The cover for Newsday's 2020 MLB preview special section in...

The cover for Newsday's 2020 MLB preview special section in the July 23 editions. Credit: Newsday

Newsday earned two prestigious honors in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest, finishing in the top 10 nationally for its Sunday and special sections.

The sections were honored in "Division A," which is the largest circulation category in the country. The results were announced on Friday.

This is the third straight year Newsday’s Sunday section has placed in the top 10 and sixth time in eight years for special section. Newsday won for its 2020 baseball preview special section.

"It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized with these prestigious awards from APSE," Newsday sports editor Hank Winnicki said. "The entire sports staff should be proud of the work we’re doing.

"Our baseball preview section is an example of some of our best work. The section editor, Dave Whitehorn, puts his heart into that section each year. And our baseball writers are among the very best in the country."

The baseball special section featured comprehensive previews of the Yankees and Mets heading into a season shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Neil Best reported on the last time (1878) a season was only 60 games, and Mark Herrmann wrote the 12th annual "Baseball 101" seminar entitled "New York, New York" -- 101 pertinent examples of players and officials who made their mark with more than one Big Apple team.

"The baseball preview special section is a culmination of talented reporting, writing, photography, design and editing," said Whitehorn, who is the editor of the Sunday and baseball preview sections. "Collectively, it’s among the best work annually produced by our dedicated staff."

Newsday’s Sunday section entry featured a Super Bowl LIV preview, coverage of the Masters, high school winter season championships, the Islanders advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, and coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

"The competition is so tough, and we are extremely proud to be recognized among the nation’s top sports sections," Winnicki said.

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