Newsday's 2023 MLB preview (left), a feature on Mets closer...

Newsday's 2023 MLB preview (left), a feature on Mets closer Edwin Diaz (top right) in his Puerto Rico hometown and a look at how Rick Pitino (bottom right) rebuilt St. John's roster all were part of Newsday's winning entries in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors contest. Credit: Newsday

Newsday earned six top-10 finishes at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors contest, placing in the top 10 nationally for daily and Sunday section portfolio, special section, digital portfolio, breaking news, event coverage and explanatory.

Wins in print portfolio, digital portfolio and event coverage also earned Newsday the APSE's coveted "Triple Crown."

The results were announced during APSE’s winter conference in Orlando, Florida.

“This is a tremendous achievement for everyone in our sports department,” said Hank Winnicki, Newsday’s assistant managing editor for sports. “I’m extremely proud of this hard-working and talented staff. The competition is so tough. This shows our commitment to strong journalism and storytelling across all platforms. It’s really a great honor.”

Newsday’s winning entries were honored in the “A Division,” which is the largest circulation category in the country, with the exception of the special section entry, which was honored in the combined “A/B Division.”

Newsday’s print portfolio entry, a selection of daily and Sunday sections, included coverage of Mets beat reporter Tim Healey sitting with Max Scherzer for nine innings during a game in San Francisco against the Giants; an exclusive feature story from Puerto Rico with Mets closer Edwin Diaz giving Newsday a tour of his hometown; a profile of Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito’s meteoric rise in the NFL; Islanders playoff coverage; and Shohei Ohtani agreeing to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The entry also included extensive high school sports coverage, including the top 100 boys and top 100 girls basketball players on Long Island.

The digital portfolio entry included an inside look at how SNY produces Mets broadcasts; how Rick Pitino built the St. John’s roster in six months; how baseball salaries stack up by position; the bond between fighter Kenny Garcia and a trainer at the Westbury Boxing Gym; and the turf vs. grass issue for Long Island high school football, with Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury rekindling the debate.

Newsday’s baseball preview section featured complete coverage of the Mets and Yankees heading into the 2023 season. Highlights included a look at Mets owner Steve Cohen spending big money to build his roster and how that challenged other owners to do the same; features on the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso of the Mets; a graphic presentation highlighting the best everyday player for each Major League Baseball team; a look at the new rules for the 2023 season; and the annual “Baseball 101” project, with the “101 Colors of Baseball” as the topic. Long Island’s Logan O’Hoppe, who was set to begin his first season with the Los Angeles Angels, was also profiled.

“The baseball preview annually showcases some of Newsday’s best work — from the idea people and designers to our writers, photographers and editors,” section editor Dave Whitehorn said. “The staff should take pride in that once again it is being recognized nationally for the talent it takes to produce such a labor-intensive project.”

Laura Albanese and Gregg Sarra won in the breaking news category for an in-depth report on New York state's plan to ban the use of Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery. The story ran in advance of the Board of Regents votes in April and led to a series of news stories in reaction to the ban.

Roger Rubin, Owen O'Brien, John Paraskevas and Sarra won in the explanatory category for a timely report on how Rodgers' injury reignited the longtime debate over the difference between playing on artificial turf vs. natural grass. Newsday interviewed more than two dozen Long Island high school coaches and school administrators, and most said they prefer turf over grass fields for a variety of reasons.

Newsday also won for its event coverage over a 48-hour span as Al Iannazzone and Tom Rock covered Aaron Rodgers' Jets debut and season-ending injury after four snaps. The winning entry included the news of Rodgers' injury, game coverage and subsequent columns and video reports.

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