Another wild night for baseball in Kansas City

Last night, the Kansas City Royals put the “wild” in the Wild Card with a 12-inning, 9-8 win over the Oakland A’s.

The Royals will advance to the American League divisional playoffs. They’ll open in Anaheim — just a couple of miles from where I’m sitting right now — on Thursday.

Front-page designer Charles Gooch tells us:

The baseball gods tonight laughed at our deadlines. Such an amazing game.

I did the design work on A1 with a lot of help from our AME of Presentation and Innovation Greg Branson.

We brought back the crown for the nameplate — I really hope it sticks around for the rest of the playoffs.


Charles refers to the Royals logo crown that he slipped into the paper’s nameplate last week when the team first made the playoffs.


The lead photo is by staffer John Sleezer.

Charles continues:

The sports cover was mostly Bob Merrick with some Photoshop help by myself.


That lead photo is by David Eulitt.

Naturally, the Star has an extensive photo gallery of local folks celebrating the win. This picture — also by David Eulitt is my favorite.


Um, I don’t think that’s his eye. But, yeah: Point made, dude.

This is the Royals’ first trip to the playoffs since 1985. Go here to see how the Star celebrated that feat last week.

Average daily circulation for the Star is 200,365.

Birthdays for Wedneday, Oct. 1

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three excellent visual journalists…


JR Ball is managing editor of the Baton Rouge office of and the Times-Picayune of New Orleans. A 1986 graduate of Louisiana State University, JR spent ten years as executive editor of Tiger Rag magazine. He then co-founded an entertainment marketing firm. In 1997, he became general manager of the Baton Rouge Bombers, a professional indoor soccer team. In 1999, he moved over to the Baton Rouge Business Report, serving as executive vice president for editorial of that publication and also overseeing 10/12 magazine, 225 magazine and inRegister magazine. He moved to in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here.


Chad Graff is a sportswriter for the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn. A 2013 graduate of the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H., Chad served as executive editor of the student newspaper and worked internships with the New England Sports Network, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Union Leader of Manchester. He worked at the Boston Globe last winter and, in April moved to the Pioneer Press, for which he covers the NHL Minnesota Wild. Find his Twitter feed here. Chad turns 24 today.


Jerry Langton is a freelance journalist based in Toronto, Canada. A graduate of McMaster University of Hamilton, Ontario, Jerry has worked as a copy editor and designer for the Securities Industry News, the New York Daily News, the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., and Toronto Star. He’s written at least 13 books.


His most recent — Rat: How the World’s Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top — was published in May. Jerry also happens to be married to Tonia Cowan, graphics editor of the Toronto Globe & Mail. Find his Twitter feed here.

Chad, Jerry and JR share a birthday with actors Zachary Knight “Zach” Galifianakis, Sarah Drew, Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers (better known as Brie Larson), Randall Rudy “Randy” Quaid, Julia Elizabeth “Julie” Andrews, Estelle Caro Eggleston (better known as Stella Stevens), Richard St. John Harris, George Peppard Jr., Walter Matthau, Stephen Weaver Collins and Thomas Edward “Tom” Bosley; musician Vladimir Horowitz; director Thomas George “Tom” Hooper; sports greats Jeffrey James Reardon, Rodney Cline “Rod” Carew, Matthew Thomas “Matt” Cain (all three baseball); Mark McGwire (steroid user), George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah (soccer) and Vladimir Peter “Spider” Sabich Jr. (skiier); Supreme Court Chief Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist; President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter and bank robber Bonnie Elizabeth Parker.

In addition, today is CD Player Day, Fire Pup Day, Model T Day, National Lace Day, International Music Day, World Vegetarian Day and Balloons Around the World Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, you three! Best wishes!

Please help a visual journalist publish a RPG setting book

Let’s see a show of hands: How many of you are old-school role-playing gamers?

That many, huh? Hmm. Not bad.

A friend of mine in South Africa has written a setting book for a game called Savage Worlds. It’s called Winter Eternal and yes, it’ll be an official licensed product.

Here’s a sample…


Morné Schaap has completed the writing, but now he’s trying to fund additional artwork for the e-book. To do this, he’s launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which works much like Kickstarter.


