On Monday, Calvin Haywood passed away. Haywood, a prominent sports director, had worked for ESPN and ABC since 1982, and for YES since 2005 (as per his LinkedIn bio), both in staff and freelance roles. He was the first Black director of ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and was the first Black director of ESPN studio shows as well, working on SportsCenter and on many other properties. He then went on to make a huge impact at YES. Both ESPN and YES put out notable tributes to him:
Many individual colleagues and fellow media figures also paid tribute to Haywood on Twitter:
As talented and creative as he was outgoing and magnetically friendly, Calvin Haywood was a pioneer, a great TV director, a relentless golfer, and a friend to all. His sudden passing leaves a painful void in the extended ESPN family . Wood, RIP. pic.twitter.com/CAY1cSpLkP
— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) April 27, 2021
Such a loss. To know Calvin Haywood was to love him, no matter who you were. What a man. What good fortune it was just to be around him. Keep swoopin and slidin, brother. Love you.
— BillWolff (@ProducerGuy1) April 27, 2021
A quick cameo tweet in honor of our colleague Late Great Calvin Haywood. He’s gonna be honored tonight on @SportsCenter at 6et. died suddenly the other day. A transformational Director of Sports Television for 5 decades. We worked & played (our catcher)on 87 Title team! Wood?RIP pic.twitter.com/35pnDivtst
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) April 28, 2021
Saddened that friend,ESPN director Calvin Haywood is with the Lord now.
“Wood” directed every show with skill,knowledge,creativity.He inspired me,sharpened me.
Black announcers don’t get to work with many directors who look like us & understand #TheCulture ✊?
RIP Bruh❤️?? pic.twitter.com/g04qtTvKHF
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) April 27, 2021
RIP my dear friend, former ESPN colleague and golfing partner, and, to the end, fantasy baseball rival. Calvin Haywood was an ESPN legend. RIP, Wood. https://t.co/qYbF1Hi3kl
— Chris Bodig ⚾ (@cooperstowncred) April 27, 2021
Re-upping this tonight as we deal with the news that Calvin Haywood passed away. Wood was a heckuva director and a special guy. If you knew him, you loved him – simple as that. https://t.co/RtowpiOjNp
— Mike Leber (@Mike_Leber) April 27, 2021
Calvin Haywood had infectious energy that always made you smile. He was a blast to play softball with and work with. R.I.P.
— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) April 28, 2021
Our thoughts go out to Haywood’s family, friends and colleagues.
[Image via YES]