Famous Among Us: Hubert Mizell
FAMOUS AMONG US
He's traveled the world, but calls North Central Florida home and since the age of 14, sports journalist Hubert Mizell has been face to face with sports legends.
And Hubert has become a legend in the sports world in his own right... with luck, character and a sense of humor.
"I'm Hubert Mizell and that is what I think..." So why do we care?
At his 2001 Retirement Roast in St. Petersburg, NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas said, "Any number of things, could be said about Hubert Mizell..."
Bobby Bowden said, "I always thought he had a face for radio and writing..."
Steve Spurrier said, "It's been neat knowing Hubert all these years."
Tony Dungy said, "That Hubert Mizell is a smart guy."
Costas added, "A man who has been to sports writing what Raymond Burr was to pole vaulting."
It may have something to do with his 50 year reporting career and impeccable reputation.
ESPN and ABC Sportscaster Chris Berman said, "You've always been a good read, a great read... as your friend, I'm happy to say you've been an even better guy."
Late owner of the NY Yankees George Steinbrenner said, "They're kind of becoming an endangered species, that type of a writer."
Basketball Sportcaster Dick Vitale said, "You know I used to run man, to get a Hubert Mizell column living in this area... cause I knew one thing- you were gonna be honest, you were gonna be fair and most of all, you're a man of integrity."
A conversation with Hubert is not just a walk down memory lane, it's a tour of sports history and pop culture.
Mizell points out photos on his office wall, saying, "This is Don Zimmer... Hank Aaron, he was 19 then... Jackie Gleason... Muhammad Ali in training... and there's my combustible friend Bobby Knight."
After 55 years in an ever changing business Mr. Mizell has told thousands of stories... and he has a lot more to tell.
Mizell said, "I think of myself as having a lot of miles on my odometer."
Mizell's love of sports began as a child and his career in it started in Jacksonville back in 1953 with a minor league team. Writing eventually took him to the Associated Press in Miami and New York, most notably the St. Petersburg Times and now right here to TV20.
He said, "These are thing like the Olympics, and Wimbledon tennis, World Series, Master's Golf..." Not to mention Evil Knievel stunts, Superbowls, home town coverage and the list goes on.
Mizell remembers almost everything, but some big moments stand out in his memory like the "Miracle On Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics, a 7 point 0 earthquake hitting San Francisco in 1989 at the World Series and when terrorists struck at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
Mizell said, "And I remember saying at the time, you know I've covered a lot of big ball games, a lot of famous athletes, but this is something that's going to be in the history books."
Mizell has received many accolades for his writing, but a 47 year marriage, his son Kevin and treasured relationships are his greatest accomplishments.
He said, "Well I just pray for good health first of all, I pray for my family to do well... and that's far more important to me than professional things at this point. But it is exciting when people come up to me and say something that makes me know that they cared what I had to say, that they payed attention. that's all the reward I need at this point."
Indeed the pages of Hubert Mizell's life story hold many challenges, triumphs and famous faces... plus curiosity, a love of sports and zest for life.
Mizell said, "If I'm a story... those are the main chapters."