Former Juneau Empire sports editor Charles Bingham's coverage of Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Chad Bentz's rise to the major leagues was honored Wednesday in a national sportswriting contest.
The Associated Press Sports Editors selected Bingham's April 4, 2004, story about Bentz making the roster of the Montreal Expos as one of the top 10 breaking news stories among U.S. papers with circulations under 40,000.
Bingham is one of 10 finalists in that writing category and circulation division. The top winners will be announced next month.
Several other finalists in Bingham's category work at papers with circulations more than six times that of the Empire.
Last April, Bingham heard the news of Bentz's accomplishment on a Saturday morning from Bentz's parents in Juneau. Bingham worked on deadline - and across time zones - to reach Bentz in Florida and get the story of how the relief pitcher learned he had made the Expos roster. He scoured the Empire archives to provide background in the story, and drew on information gathered from years of following Bentz's progress in college and the minor leagues.
Bingham covered sports at the Empire from August 1999 until earlier this month.