Stan Hudy

Stan Hudy at the Saratoga Race Track in the summer of 2019 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

For the past 22 years and 11 months I have had the privilege of filling space in The Saratogian family of newspapers, The Saratogian, The Troy Record, The Pink Sheet and The Community News.

That will come to an end this week. Not a retirement, but just a change of address.

I will be traveling south for a similar opportunity with the Daily Gazette.

It wasn’t an easy decision and it would not have been possible without the host of characters that gave me this opportunity so many years before and those who helped me along the way.

You can credit, or blame, Barbara Lombardo who took mercy on a then 30-something out of work writer looking to get into the business and her Community News editor, Cindy Chin, who wanted to expand the sports portion of the Clifton Park weekly.

Without those two women, my career and my words may have never seen newsprint.

From there, No. 1 sports editor Will Springstead helped hone my craft, let me test deadlines, put me in charge of rowing as a beat and had too many laughs to count along the way.

There have been 12 more sports editors that followed Will, all of whom had to learn how to manage me and all did a commendable job as any of my superiors and co-workers can tell you, I can be a handful at times.

Barbara Lombardo wrote about our old office at 20 Lake Avenue in her ‘Done with Deadlines’ blog, now the home of Walt and Whitman, fittingly a coffeehouse and brewery. Both items were consumed at that location (Barb is cringing right now) to help keep the wheels of journalism and humor turning.

There were as many laughs in 20 Lake Ave. as there were pages through the years; Barb’s laugh is one to be cherished if you are lucky enough to drop in an often inappropriate comment in the moment.

Our staff got smaller and then so did our offices, now at 7 Wells Street. The products still go out, two dailies, a weekly and one very important horse racing product each summer, The Pink Sheet.

I am so grateful to Jeff Scott, the horseracing guru of The Pink Sheet. I had the honor of spending two summers in the Saratoga Race Course press box with him and admire his passion about the sports athletes. He knows more about the stars of the sports, not the humans, and doesn’t care to. He knows who to give the credit to and I enjoy his writing immensely.

To the handicappers of The Pink Sheet, thanks for getting the picks in, picking winners and letting me know if my numbers were wrong on the front page.

This summer was the best, working almost daily with The Pink Sheet kids with the help of Mrs. Wonderful, my wife, Reda. She came to the rescue when a supervisor was needed for the teenagers who braved wind, rain, sun, heat and protesters to offer up The Pink Sheet each racing day.

The sports department was always filled with cut-ups, before, during and after deadline.

The original cast, Warren Alber and Tom Law, I owe so much to for helping an aging ‘rookie’ early on.

The young talent that flowed through the offices always taught me more than I gave back. Friendships were created and still exist today because of 20 Lake Ave and that sports department.

The bankruptcies, the re-structures brought change and stress but we always managed to put out the product.

My Community News editors, Bev McKim and Donna Bell, thanks for the corrections, the freedom and the support for the “free paper.”

The publishers, some bigger than life, some quiet souls walking through the newsroom just to get to their cars and even the one I have never met, thanks for keeping the lights on.

Publisher Mike O’Sullivan gave the sports department and others the hardest time, but I miss it. He too wanted it all and pushed us every day. He even gave the green light for the first-and-last double publication for the 2010 Class AA Super Bowl.

We printed two editions, one for a Blue Streaks win and one for a Scotties win. He kept them under lock and key, distributed the ‘Saratoga Wins’ copy on site in the closing minutes to fans at Colonie High School.

Simply put, it was an awesome moment and I still have my copy. I always will.

The sports staff has been two souls, 365 days a year for more than two years. No. 13 sports editor Joe Boyle and I write stories, take photos, type in schedules, grab AP stories and hope that it looks good 10 minutes before deadline as it is put together by some faceless entities in Philadelphia each night.

It’s not easy, but Joe was the luckiest No. 13 a sportswriter could ask for.

Joe tricked me into revealing all of my feelings about The Pink Sheet, the summer successes and hopeful improvements. He turned it into a front page story called “Mr. Pink Sheet.” It was dirty pool to not tell me his intentions, but I will forever be grateful that it is one of my mother’s favorite stories she read before she died in October. It is with her now and it always will be.

Your newspapers are in good hands with Joe and the new staff.

Continue to support and understand as you have for me these past 22 years.

I’m not gone, just changing my address.

I’ll see you at the game!

Follow Stan Hudy on Twitter @StanHudy

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