The good news: He’s raised more than three quarters of his goal of $2,000. Another $490 and he’ll get there. The campaign will close on Monday, Oct. 6.

The bad news: Well, actually, there isn’t any bad news. The book sounds awesome and the sample artwork Morné has posted looks awesome. With a little nudge from folks like us, he can meet his goal and pay for the art that will illustrate the e-book the way it should be illustrated.

Morné posted a video to help explain his project and where he’s going with it.

As usual, there are a number of contribution levels and perks available. For the higher levels, you can even name characters in Morné’s book. Check out the entire list here.

If you’re into RP gaming — and especially if you’re into Savage Worlds — please consider supporting Morné’s project.

I’ve had the happy opportunity to work with Morné several times during my multiple teaching visits to South Africa.


A 1998 graduate of North West University, Morné Schaap spent five years as an artist for Beeld in Johannesburg and then nearly five with die Burger in Cape Town. Media24 combined its graphics departments in November 2010, so now he works in an umbrella department that serves all the company’s papers. Morné still works out of the Cape Town offices.

Find Morné’s Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Tuesday, Sept. 30

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five talented visual journalists…


Siyabonga Africa is a fellow for Code for South Africa, which hosts data journalism workshops and projects in South Africa. A 2006 graduate in International Relations and Public Management at the University of Pretoria, Siyabonga earned a graduate degree in journalism from the University of Stellenbosch in 2007 and then worked as a reporter and a columnist for the Sowetan, Joburg Style magazine and ITWeb. In 2009, he moved to the U.S. via a Ford Foundation fellowship to study new media. Siya earned a master’s degree from Indiana University in 2011, after having served internships in various online or social media capacities with the Ford Foundation, Blueline Style and Media Productions, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Indiana Public Media. He moved back to South Africa in 2012 and has worked for marketing firm Trigger/Isobar and media giant Media24. Find Siyabonga’s web site here and his Twitter feed here. Siya turns 29 today.


Cori Faklaris is engagement producer for the Indianapolis Star and Indy Star Media. A 1995 graduate of the University of Illinois, Cori spent a year as a correspondent for the Peoria, Ill., Journal Star before joining the Star in 1997. She designed news and served as the paper’s CCI super user. She was moved to the Star’s digital operation in 2013 as Local Network Editor. She moved into her current position earlier this month. Find her work for the Star here, her personal web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Kerry Johnson is art director and special publications manager for the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C. A 1990 graduate of Ohio State University, Kerry worked as an artist at the North Hills News Record and then the Post-Gazette, both of Pittsburgh, before becoming graphics director of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 1998. He moved to the Baltimore Sun as graphics editor in 2002 and moved on to the APS in 2005. He also does cartoons and caricatures on the side. Find his web site here, his Facebook fan page here and his Twitter feed here.


Kathryn Morton is managing editor for design at the Central Penn Business Journal in Harrisburg, Pa. The holder of both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, Kathryn worked at the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, the Daily Sentinel‘s Buzz magazine and the Stephen F. Austin Pine Log before moving to Pennsylvania in 2005. She’s married to designer Chris Anderson. Find Kathryn’s Twitter feed here.


Heather Price is a copy editor for eMarketer of New York. A 2009 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Heather served as slot editor for the student paper there, the Daily Nebraskan, and interned for the L.A. City Beat before moving to the American News & Farm Forum of Aberdeen, S.D. After a year there, she moved back to Lincoln and spent two years as a copy editor and page designer for the Journal Star. She moved to New York in 2013. Find Heather’s Tumblr blog here, her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Heather, Cori, Siya, Kathryn and Kerry share a birthday with actors Lacey Nicole Chabert, Jennifer Mary Butala (better known as Jenna Elfman), Monica Bellucci, Eric Stoltz, Francine Joy “Fran” Drescher, Anthony “Tony” Hale, Angeline Brown (better known as Angie Dickinson) and Barry William Blenkhorn (better known as Barry Williams); musicians Faheem Rashad Najm (better known as T-Pain), Ernest Giuseppe “Trey” Anastasio III (of Phish), Robert Carl Takac Jr. (of the Goo Goo Dolls), drummer Bernard “Buddy” Rich; Marc Feld (better known as Marc Bolan of  T-Rex), Marilyn McCoo, Franklin Joseph “Frankie” Lymon and John Royce “Johnny” Mathis; sports greats Martina Hingis (tennis), Dominique Moceanu (gymnastics), Justin Smith (football) and Robin Evan Roberts (baseball); chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.; politician Lester Garfield Maddox and writers Truman Streckfus Persons (better known as Truman Capote) and Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel.

