Jim Wharton, a longtime Morrow County resident who twice served as sports editor of The Sentinel, has recently had his fifth book released.
Entitled Some I Wrote, it is a compilation of Wharton’s best works of a 50-year career in journalism.
Having worked for the Columbus Dispatch, Newark Advocate, Buckeye Sports Bulletin, Scarlet & Gray Illustrated, Portsmouth Daily Times, Greenville Daily Advocate and the Morrow County Sentinel, Wharton authored over 3,000 stories or columns during his career.
Wharton, a Marengo resident, also penned four earlier books: Harvesting Champions: Highland Basketball From The Ground To The Crown, Morrow County Football: 6- And 8-Man Style, Highland Football: The First 50 Years, and Hey Blue! The Wild, Wooly, Weird, Wacky, Wonderful World Of Ohio Fastpitch Softball.
When his latest endeavor was finished, Wharton had chosen 285 stories from his various newspapers or books to use in Some I Wrote.
Thirty-seven of those articles were either written while Wharton was employed in one of his two tours of duty at The Sentinel, or where of interest to Morrow County residents although authored for other publications.
In compiling such a book, Wharton will take you on a trip down memory lane. Whether you’re reading about Highland winning the 1998 Division III state basketball title or J.T. Hoyng scoring 57 points in a game that year, or a Mt. Gilead graduate signing to play for the New York Yankees, Wharton writes with understanding and passion.
There are stories about a Cardington High School sports historian setting Wharton straight on a long-ago piece of information, or a former Cardington teacher serving as a body guard for NBA standout LeBron James.
There’s a column he penned about a high school football team scoring 108 points in one game, or a strange softball saga breaking the heart of a former Mt. Gilead softball player.
Long a lover of sports history, Wharton writes of a young man setting a county basketball single-game scoring record and getting hardly any mention in the paper, or a member of the 1929 Iberia baseball team telling of he and his school playing in the state baseball tournament.
Basketball games have all sorts of endings. In this book he chronicles the weird ending of a game involving a local high school team playing in the postseason tournament. Or he writes a personal column about the fact that all-star teams are not always all star team.
He also writes about love: like the softball player calling time out during a game so that he could propose to his girlfriend, or the area high school coach who proposed to his fiancé while taking part in a holiday fun run.
Included in the book are several stories Wharton wrote while at other papers that revolved around Morrow County athletes. Two from the Columbus Dispatch about Highland basketball standout Jeff Jahn and his struggle with cancer and subsequent death, and one he wrote for the Mt. Vernon News about the death of Lincoln Squires, a Highland athlete who died tragically while he was still in high school.
Wharton wrote about things other than sports, and of interest – and perhaps a refresher course – to Morrow County folks might be the one about a bone marrow donor meeting the recipient or of a Sparta store passing away.
The book which is 402 pages of 8½ x 11-inch size, is available by sending check or money order – sorry, no credit cards – to Jim Wharton, P.O. Box 234, Marengo, OH 43334. Wharton will personally sign your copy and might even deliver it in person.