Sports Prep Reporter, Detroit Free Press
In 1970, a month shy of his 21st birthday, Mick McCabe joined the Detroit Free Press as a copyboy. In the decades since, McCabe’s reputation for covering prep sports and his influence as a champion of fair play cemented his legacy as an icon among Michigan sports writers.
McCabe was the prep wingman for Hal (“Swami”) Schram, a legendary figure who retired in 1983. The Son of Swami, as McCabe became known, quickly became Michigan’s preeminent prep reporter and famous for his successful predictive columns.
A pioneer in covering girls athletics in the state, McCabe defined his prep mission two ways: He does everything for the kids and he writes for scrapbooks. Nobody could calculate how many bits of now-yellowed newsprint have been saved because of McCabe’s words during his 43½ years at the Free Press.
He tackles difficult issues, he exposes scandals and he breaks news. But he also tells heartwarming tales and writes about the universal topics that interest young athletes, their classmates, their coaches, their teachers, their parents and anybody who appreciates good journalism and good storytelling.
McCabe has won awards from local to national levels for his prep coverage. He was inducted into the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Hall of Fame and the Detroit Catholic League Hall of Fame. And, folks understand when Dick Vitale, the noted ESPN basketball analyst, often during his broadcasts, calls McCabe the best prep reporter in the country.