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Neal is first black writer to head BBWAA

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has become the first black reporter to head the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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The 48-year-old Neal, who has covered baseball for the paper since 1998, was elected Saturday at the BBWAA's World Series meeting to succeed Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser was the first woman to head the organization, which was founded in 1908.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle was elected vice president, putting him in line to become president next October.

Slusser was elected to the BBWAA board along with Dan Connolly of The Sun in Baltimore, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post- Dispatch and Marc Topkin of Tampa Bay Times.

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