest, Kevin Scarbinsky, and Charles Goldberg.
The ASWA is announcing a legend every day for the month of March. The announced list to this point includes:
Tom Arenburg, Birmingham News; Clyde Bolton of The News; Mike Bolton of The News; Al Burleson of the Huntsville Times; Paul Cox of Opelika; Gregg Dewalt of the Florence Times-Daily; Bill Easterling of the Huntsville Times; Paul Finebaum of the Birmingham Post-Herald; Charles Goldbert of the Birmingham News; Rubin Grant of the Post-Herald; Hoyt Harwell, Associated Press; Charles Hollis, Birmingham News; Cecil Hurt, Tuscaloosa News; Ron Ingram, Birmingham News; Jon Johnson, Dothan Eagle; Randy Kennedy, Mobile Press-Register; Charles Land, Tuscaloosa News; Benny Marshall, Birmingham News; Philip Marshall, Huntsville Times; Wayne Martin, Birmingham News; Kirk McNair, Bama Magazine; Zipp Newman, Birmingham News; Bob Phillips, Birmingham Post-Herald; John Pruett, Huntsville Times; Kevin Scarbinsky, Birmingham News; Doug Segrest, Birmingham News; Bill Shelton, Cullman Times; George Smith, Anniston Star; Creg Stephenson, Anniston Star; Naylor Stone, Birmingham Post-Herald; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Alf Van Hoose, Birmingham News; Christopher Walsh, Bama Central; Ronald Weathers, Birmingham News; and John Zenor, Associated Press.