Washington Roots Award
Congratulations Dave van Dyck!!
Our three day Washington Roots Award celebration was a huge hit! From the entertaining sports-filled presentation, to the memories relived in our reception, our 2014 celebration is one for the history books!
Check out the pictures below! Or click here to see the complete collection, including video!
Want to learn more about our 2014 Recipient?
Read below for the official announcement!
Chicago Sportswriter Dave van Dyck named
2014 Washington Roots Award recipient
It’s a homerun! The Washington Historical Society is pleased
to name Dave van Dyck, a long-time Chicago sports reporter and specialist, as
its 2014 Washington Roots Award recipient. In being named, van Dyck becomes the
second to receive this award which honors current and former Washingtonians who
are contributing to society around them. The son of Cuy & Marguerite, van
Dyck has written for prestigious sports magazines such as The Sporting News,
Sports Illustrated, and Baseball Digest, and is a retired reporter/specialist from the
Chicago Tribune. In September, van Dyck will be traveling to his beloved hometown
to partake in the WCHS Homecoming Parade, followed by a reception at the Dement-Zinser
Home on September 27.
“I believe Dave van Dyck has made a significant contribution
to society in the combined areas of sports and journalism,” said WHS Board President,
Bev Riggins, of the announcement. The Washington Roots Award is presented
annually to a person who spent at least part of their youth in Washington and has
made a significant contribution to the areas of business, arts, science, government,
sports or charitable work. Last year saw Dr. David R. Hunt of the Smithsonian Museum
named and now van Dyck is being added to the ranks.
As a student of Washington Community High School, van Dyck
got his start in sports writing through Washington’s legendary basketball
coach, Dick Van Scyoc. A member of Van Scyoc’s team, van Dyck was encouraged by
his coach to pursue writing sports articles for the local newspaper, telling
him “I think you could be good at it”. And he was!
As a high school student, van Dyck got his writing career
going as a sports reporter for the Tazewell Reporter. After graduating from
WCHS, van Dyck went on to get his Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from
the University of Illinois and by the young age of 22, he was working as the Sports
Editor for the Champaign News-Gazette. Throughout his career, he’d work for the
Rockford Register and the Peoria Journal Star before beginning a thirty-year
sports writing career in Chicago working for both the Chicago Sun-Times and later
the Chicago Tribune, where he later retired. While in the windy city, van Dyck covered such teams as
the White Sox, Cubs, and the Chicago Bulls.
All that work paid off for van Dyck who was twice nominated
by the Baseball Writers Association of America for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award,
the top award in the nation for a sportswriter as recognized by the Baseball
Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was named Sports Writer of the Year by the Pitch and Hit
Club, an organization that honors achievement in the baseball. Aside from his
honors, he also served ten years as the president of the Chicago Branch of the
Baseball Writers Association of America.
Dave van Dyck, the 2014 Washington Roots Award recipient,
will be honored in September by the Washington Historical Society and can be
seen riding in the WCHS Homecoming Parade followed by a reception at the Dement
Zinser Home on September 27. The reception is free and open to the
Content by Elyse Nicholson
About the Award
The annual Washington Roots Award honors one individual with roots in Washington who's impacted society around them in a meaningful way.
To be eligible, a person must have spent a good part of their childhood in Washington --- however, they do not necessarily have to currently reside in Washington. The person must also have made a significant contribution to society in one of the following areas: business, arts, science, government, sports, or charitable work.