Al Hamnik is a Region native, born in East Chicago and a graduate of Griffith High School and Calumet College.
He's been a reporter and columnist in Northwest Indiana for 42 years and is a member of the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, as well as a winner of the Indiana sportswriter of the year award, an IHSAA media award winner, a Corky Lamm Award winner and a three-time HSPA winner.
He's covered two Super Bowls, six NBA championships, the Pan-American Games, the Big Ten and NCAA men's basketball tournaments, championship series for both the Cubs and White Sox and title games across the IHSAA spectrum.
Reach Al Hamnik at (219) 933-4154 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The RailCats are hovering around .500 in the American Association standings and struggling at the ticket window, so it's time for drastic measures.
We're a spoiled society.
Sports ownership is seldom beloved and waiving the face of your franchise will get the angry villagers lighting torches quicker than anything.
Tim Keough, a jolly old soul while retired and living in Arizona, told friends in Northwest Indiana that he often was "booked" making appearances as Santa Claus at the local stores during Christmas.
WEST LAFAYETTE | The term “mental toughness” in sports today is so often watered down.
For an insider's scoop on the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, ask E'Twaun Moore.
John Baratto's East Chicago Washington basketball teams produced several great players, but the movie credits didn't end there.
I like new Purdue football skipper Darrell Hazell. He avoids the ho-hum coach speak that puts you to sleep.
You watch LeBron James take off at midcourt for a windmill dunk or Kevin Durant pull up for a 3, then fall backwards into the third row.
The athletic programs in Gary have become a joke, like the hapless victim who unknowingly has a "KICK ME!" sign taped to his back at the workplace.
Name calling and organized sports go together like buttered popcorn.
You have the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and money to burn.
CHICAGO | What do you do, what do you say, when the end is inevitable?
CHICAGO | You can't stop Sasquatch with spitballs.
CHICAGO | Coach Tom Thibodeau says we're missing the real story.
Quit dumping your vitriol on Derrick Rose, OK?
CHICAGO | Nate Robinson isn't human.
CHICAGO | Free spirit Joakim Noah has undergone an amazing transformation from clown to All-Star since joining the Bulls.
Besides growing up together in cozy Lovington, New Mexico and being best friends, the bond between Brian Urlacher and Brandon Ridenour is as basic as milk.
Fans will turn on a professional athlete faster than a rabid dog. It's their nature as paying customers.
Batiste Haywood has a plan, a pretty good one at that.
Mary "Merciless" McGee has literally been a fighter all her life.
You could sense the shock and deep sadness in Carey Pinkowski's voice as if he were sitting next you at a Starbucks, baring his soul.
An open letter to Michigan's Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary and Spike Albrecht:
CHICAGO | Cover your children's ears. Don't touch the Derrick Rose poster in their bedroom, though purple bunting taped across it might be appropriate.
Feel-good stories are as rare as a Cubs winning streak.
Next to the Super Bowl, the NCAA men's basketball championship is the most popular sporting event in this country.
It was once believed Jerome Harmon could fly.
CHICAGO | Now at power forward for the Orlando Magic, No. 55, E'Twaun Moore.
CHICAGO | How sad that a high school player's future can be summed up with flashy one-liners and comparisons to an NBA star.
Occasionally, social media gets it right.
If Erik Campbell was an assistant for Marc Trestman last season, he might be on the Bears payroll in 2013-14.
CHICAGO | I took the bait. I feel so dumb.
What were you doing on Feb. 3?
WEST LAFAYETTE | Kawann Short wants so badly to play pro football, he's given up pizza and ribs and chocolate sundaes.
CHICAGO | Covering Tom Thibodeau's press conferences is like having an ill friend at the hospital and watching them slowly slip away.
AUBURN HILLS, MICH.| And now the questioning, the second-guessing, begins.
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. | Tom Izzo loves wearing a bull's-eye on his back and dodging hand grenades.
People are losing their jobs each day.
GARY | Why are so many people jealous of Bowman Academy and its wildly successful basketball program?
HAMMOND | Barry and Jason Quigg are a father-son TV movie with a hanky ready next to the remote.
We called Kawann Short a teddy bear as a basketball-football standout at East Chicago Central.
Batiste Haywood loves basketball.
The problem with your favorite pro team kicking butt and having a super season is ticket prices.
Angie Wright kept stats for Andrean baseball coach Dave Pishkur as a student, but that was just Step 1 in pursuing a career after college.
Imagine running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain and tripping.
One event can define you for life, particularly in sports where the goat lives on forever.
With all apologies to "The Music Man," we got trouble, right here in the Windy City, and it's spelled B-U-L-L-S with a capital B.
HAMMOND | Something quite special is happening at 250 Ogden St., and it's not a massive yard sale where one person's garbage is another's treasure.
CHICAGO | The Miami Heat are running away with the Eastern Conference's No. 1 playoff seed, but no one is handing out cigars and party hats.
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