Dave Nightingale

From BR Bullpen

David J. Nightingale

Biographical Information[edit]

Dave Nightingale began covering sports in high school and continued at the University of Illinois, where he was sports editor of the Daily Illini before graduating in 1956. After two years as sports editor of the Dixon Evening Telegraph and three years writing for the Rockford Morning Star, he joined the Chicago Daily News staff in 1961, working as a night editor and reporter in the sports department until being assigned the Chicago White Sox beat in July 1966. [1] In addition, Nightingale wrote a column from 1973 until the paper closed in March 1978. He returned to the baseball beat with the Chicago Tribune until 1981 and then wrote for The Sporting News.

Nightingale could be tough on players and coaches in his writing but never ducked them the next day in the clubhouse. "He wasn't from the cookie-cutter school of journalism," said Tribune baseball writer David Van Dyck. "He was a great newspaper guy, he worked hard at it, he had inside guys that he knew."

Though baseball was his specialty, Nightingale covered every sport during his career. "He was very versatile and a good writer, a very fast writer," said Ray Sons, sports editor with the Daily News. "He was very sure of himself. No assignment fazed him."

On road trips, he would always find a French restaurant for dinner, dragging along colleagues who would have been just as happy with a hot dog. Despite the many late nights, Nightingale was an early-riser and a fierce competitor, even during baseball's spring training in Florida. "He would get up so early, I'd open the drapes and he'd be heading off to the ballpark already," said former Sun-Times baseball writer Joe Goddard.

When the Daily News closed, the Chicago Sun-Times hired many of its sportswriters, but not Nightingale. "He was just crushed," recalled Sons. Nonetheless, Nightingale would quickly find employment with the rival Tribune. [2] There he would remain until 1981, at which point he became the first national correspondent for The Sporting News (a significant employment upgrade for Nightingale both in terms of stability and exposure). A nationally syndicated columnist, Nightingale frequently served as official scorer at World Series and All-Star Games.

After his 1995 retirement to Robinson, Illinois, Nightingale, along with his wife, became actively involved in the local James Jones Literary Society; in addition, he continued to write freelance articles on golf and continued to be a voting member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. [3]


  1. "JJLS Treasurer Dave Nightingale Passes," The James Jones Literary Society Newsletter (Vol. 16, No. 1; Summer 2007), p. 5
  2. Trevor Jensen: "David J. Nightingale: 1935 - 2007," The Chicago Tribune (Friday, April 13, 2007)
  3. "JJLS Treasurer Dave Nightingale Passes," The James Jones Literary Society Newsletter (Vol. 16, No. 1; Summer 2007), p. 5

Further Reading[edit]

  • "JJLS Treasurer Dave Nightingale Passes", The James Jones Literary Society Newsletter, Vol. 16, No. 1; Summer 2007, pp. 4-5. [1]
  • Trevor Jensen: "David J. Nightingale: 1935 - 2007",The Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2007. [2]

Related Sites[edit]