By: Terry Pluto
For those who don't aren't familiar with him, Terry Pluto is Northeast Ohio's most popular and beloved sports writer. He's written a zillion books (actually it's closer to twenty), including Loose Balls (about the ABA), The Curse of Rocky Colavito, and Weaver on Strategy. If Amazon is correct, a book on the Indians' front office is forthcoming as well. He's won numerous awards for his writing, including winning Ohio Sportswritier of the Year six times. Twice he's been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Why is Pluto so venerated in this region? There's no hard and fast answer. Perhaps it's because he understands and speaks for Cleveland fans: he's been through all the disappointment and all the ecstacy. Perhaps it's because he writes for "the guys at the warehouse", with a style that packs both an informational and an emotional punch. Perhaps it's because he's honest, fair and consistent, and won't take cheap shots.
The View From Pluto is essentially Terry Pluto's Greatest Hits from his newspaper columns at the Akron Beacon-Journal. The columns essentially cover the 1990s and the first couple years of this century. The Indians' championship runs are of course well-mentioned, as well as the Browns moving to Baltimore.
His best columns, though, delve into the undiscovered and underappreciated figures in NE Ohio sports. His column on the Canton-Akron Indians captures what minor-league ballplayers go through, and why they do it. His look at high school athletics shows you sport at its purest form. And his biographical proifles of such diverse people as "Hot Rod" Williams, Craig Ehlo, and Ernest Byner makes you see them in a totally different light. It's columns like these that make you realize that sports journalism is still very much relevant in the era of the Internet and blogs; Pluto goes where the average fan cannot, and delivers insights that enriches our understanding of the athletes and teams that we root for.
I still have the sports sections from the Beacon-Journal when the Indians tasted the postseason for the first time in over 40 years. Most of them are over 10 years old, but one read of Pluto's column brings you back to that moment in time. That is the mark of a great sports writer.