A native of Rome, N.Y. and a magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University, Scott Pitoniak has been writing about people and the games they play for nearly four decades. He spent 35 years in the newspaper business, including 25 as a reporter, feature writer and columnist for the Rochester, N.Y. Democrat and Chronicle, and has written 13 books. His latest book – Buffalo Bills Football Vault: The First 50 Seasons – is his fifth about Western New York’s favorite team.
The most decorated sportswriter in Rochester newspaper history, Scott has received more than 100 national and regional journalism honors. His work, which often deals with the human side of sports, has been cited in The Best American Sportswriting anthology. Scott was inducted into Rochester’s Frontier Field Walk of Fame in 1999, SU's Newhouse School of Public Communications Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Rome Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. He also was selected as a torchbearer for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
Scott is passionate about giving back to his community. Through the years, he has mentored scores of students, taught journalism at the college level and been heavily involved in charities and community service organizations. He served two terms as president of the Rochester Press-Radio Club, which has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities.
His varied interests include everything from playing 19th Century Base Ball at the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, N.Y., to making a fool of himself as an aspiring thespian at Rochester’s Geva Theatre Center’s annual curtain call fundraiser. His most cherished moments are spent with his wife - the former Beth Adams - his children, Amy and Christopher, and their energetic family cat, Sassy.
Scott currently writes a column for his website - ScottPitoniak.com – and Bills Digest and is a frequent contributor to Central New York Sports Magazine and The Associated Press.
Through the years, Scott has covered hundreds of Bills games, conducted thousands of interviews and written well over 1,000 news stories, columns and features about the team and its main characters.
“Rumaging through the Bills bountiful archives while researching this book was a true labor of love for this history buff,’’ Scott says. “Thanks to the Bills and Whitman Publishing out of Atlanta, I believe we’ve come up with a book that’s distinctive from every other book ever published about the team.
“The finished product is a combination scrapbook/photo album look at the Bills rich history. Besides showcasing a stadium full of gorgeous photographs, many never published before, it also features scores of replica artifacts – pennants, programs, tickets, press passes, etc. – and anecdotes that hopefully will take the die-hard Bills fan back in time.’’
Scott’s previous Bills books were: The Official Buffalo Bills Trivia Book (1989); The Official Buffalo Bills Trivia Book, II, (1992); Tales from the Buffalo Bills Sidelines, co-authored with the legendary Steve Tasker, (2006), and The Good, The Bad & the Ugly: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping and Gut-Wrenching Moments in Buffalo Bills History (2007). He also is the author of Memories of Yankee Stadium (2008); Silver Seasons and a New Frontier: The Story of the Rochester Red Wings (1996 and 2010); Baseball in Rochester (2003); Slices of Orange: The Greatest Games and Perfomers in Syracuse University Sports History (2006); Syracuse University Football (2003), and Playing Write Field: The Collected Works of Scott Pitoniak (1997). His 13th book, Jewel of the Sports World: The Story of the Hickok Belt Award, is scheduled to be published this fall by RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press.