For senior writer Jack McCallum, time always seems to be in short supply. Much of it is consumed by the NBA beat, which he has covered for the past two seasons. (His story on the '87 L.A.-Boston finale begins on page 14.) But McCallum's professional obligations are only part of his regular duties. He is also editor-in-chief of an elementary school paper, The Puma Press, a coach of one basketball and two baseball teams and the author of a weekly column in The Globe-Times, a Bethlehem, Pa., paper. "It's an allegedly humorous column," says McCallum, "although people haven't always found it so."
Last week was typical of the McCallum merry-go-round. On Sunday, June 7, after writing his report on Games 1,2 and 3 of the championship series from Boston, McCallum went home to Bethlehem to help his son Jamie, 9, and the rest of The Puma Press staff close the Farewell to the Fifth Grade edition. The big headline in that issue: RAIN FAILS TO RUIN OUR PATIO PARTY. "I've enjoyed it," says McCallum of his involvement with the junior journalists. "I've worked in newspapers for 10 years, and it's the first time I've been in charge."
After putting The Puma Press to bed on Monday afternoon, McCallum hurried out to coach the Mets, Jamie's team in the Farm Division of Bethlehem's Northwest Little League. "We lost another heartbreaker, 17-15 to the Braves," he says. As with their major league counterparts, it has been a tough year for the Mets—through last week they were 3-12. McCallum also coaches his seven-year-old son, Chris's, T-ball team and, in the winter, Jamie's basketball team, the Lakers. "I didn't pick the name," McCallum quickly points out.
On Tuesday it was back to Boston for Game 4 of the championship series. On Wednesday, McCallum played in the annual media basketball game at U Mass-Boston. "I shoot as frequently as possible," he says. Later in the day McCallum caught up with the Lakers—the ones from L.A.—and Celtics. On Thursday he was at courtside for Game 5, and the next morning Jack be nimble, Jack be quick was in our offices in New York to collect his mail and some fresh cash. That afternoon he flew out to L.A. Jack filed his report of the Lakers' championship overnight Sunday, and on Monday he headed home to Bethlehem, in time to help coach another Little League game against those same Braves. "Since I'll be there," predicted McCallum, "we'll probably lose again."