In time for the holidays: Jack Cristil's biography
Orders are now being accepted for the biography of Mississippi State's legendary sports broadcaster.
"Jack Cristil: The Voice of the Bulldogs" is written by university alumnus and veteran newsman Sidney L. "Sid" Salter. Printed by Pediment Publishing of Battle Ground, Wash., the 224-page hardcover edition also comes with a free compact disc of the radio veteran's greatest Bulldog football and basketball game calls.
Best-selling author and fellow alumnus John Grisham is providing the book's foreword. Grisham also has granted use of Jack's performance in the audio CD of his novel "Bleachers" to be used on the audio.
Scheduled to ship Nov. 4--in time for Christmas--the $29.95 book/CD package may be ordered online at www.pedimentbooks.com/store/product/jack-cristil-the-voice-of-the-msu-bulldogs/. Editions also should be in bookstores by Nov. 1.
All book-sale proceeds will support the newly established Jacob S. "Jack" Cristil Scholarship in Journalism in MSU's communication department.
"It has been a real joy to work with Jack Cristil in telling his story," Salter said. "Jack has worked hard and been a full partner in this process.
"The truth is that Jack's life story would have been an extraordinary story without his association with Mississippi State," Salter added. "I think that's the surprise of this book for Jack's longtime fans and friends."
Cristil spoke about the book recently during a campus ceremony to name part of the local U.S. Highway 82 Bypass in his honor. [Visit www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=5276]
Praising Salter for his extensive preparation to write the book, Cristil told the large audience in attendance, "My parents came from the old country, and my father died when I was very young (and) I didn't really know him. My mother reared six children, so she didn't talk very much about things of that nature to us. I was just a kid, you know.
"(Sid's) found out more about my parents than I ever knew," the broadcasting icon continued. "He's done a world of research, and it's been very interesting to me. I don't know how much we're going to get into the final portion of the book, the ballgames and the ramifications thereof, but I'm very, very pleased with the methods he's using, and I'm amazed at the amount of research he's done."
A longtime Tupelo resident, Cristil served as the "voice of the Bulldogs" from 1953 until his retirement earlier this year due to health reasons. During a 58-year career, he called more than 1,500 play-by-play actions.
His distinctive voice and focused descriptions of actions on the field and court earned him numerous honors, including the Lindsey Nelson Award as the nation's premier sports broadcaster. He also received the prestigious College Football Foundation Chris Schenkel Award and the Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters.
He was named Mississippi Sportscaster of the Year a record 21 times and became the first non-coach/non-athlete inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
The book's author also has carved out a career of distinction in his home state. In early March, Salter returned to his alma mater as journalist-in-residence.
MSU's 2004 alumnus of the year, the Philadelphia native was a John C. Stennis Scholar in Political Science as a student. At age 24, he became publisher and editor of the weekly Scott County Times in Forest, continuing in that role for many years before becoming Perspective editor at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
Salter is a two-time winner of the J. Oliver Emmerich Award, considered the premier annual honor of the Mississippi Press Association. In 1996-97, he became the first holder of the Kelly Gene Cook Chair of Journalism at the University of Mississippi.
In addition to duties at the state's largest newspaper, Salter served as weekday host for a statewide talk show covering politics and other current issues on the Super Talk Mississippi Radio Network.
Sammy McDavid | University Relations