Like avocados, bikinis, the Dodgers and so many other things that make Southern California special, our two newest writers, Tony Castro and Rick Reilly, are not native to the Golden State. Castro grew up in Waco, Texas but went to work as a columnist and special assignments writer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in 1978. Reilly was raised in Boulder, Colo., moving to the Southland two years ago to write sports for the Los Angeles Times.
Castro and Reilly both make their SI debuts in this issue, Tony with a feature on sprinter Valerie Brisco-Hooks (page 44) and Rick with his study of two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy (page 74). Appropriately, both stories deal with athletes whose lives revolve around their families.
Castro, 38, and his wife, model Renee LaSalle, live in West Hollywood and are expecting their first child in September. Castro got in some paternal preparations when he informally babysat with Brisco-Hooks's son, Alvin Jr., during a workout at UCLA.
The 27-year-old Reilly and his wife, Linda, who live in Los Feliz, had their first child, son Kellen, 3½ months ago. Kellen already weighs 18 pounds—"I ask him for the car keys," Rick says—and will no doubt soon outgrow the dozen baseball outfits in his closet.
Reilly isn't altogether new to SI. When he was 12 he sneaked into a football game at the University of Colorado—he graduated from that school 11 years later—and was given a field pass to help an overladen SI photographer, Walter Iooss. Iooss walked away with a cover shot (Oct. 5, 1970), and Reilly walked away with $9.
Castro also profited from an early association with SI. "I couldn't speak English until second grade," says Castro, who grew up speaking Spanish. "The first thing I ever read in English was a piece on bubble gum cards that ran in an early Sports Illustrated," he says. In fact, what he read was a two-part article that ran in our first and second issues in August 1954. Castro learned English well enough to earn degrees in English and journalism from Baylor and a Nieman fellowship from Harvard in 1977. He's the author of Chicano Power, a political history of Hispanics in the Southwest.
We're happy to welcome family men Reilly and Castro to our family.
WITH RELISH, WE PRESENT L.A.-BASED REILLY (LEFT) AND CASTRO TO OUR READERS