Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2015 contest in Column Writing for the Over 175,000 circulation category.

Plaschke will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2016 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 22-­25 at the Omni-Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

Plaschke garnered 46 points and two first-place votes in the final balloting to beat runner-up David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News (42 points, one first-place vote). Juliet Macur of The New York Times finished third with 39 points.

Sports editors in the Over 175,000 category submitted a total of 47 Column entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Tommy Deas numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.

In late February and early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-­place vote, nine points for second and so on down to one point for a 10th­-place vote. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-­10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

The Columns category is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal. There is no restriction on subject matter and no requirement that the column appears regularly. Each news organization is permitted two entries in this category.

The Top 10 is listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.


  1. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 46 points, 2 first-place votes

Jackie Robinson’s high school team is struggling; will Dodgers help?

Not exactly steady as it goes for USC Coach Steve Sarkisian

This is the wrong goodbye for Kobe Bryant

Kardashians’ freak show capitalizes on Lamar Odom one more time

Minor league lifer John Shoemaker has major impact on Dodgers organization


  1. David Murphy, Philadelphia Daily News, 42 points, 1 first-place vote

Philly teams raising a stink

Questioning Temple’s proposed football stadium

What to do about Seahawks draft pick Frank Clark

Tebowmania takes over Lincoln Financial Field

On Andre Waters and Chris Borland


  1. Juliet Macur, The New York Times, 39 points

A Former College Lineman Now on the Streets, Looking for Answers, and Help

Homeless and Mentally Ill, a Former College Lineman Dies on the Street

A Father’s Love of Sports Inspires a Daughter’s Career

Recalling a Few Strikeouts in Pursuit of Pedro Martinez

At the Women’s World Cup, a Memento Players Are Stuck With and Stuck To


  1. Mike Sielski, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 36 points, 1 first-place vote

After riots, the sounds of silence at Camden Yards

Photos suggest that Bednarik taunted Gifford after legendary hit

Marvin Harrison a Hall finalist; slaying victim’s kin still seek answers

Temple’s big win no big deal to ex-Owls felled by cuts

Harry Edwards is in Chip Kelly’s corner


T5. Bob Ford, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 34 points, 1 first-place vote

The extraordinary life of Roman Catholic’s gym

A Day in the Life of Football Guy

Utley, man of few words, had one loud impact

Dean Smith never hesitated to take a stand

NCAA needs to show stand on Ind. law is not just usual posturing


T5. Steve Politi, The Star-Ledger/, 34 points, 1 first-place vote

Wake up, Robert Barchi: It’s time to clean house at Rutgers

Yogi Berra was an American icon who lived among us in New Jersey

Donald Trump comes to The Barclays and all hell breaks loose

Secret to the Chicago Cubs curse: Horny goats?

Rutgers and Julie Hermann have surrendered on fixing the men’s basketball program


T7. Brian T. Smith, Houston Chronicle, 27 points

Briles, Baylor have crossed the wrong line

Worst-case scenario becomes Game 4 reality

Texans GM Rick Smith vetoes Bill O’Brien’s decision to cut QB Ryan Mallett

Nothing’s worth risk of letting Hoyer return this season

Herman brings a sense of family to UH squad


T7. John Canzano, The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.), 27 points

A life lesson at the intersection of Marcus Mariota and Damian Lillard

The reinvention of Zach Randolph takes a turn on Beale Street

Tour of Caleb Porter Museum reveals man on mission

A brotherhood bonded by football, and that big hug

A loss on the football field put in its place by No. 75


  1. Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle, 26 points

Regardless of what O’Brien says, QB skepticism justified

Groundbreaking McVea carried more than ball for UH

As Texas AD, Patterson wrong hire from the start

Add Crushed City to list of our infamous collapses

Guy V. Lewis was much more than just a basketball coach


  1. Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe, 18 points

Boston’s Olympic bid has been one disaster after another

Separating trash from sports treasure is a chore

Pete Frates story continues to inspire

Dear David Ortiz, since you brought it up . . .

You may have come down with Deflategate Fatigue Syndrome