Veteran writer Wiggins honored with FSAJ award

by Jack Gallagher

Longtime sports columnist and sumo television announcer Dave Wiggins was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the second annual Foreign Sportswriters Association of Japan Media Awards dinner on Monday night in Tokyo.

News photoDave Wiggins accepts his Lifetime Achievement Award at the FSAJ Media Awards
dinner on Monday night in Tokyo.

Wiggins, who has lived in Japan for more than 20 years, was previously a sports television reporter in Hawaii for many years.

Known for his wry sense of humor, both in print and in person, Wiggins said upon receiving the crystal trophy that goes with the honor: “Well, it’s not a Pulitzer, but it actually means more to me.”

Individual prizes were awarded to Wayne Graczyk, who has written a baseball column for The Japan Times for more than 30 years, Jim Armstrong of The Associated Press and soccer specialist Andrew Mitchell, for their work in 2005.

Graczyk was chosen as Best Columnist, Armstrong named the Best Wire Reporter and Mitchell the Best Writer by members of the FSAJ during voting in January.

Best-selling author Robert Whiting was on hand to help give out the awards.

The FSAJ recently named figure skating champion Mao Asada as the top Japanese athlete for 2005 in honor of her numerous achievements last year, which included winning the world junior championship, winning the Grand Prix event in Paris in November and winning the Grand Prix Final in Tokyo.

Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine was named top foreign sports figure after leading his team to its first Japan Series championship in 31 years, becoming the first foreign-born manager to win the Series in the process.

The FSAJ is composed of foreign members of the sports media in Japan and Japanese sports media working at English-language media outlets.