Guide to the Si Burick papers, 1900-1987
Overview of Collection
|Repository:||University of Dayton. University Archives and Special Collections|
|Title:||Si Burick papers|
|Extent:||52 linear feet|
|Abstract:||Papers of Simon "Si" Burick (1909-1986), a sports writer and later sports editor at the Dayton Daily News for sixty-one years (1925-1986). The collection contains sports memorabilia and files and objects pertaining to Burick's sports writing career. The collection includes some books, but many additional books can be found in the Rare Books and Special Collections of the University of Dayton's Roesch Library.|
|Collection Code:||SC 10|
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.
Scope and Content
The Si Burick collection contains 46 boxes of sports memorabilia and files and objects pertaining to Burick's 61-year sports writing career. Materials include 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.
Statement of Arrangement
The Si Burick papers are arranged in nine series.Series 1: Working files
Series 2: Personal files
Series 3: Manuscript transcripts and articles
Series 4: Reporters notebooks
Series 5: Sports memorabilia
Series 6: Plaques
Series 7: Audiovisual material
Series 8: Personal library
Series 9: Oversize materials
Si Burick Baseball Collection. Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Dayton Librareis, Dayton, Ohio.
Bequeathed to the Libraries by Si Burick, this special collection mainly contains books on baseball and other sports autographed by their authors. Histories of baseball teams and biographies and autobiographies of baseball players prevail.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Dayton Libraries Catalog. Researchers may use these headings to search the catalog for resources on related topics, persons, or places.
Access to Materials
This collection is open and available to the public for research in the University Archives and Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating.
The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). They 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.
Other Finding Aid
A more detailed finding aid with a box and folder listing is available in the University Archives and Special Collections.
Si Burick Papers, 1900-1987. University Archives and Special Collections, University of Dayton Libraries, Dayton, Ohio.
|Series 1: Working files, 1933-1986 (2 boxes)|
|This series contains Sparky Anderson articles, clippings on various topics (not by or about Si Burick himself), some columns by Si Burick, correspondence, press releases, speeches, and miscellaneous work-related files.|
|Series 2: Personal files, 1934-1985 (1 box)|
|Articles about Si's wife, Rae Burick; a campaign poster; personal correspondence; items related to Si's work in the Jewish community; Montgomery County Park District materials; two personal scrapbooks; items related to Stivers High School, from which Si graduated; and miscellaneous materials.|
|Series 3: Manuscript transcripts and articles, 1930-1983 (6 boxes)|
|Transcripts and other documents relating to Sparky Anderson, including proof copies of Si's book, The Main Spark; drafts and copies of Burick's By Line and History of the Cincinnati Reds; information on Bob Schul; and two boxes of scrapbooks, mainly from the 1930s and 1940s.|
|Series 4: Reporter's notebooks, undated (3 boxes)|
|Eighty-three reporter's notebooks, arranged in the order in which they were found. Some have content information on the front cover.|
|Series 5: Sports memorabilia, 1915-1986 (3 boxes)|
|Cards and autographed letters, many collected by Robert Oelman; baseball bats; autographed and mounted baseballs; clothing, including polo shirts, ties, and hats; commemorative stamps; pins related to various subjects; and other memorabilia.|
|Series 6: Plaques, 1964-1984 (1 box)|
|More than 20 plaques pertaining to Burick's professional and community activities and accomplishments.|
|Series 7: Audiovisual materials, 1934-1986 (6 boxes)|
|Albums, photographs, scrapbooks, audiocassette tapes, audio reels, and VHS tapes on a variety of topics.|
|Series 8: Personal library, 1946-1987 (7 boxes)|
|Books and pamphlets from Burick's personal library. Topics include basketball, boxing, biographies, general reference, sports reference and instruction, humor and jokes, golf, the Olympics, horse racing, football, fiction, and miscellaneous items. It also includes professional football press and media guides and autographed sports books.|
|Series 9: Oversize materials, 1900-1986 (5 boxes)|
|Oversize materials, mainly consisting of framed photographs, artwork, and certificates. They are grouped into the categories of small, medium, large, and extra large.|