He grew up in Springfield following the local high school or local college basketball teams, eventually kept stats of the Central High School boys and did the same for American Legion baseball teams.

Usually for Lyndal Scranton, his summer nights ended in either calling in scores or running them by the Leader & Press.

“That was my first peek into a newsroom. It was a fascinating place and, when I got an opportunity to become a sports clerk in the fall of 1979, I didn’t think twice,” Scranton said. “But it was far from glamorous.”

No, but ultimately readers came to recognize his byline, and Scranton was one of the best in the business. That’s why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly inducted Scranton as a sportswriter with the Class of 2023.

Overall, he worked for the News-Leader from 1979 until 2015, enjoying a 36-year run in which his wide-ranging interests and abilities included staffing events from the Major League Baseball World Series to Missouri State University sports to bowling, horse racing and auto racing.

Specifically, he was the primary beat writer of MSU men’s sports from 1989 until his retirement and added women’s sports when called upon. That’s notable because he covered every NCAA Tournament game the basketball Bears played in the Division I era.

In essence, Scranton’s tenacity working the Bears beat and his passion for covering stock car racing not only made the News-Leader sports section a must-read but gave readers a level of reporting on par with that of any major American newspaper, and usually far better.

Of his major breaking stories, two involved Bears basketball coaches – Charlie Spoonhour (MSHOF Legend 2019) taking the Saint Louis University job in 1992, and Steve Alford’s hiring in 1995.

“Someone from Missouri State called me the next day to ask how I knew they were interested,” Scranton said of the Alford news. “I still chose not to divulge the source, but it was accurate.”

That came years after he covered the 1982 World Series while a 30-hour part-time employee. He soon joined the staff full-time.

Scranton also covered the 1999 Sweet Sixteen run of the basketball Bears, the 2003 College World Series and the 2006 Kentucky Derby.

At the Sweet Sixteen, former Marquette coach-turned-TV analyst Al McGuire walked over to him a day before the Bears played Duke.

“I always like to talk to beat writers about teams because they won’t feed you with b.s. like sports information people will,” McGuire told him.

Additionally, Scranton wasn’t afraid to let Bears teams have it in print. He was honest with readers.

“Because you can’t fool readers,” Scranton said. “They know the teams with a passion and, if you try to portray them in anything but a straightforward, truthful manner they, will see right through it.”

Best of all, Scranton wasn’t afraid to work in the so-called trenches, covering anything.

“One thing that always stood out from what sports editor Marty Eddlemon (MSHOF 1989), Larry Hazelrigg and Anvil Welch always said was that, no matter how small a story might seem, it means everything to someone buying the paper specifically to see it and maybe put in a scrapbook,” Scranton said. “That’s why you treat every story with equal respect.”

Before graduating from Central High School in 1978, his stat-keeping for basketball games and summer Legion games put him in contact with Welch and Hazelrigg.

Welch was among the country’s best high school beat writers, and Hazelrigg enjoyed a long tenure at the paper, eventually covering women’s Final Fours of the Lady Bears. Other colleagues included Kirby Arnold, Warren Mayes and Steve Wieberg.

Arnold’s departure led to Scranton taking over car racing coverage, and he also became assistant sports editor from 1985 to 1992.

He has since become the public relations director for Lucas Oil Speedway and a contributing sports reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen.

An avid bowler, he also hosts Tailgate Guys Podcast with former sports editor Steve Koehler, which features the country’s top barbecue competitors, and also competes in professional barbecue events with two top-15 finishes at the American Royal World Series of BBQ.

Best of all, the support of his wife, Karen, and their family has meant everything.

“It’s been tremendously rewarding,” Scranton said of his career. “You don’t do this for your bosses or even yourself, you do it for the readers. I am humbled by this honor as I see myself as no one special. I just showed up on time every day and tried to do my best.”