You won't find Sheldon Czapnik's name as a byline or picture credit in this or any issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, but he figures importantly in the life of the magazine as assistant managing editor for administration. Among other responsibilities, he manages our editorial budget, handles personnel matters and helps keep tabs on new technology as it applies to the processing of copy. In short, he frees the editors and writers to concentrate primarily on editing and writing.
Czapnik (pronounced CHAP-nik) is more than just a Columbia M.B.A. He's a well-rounded guy who holds a master's in English, as" conversant with Macbeth and The Brothers Karamazov as with budget spreadsheets and bottom lines. And as far as we know, he's the only certified scuba diver in the office, with an itch to get back to the splendors of the turquoise sea off Jamaica's Ocho Rios.
Czapnik grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where the high point of his youthful athletic career—in stickball, naturally—came when some toughs took him for a patsy and sneeringly dared him to take a turn at bat. Sheldon stepped in and launched a two-manhole shot on the first pitch.
Another memorable athletic moment occurred 14 years ago at a Catskill resort when Czapnik, a runner when running was not yet really in, passed by one Tobie Rabinowitz. Both parties agree that it was love at first sight. They live in Leonia, N.J. with their daughter, Dana, 5. Tobie, a 10-mile-a-day runner until she damaged her knees two years ago—she's working with weights now—sells real estate.
Czapnik, who still jogs mornings, ran literary magazines in high school and at the City College of New York. He earned his first master's at New York University, concentrating on Shakespeare. "I'm still proud of my paper on Macbeth" he says. "And one day I'm going to try to have it published." Czapnik had intended to go for a Ph.D. but became dissatisfied with the ivory tower aspects of university life and in 1972 began working as a writer and editor. As a senior editor in Prentice-Hall's college textbook division, he handled James A.F. Stoner's bestselling Management.
After Czapnik took his M.B.A. in 1979, he signed on as an editorial administrator at Newsweek. Last July he joined us here at SI, and it's no exaggeration to say that he's batting 1.000 in our league.
OUR MAN CZAPNIK: HERE IN THE EDITORIAL PRECINCTS AT SI, WE GIVE HIM THE BUSINESS