By the end of his career, from the late 1800s until the mid 1930s, former Toronto Star sports editor and columnist Lou Marsh had covered most of the major sports events in North America, and every Olympic Games. He was almost as well known in New York as in Toronto. Marsh refereed the first professional hockey match in New York.
“Referees in those days stuck to middle ice,” Marsh once said. “If you went near the boards, the hometown fishermen and lumberjacks let you have it in the eye. They all chewed tobacco and as a result, it didn’t matter where the offside occurred, the face-off was in centre ice, and a smart referee made them bring the puck to him.”
It was said that Marsh often left rinks through back windows, still wearing his skates. He also donned zebra attire for boxing matches.
When the Star opened, he progressed in the sports department from reporter, to columnist, to assistant sports editor, to sports editor. His success in his column ‘With Pick and Shovel,’ was that he wrote exactly as he spoke.
Marsh, who lived every day with the zest of a boy, never conserved his energy. He has jumped in a lake to rescue someone on several occasions and was even the subject of a rescue once. While pleasure-boating with an equally boyish friend of his, the craft overturned.
“It was danged cold but I had to laugh at Marsh,” said the scribe’s companion, “Wild Bill” Landrigan, an aeroplane stunt man. “He came up with his cigar still clenched in his teeth and cussing because it had gone out
Marsh died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 58.