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January 22, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: She Got the Beat


Ian Miller

Susan Slusser, longtime A's reporter and the first female president of the BBWAA, answers questions.

In 1986, Susan Fornoff covered the Oakland A’s beat for the Sacramento Bee. Dave Kingman, whose career was in steep decline, took issue with the presence of a woman in the clubhouse and had a rat delivered to Fornoff during a home game. Kingman was fined $3,500 and warned that another incident of this type would result in his release.

Three years later, a young intern named Susan Slusser was hired full-time by the paper to cover the Sacramento Kings and back up both baseball writers, launching her impressive career writing about baseball in Oakland. For the past 15 seasons, Slusser has covered the A’s beat for the San Francisco Chronicle. I spoke with Slusser by phone recently and talked with her about scooping her husband, her new role as president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and how being a beat writer has changed for women over the course of her career.

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