A National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Famer, Red Smith Award Winner Mitch Albom has written a syndicated column for the Detroit Free Press since 1985, archived here exclusively, free of charge. He also periodically writes for national magazines. He hosts the bi-weekly The Sports Reporters podcast (based on the long-running ESPN show), from which his “parting shot” commentaries are collected here.

The price we’d pay for $20 minimum wage

You can force businesses to raise wages, but you can’t force them to keep workers. And study after study, expert after expert, shows that, eventually, the higher the wages demanded, the fewer positions there will be. Follow this to its logical conclusion, and at a...

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Barry Sanders retirement a bombshell we should have seen coming

It was the fax heard around the world. Barry Sanders, for the first and only time in his career, mailed it in. Through a piece of paper in a Wichita newspaper office, one of the greatest running backs in the history of football called it quits. Twenty years later,...

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Mitch's first column

Give me a Sporting Chance, and I’ll Give it Right Back

AUG 8, 1985

Let’s start with an old joke.

On a plane trip home after a football game, Buck Buchanan, a massive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, was sitting next to a sports writer. Buck had the aisle seat. The sports writer was by the window.

Dinner came, and they ate. Soon Buck fell asleep…

Mitch Albom is nationally known sportswriter; columnist for the Detroit Free Press; author of Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People you Meet in Heaven and other best-selling books; TV and radio personality; and philanthropist. For the past five years, he has been working to help children orphaned after a devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. He writes about that effort here.

Working with Haiti’s orphans: Smiles make it worthwhile

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The woman in the chair had a small child sleeping in her lap. She had come to give him away.
“Who is the father?” I asked, through a translator.
“There is no father,” she said.
“Aren’t you the mother?”
“No.”
“Whose child is this?”
“I found him abandoned under a tree behind a hospital. He was maybe 2 months old, and his belly was big. He was crying. So I took him to the police.”
“What did they tell you?”
“They said, ‘Why did you pick him up? You should have left him there.’ So I took him home. And now I am here.”

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The Courage of Detroit

This was Christmas night. In the basement of a church off an icy street in downtown Detroit, four dozen homeless men and women sat at tables. The smell of cooked ham wafted from the kitchen. The pastor, Henry Covington, a man the size of two middle linebackers, exhorted the people with a familiar chant.

“I am somebody,” he yelled.

“I am somebody!” they repeated.

“Because God loves me!”

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The Joys of Summer

Go ahead, kids. Lie in the grass. Study the clouds. Daydream. Be lazy. You have our permission. I feel sorry for today’s kids. Summer comes, they’re finally free from school—and bang!Band camp. Science seminars. Internships. Instead of downtime, it’s get-up-and-go...

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Making the Skies a Bit Friendlier

Hello, this is your captain speaking.Okay, I lied. I don’t sit in the cockpit. I sit where you sit. And I fly a lot (over 100,000 miles a year). So I would like to suggest ways the airlines could treat us better this year.But why bother?Any business that will soon be...

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