JC / Railbird

Vic Ziegel, RIP

The 72-year-old sportswriter died Friday:

… and the only one who could lighten such dark and heavy news would have been Ziegel himself.

Nobody had a more deft touch with written words or humor than Ziegel, The News columnist and former sports editor, who spent his life making readers smile or chuckle over the one-liners he so painstakingly crafted.

I can’t remember ever reading a bad Ziegel column. He could do humor without snark, criticism without condescension. Even covering the biggest racing days, when every little detail that could be reported seemed to have been so, his words always sounded fresh, his stories always new.

“It astounded my father — a man who rode with the Cossacks; the friendlier Cossacks — that a son of his earned a living writing 24-21, 4-3, $12.60 to win,” Ziegel once wrote of his career. “The truth? It still astounds his son.”

7/27/10 Addendum: Allen Barra remembers Ziegel. “But at a particular time, hell, there were times when I think I was the best.” No question.


Vic Ziegel was what I called “old school”, the way you say it with respect and reverence. I learned to write growing up by reading the NY Daily News. Thanks for writing about him.

Posted by Robert on July 24, 2010 @ 10:07 am

My pal, my Triple Crown running mate, is gone. Simply one of the finest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to call friend in my life.

— John Scheinman

Posted by John S. on July 26, 2010 @ 11:24 am

I never had the privilege of meeting Ziegel, but I admired his work very much. You wrote a lovely remembrance for the July 27 issue of Thoroughbred Times Today, John.

Posted by Jessica on July 29, 2010 @ 7:05 am