Bjarkman: A day at the ballpark with Anthony Bourdain

From SABR member Peter C. Bjarkman at La Vida Baseball on July 2, 2018:

Anthony Bourdain was a celebrity chef, world traveler, skilled wordsmith and television personality all rolled into one engaging personality. Bourdain’s tragic loss in June was deeply felt by millions who had, for much of the past two decades, enjoyed the sardonic wit of his writings or were entertained and enlightened by his intimate and outspoken portraits of cultures and cuisines found in the distant corners the world.

Bourdain also had a relationship with baseball, which I witnessed firsthand during a three-day trip we had in Cuba in 2011. There I personally saw the genuineness of his persona, the connection he had with Latino cultures and cuisine, and the real charm of who he was.

For those of us fortunate to travel and work with Bourdain – if only for the span of a few days – the loss had an even deeper resonance. A “bad boy” New York executive chef who escaped the dark world of personal drug addiction and then morphed into a global cultural sage with his long-running and immensely popular series “No Reservations” (The Travel Channel) and “Parts Unknown” (CNN), Bourdain arguably did more than any other American commentator to educate a generation of viewers about cultures spread around the globe and often sadly hidden from too many American eyes.

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Originally published: July 2, 2018. Last Updated: July 2, 2018.