A Newspaper Career Stamped by Billy Martin

Ray Hagar retires after 38 years with the Reno Gazette-Journal.

After 38 years with the Reno Gazette-Journal, reporter Ray Hagar (pictured) retired at the end of October. In an interview posted this week with friend and colleague Julia Ritchey of KUNR-FM public radio, it was hard to avoid the incident for which Hagar is infamous – getting clocked on Nov. 10, 1978 by Yankees manager Billy Martin:

“He was upset and he was drunk and just hauled off and hit me,” Hagar says. “It was 10 and a half months of hell, to be honest with you, for all the public attention it caused.”

Six months after the incident, a settlement of $7,500 was paid to Hagar to cover dental work. The money was paid out not by Martin but by the Reno Big Horns, the Western Basketball Association team whose game had brought the baseball manager in contact with Hagar that night.

The Martin fracas occurred at the very beginning of the journalist’s time at the paper. Hagar’s last published assignment was covering a visit to northern Nevada by Donald Trump. Listen to the full interview here.
 
[Photo via: @RGJRayHagar]