Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Times' Gary Shelton selected nation's top sports columnist

For the second time in his career, the St. Petersburg Times' Gary Shelton has been named the best newspaper sports columnist in the nation by a panel of Associated Press Sports Editors judges.

Shelton, 58, was also named the No. 1 columnist among major newspapers (circulations above 250,000) in 1995.

This is the sixth time he has been ranked in the top 10 by the APSE judges and the fourth time he has been recognized in the top five.

"Gary Shelton is a franchise player on the best sports news team in Florida and beyond," said Times executive editor Neil Brown. "This terrific honor is a great recognition of Gary's enormous talent as well as the vitality of the sports scene in Tampa Bay."

Shelton's honor was based on five entries from 2009:

• a column after the abrupt firing of Bucs coach Jon Gruden.

• an open letter to Delaney Cooper, the then-3-year-old daughter of former Bucs linebacker Marquis Cooper, who was one of three men who died when their fishing boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico.

• a column on former Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who had left the NFL to work for his son at the University of Tennessee.

• a column wondering what the English did to us to deserve having to watch the Bucs play the Patriots in London last season.

• a column on Bobby Bowden's final game as coach at Florida State.

Shelton joined the Times in 1990 as a sports writer covering the NFL. He became a columnist two years later. A graduate of Auburn, he had been a sports writer at the Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer and the Miami Herald before joining the Times.

Jack Sheppard, Times sports editor

Times' Gary Shelton selected nation's top sports columnist 04/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.