Leonard Koppett (September 15, 1923 – June 22, 2003) was an American sportswriter.
Born in Moscow as Leonard Kopeliovich, Koppett moved with his family from Moscow, Russia to the United States when he was five years old. They lived in The Bronx, New York, a block away from Yankee Stadium.
Koppett served in the United States Army before graduating from Columbia University in 1946. He then worked as a reporter and columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, the New York Post, The New York Times, the Peninsula Times Tribune, and The Sporting News, and authored 22 books on sports. He also published a number of magazine articles.
Best known were his works on baseball: Concise History of Major League Baseball (1998, updated through 2004) and The Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball (originally titled A Thinking Man's Guide to Baseball, 1967, renamed for gender neutrality and updated several times through 2004) are considered definitive works on the game. The former was inspired by Koppett's conversations with contemporary athletes who had little or no knowledge about the history of their game and the great players of decades past, while the latter memorably began with a one-word paragraph — "Fear." — and then explored how the batter's instinctive fear of the thrown pitch is the key point around which most other aspects of baseball play are derived.
Two weeks prior to his death, Koppett completed his final book, The Rise and Fall of the Press Box, which is part autobiography and part memoir about changes in sports media coverage since World War II when he became a sportswriter.
- "Leonard Koppett '44: Hall of Fame Sports Writer". Columbia College Today. Retrieved January 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "1992 J.G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Leonard Koppett". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Goldstein, Richard (June 24, 2003). "Leonard Koppett, 79, Writer With Novel Approach to Sports". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Leonard Koppett". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved January 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Allen, Maury. "Saluting Leonard Koppett". The Columnists. Archived from the original on February 18, 2005. Retrieved January 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)