In addition, today is Blasphemy Day, International Translation Day and Ask a Stupid Question Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have an excellent birthday today!

Birthdays for Monday, Sept. 29

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six wonderful visual journalists…


Tan Ly is president of Visually Dynamic, a firm that designs digital and print products and based in Washington, D.C. A 1996 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Tan spent four years as a designer for the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and then three more with the San Jose Mercury News before joining the Washington Post in 2003. He served as financial design director, A1 and enterprise designer and lead Sunday designer before being named deputy news editor and business design director. He left to open his design firm in 2012. Tan also spent four years as president of the D.C. chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Find his company’s Twitter feed here.


David Newhouse is editor at large for Advance Publications. A graduate of Cornell University, David spent ten years in retail, with his children’s store named “Best in Boston” by Boston magazine. David went to work for the Times of Trenton, N.J. as a reporter, working his way up to assistant managing editor. He moved to Harrisburg, Pa., in 2001 and was editor of the Patriot-News for 11 years. In 2004, the Patriot-News was named one of Editor & Publisher‘s “Ten That Do It Right.” In March 2012, David was awarded the Benjamin C. Bradlee award by the National Press Foundation as editor of the year in the wake of the Patriot-News’ Penn State coverage. The next month, of course, the paper won a Pulitzer for that coverage. David stepped down in May of that year.


Bill Pitzer is senior visual information designer for Kwikpoint, a publisher of visual information guides based in Alexandria, Va. A 1981 graduate of Glenville State College in West Virginia, Bill worked at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and the Virginian-Pilot before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1998 as news graphics editor. He left the Observer in 2011. He has created top-quality freelance infographics for a number of clients including National Geographic magazine. He earned a master’s degree from Appalachian State University in 2006 and now teaches — via the web — at West Virginia University. Find his online portfolio here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Laurie Mansfield Reiter is an editor for Fox Sports in Los Angeles, Calif. A 1998 graduate of Ohio University, Laurie earned a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Laurie spent five years as a features reporter for the Des Moines Register before moving to the Kansas City Star in 2007 as assistant features editor. She was promoted to assistant managing editor a year later. She launched Ink, a free tabloid, in January 2008. When her husband, sports columnist Bill Reiter, moved west last summer, she moved as well. Find Laurie’s Twitter feed here.


Werner Walters is a senior applications and system specialist for Media24 in Cape Town, South Africa. A graduate of two different technological schools, Werner worked in customer support for technical support firms before joining Media24 in 2005. Werner turns 33 today.


Lynne Wynn is a stay-at-home mother of three in Centerville, Ohio. But 30 years ago, she wrote and edited for the Johnsonian, the student newspaper of Winthrop College. Where she worked with me during our senior year.

Tan, Werner, Laurie, Lynne, David and Bill share a birthday with actors Zachary Levi Pugh, Madeline Gail Wolfson (better known as Madeline Kahn), Paul MacKenzie Crook, Alexis Cruz, Jill Whelan, Lawrence Lavon “Larry” Linville and Andrew Clay Silverstein (better known as Andrew Dice Clay); musicians Orvon Eugene “Gene” Autry, Leland Michael Postil (better known as Mike Post), Jerry Lee Lewis, Suzzy Roche (of the Roches) and Dallas Green (of Alexisonfire); TV host Bryant Gumbel; director Stanley Earl Kramer; sports greats Kevin Wayne Durant, John MacBeth Paxson (both basketball), Warren Livingston Cromartie (baseball), Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko (soccer), Calvin Johnson (football) and Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips (football coach); physicist Enrico Fermi; English naval commander Horatio Nelson; Medal of Honor recipient Gary George Wetzel; authors Norman Colin Dexter and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Australian prime minister Julia Eileen Gillard and labor leader-turned-Polish president Lech Wałęsa.

In addition, today is International Coffee Day, VFW Day, World Maritime Day and National Attend Your Grandchild’s Birth Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a truly great birthday today!