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L.A. Times Sports earns grand slam in national awards

The Los Angeles Times’ sports section has earned its first “grand slam” in contest judging by Associated Press Sports Editors, earning top-10 recognition for its digital website, Sunday section, daily sections and special section.

The Times and the Boston Globe were the only media outlets in the large (175,000-plus) circulation group to place in all four categories.

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Times staff writers also placed in several reporting and writing categories, led by Andy McCullough, who was top 10 in beat writing for his work covering the Dodgers; explanatory journalism for his reconstruction of the Dodgers’ 2016 National League division series Game 5 victory; and feature writing for a profile on the team’s general manager, Farhan Zaidi.

Mike DiGiovanna and Nathan Fenno also placed in feature writing, marking what is believed to be the first time the three entries The Times was allowed in that category all finished in the top 10.

DiGiovanna described how former Angel Rod Carew’s life was saved by the donated heart of former NFL player Konrad Reuland. Fenno wrote of the tragic circumstances surrounding Brandon Martin, a former first-round baseball draft choice who was charged with murder in the deaths of his father, brother-in-law and a local contractor.

Bill Plaschke, who has been chosen as the nation’s top large-outlet sports columnist the last two years, again made the list. Whether he will earn another first-place finish will be known later this year.

Lance Pugmire and Priya Krishnakumar of The Times were chosen for their efforts on a multimedia presentation comparing the fighting styles of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, and Jessica Q. Chen and Brian van der Brug combined on a top-10 long video that chronicled how the Mesquite (Texas) High football team honored a slain teammate.

Scott Reid of the Southern California News Group was recognized for his investigative reports on the U.S. Gymnastics sexual assault scandal, and Andrew John of the Desert Sun made the list for features in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category. John also teamed with Larry Bohannan on a top-10 project.

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