The Post-Journal

Former Editor’s Legacy Lives On

Frank Hyde was the sports editor at The Post-Journal from March 1945 to November 1979. Upon his retirement, the 73-year-old was described by Don Meyer, the newspaper’s editor at the time, as “an institution in his own right.”“Frank Hyde has become so closely identified with The Post-Journal over the years,” Meyer added, “that when most people think of the newspaper, they inevitably think of Frank.”

And nearly 40 years after his death at age 77, his legacy lives on through a scholarship named in his honor.

The Frank Hyde Memorial Scholarship, presented to the outstanding college-bound student-athlete from The Post-Journal/OBSERVER’s circulation areas in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, has been awarded every year since 1985. Steve Penhollow, now the superintendent at Falconer Central School, was the first recipient. By the end of June, alumni of that scholarship will stand at 38.

But for all the good the scholarships have done for young people in our area during that time, anyone under 45 is likely unaware of Hyde’s amazing career, both inside and outside the newspaper business.

Consider these facts about the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Famer (Class of 1984) from various Post-Journal articles stored on the CSHOF website:

- Served as copy boy for a summer with the Chicago Tribune when he was 15.

- Was a news stringer for the Yankton (South Dakota) Press and Dakotan covering the Jack Dempsey-Tommy Gibbons heavyweight title fight at Shelby, Montana in 1923. At 17, Hyde was described by one wire service reporter as the youngest newsman ever to cover a heavyweight title fight.

- Before moving to the Billings Gazette, Hyde worked in reporting and non-reporting capacities for newspapers in Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

- After gaining experience in high school and AAU wrestling competition, Hyde tried his hand at professional wrestling. But that pursuit was cut short after he suffered a serious hip injury. He was also involved in promoting both boxing and wrestling cards.

- During his years with The Post-Journal, Hyde served as statistician for the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York (PONY) League — later becoming the New York-Penn League. He served without pay, and during that period, published the league’s first series of record books.

- Covered the Jamestown Falcons in spring training for a decade at various Florida sites.

- Claimed honorary Gold Card membership in the National Association of Baseball League Writers with a lifetime pass; was a lifetime honorary member of the Gerry Fire Department, sponsor of the Gerry Rodeo; the Jamestown YMCA; the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club; and the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, an honor bestowed on him in 1967 by local IAABO Board 39.

- Served for 20 years on the prestigious Heisman Award Committee of New York.

- Awarded the Sport Magazine Service Award, a presentation that was made at one of the Temple Hesed Abraham Men’s Club sports dinners.

“Through his sensitive, informative writings over the years, Frank Hyde has been an overall affirmative voice in the community in the field of sports, influencing positively many fine projects in which he was not directly involved,” the magazine reported.

- Honored at a testimonial dinner by Jamestown businessmen and sports personalities for, among other things, his reporting of local sports.

“Frank knows that if you put a Little Leaguer’s name in the newspaper, his parents are going to buy the paper, his relatives and his girlfriend will buy the paper, and eventually the kid might subscribe,” a friend said. “It’s a way of getting them into reading the newspaper.”

In his last column as a full-time sportswriter, Hyde opined:

“Sports have been good to me. I have seen, met and written about some of the greatest athletes of my day. No one in this business could ask for more.”

Five years later, on the day of his 1985 graduation from Cassadaga Valley Central School, Steve Penhollow was presented a scholarship in Hyde’s memory.

Nearly four decades later, Frank’s legacy still lives on.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.