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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: Mistakes in Print

Everybody makes mistakes, only most don’t have to be reminded of those mistakes in print as writers do. Here’s a few vintage ones I’ve made:

I once worked on a column for The Tampa Tribune that would run with a package advancing Atlanta’s Summer Olympics in ’96. Having time on my side, I wrote the column and continued to massage the thing for months, striving to add color and rich anecdotes. Of course I couldn’t write anything about Atlanta without making a clever reference to Gone with the Wind. Just one problem: I referred to the author of one of the most popular books of all time as Martha Mitchell rather that Margaret Mitchell.

For some reason, I always misspelled right-hander Tanyon Sturtze’s name as “Tanyan”. Ironic that I couldn’t get that one right, but I stuck the landing whenever spelled infielder Mark Grudzielanek’s name.

Some of you might recall from Tampa U. football days a receiver named Mark Wakefield. I watched him play a lot of games, so when I covered his son, Brad, as the quarterback for Plant High, I forever referred to Brad as Mark.

That led to future trouble when knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield arrived to the major leagues. I always referred to him as Brad.

Finally, a biggie.

While doing the research for Jackrabbit: The Story of Clint Castleberry and the Improbable 1942 Georgia Tech Football Season, I came across a story about athletes that died during World War II as Castleberry had. Listed among the dead was Luis Zamperini, which led to his name appearing in a passage in my book about about the casualties of war. I later found out via Laura Hillenbrand’s best seller, Unbroken, that Zamperini had survived and thrived.

The nice thing about making mistakes in print: Readers will always let you know.

You just have to keep a sense of humor.