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Notes on a Scorecard of an Extraordinary Life, Career. . . .

I don’t quite know what you say when a legend dies. Allan Malamud to our profession was like Gary Cooper or John Wayne was to movies.

Of course, Mud was a movie star too. Just the other day I was ribbing him about his one-second scene in Ron Shelton’s new movie, “Tin Cup,” and how his best friend, Bill Caplan, another bit actor, had upstaged him with his role as the first-tee announcer at the U.S. Open.

And now Mud is gone. I sit here and write the words, but I still can’t believe it. I still see him at his downtown desk, the Legend, the Icon, the Giant, desperate for one last gem to wrap up another notes column.

“I’m a brick short,” he used to say.

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The rest of us are just sportswriters. Mud was Mud. He knew actors, stars, producers, directors, casino owners.

It was only fitting that one of his final acts was breaking the story that Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda was going to retire.

Who else was going to break it?

It was a pleasure to have known Mud, to have worked beside him, argued a point with him, eaten at Michael’s in Las Vegas with him and been able to tell people that, yeah, I actually knew him.

Mud was, above all, a decent and honorable man who loved what he did, where he worked and the company he kept.

We should all be so lucky.


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