Brudnicki: ‘You’re different’: Baseball in a man’s world

From Alexis Brudnicki at The Hardball Times on November 18, 2015, with mention of SABR member Bob Elliott:

I was naïve then, as I was when I landed in the sports journalism industry as a lost law school candidate who decided to pursue a love of baseball for fear of attending three more years of classes after finishing my undergraduate degree. My naïvete continued as I kept getting a little bit of luck. I was fortunate to get into the one-year post-grad Sports Journalism program at Centennial College, and I was lucky that most of my classmates wanted to delve into sports other than baseball. I was in the right place at the right time when the Blue Jays needed to hire someone as a statistician for the game-day production crew, and I am still grateful my school schedule allowed me to work every home game for the rest of that season.

From there I went to North Carolina, where I completed my education with an internship at Baseball America. It was almost immediately after I had returned home from Durham that Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun contacted me and asked me to be a part of the Canadian Baseball Network, which he curates. Since then, for five years — six Toronto seasons — I’ve been working summers for the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre and spending winters in the Australian Baseball League as press officer and whatever else needs doing. In between, there have been return trips to Durham; vacations to ballparks all around; talking to high schoolers, college players, minor leaguers, indy ballers and major leaguers; one adventure to Japan with Baseball Canada and plenty of Canadian baseball writing for CBN. I started writing for Prep Baseball Report last year, but I’ve been slacking on content lately.

I was rarely around other women, but the acceptance from men into their circles kept me in my cloud of naïvete. My boss with the Blue Jays is a woman, so I wasn’t alone. But when I started, the production crew of about 25 people included roughly 23 men. I might have been the second-ever female intern at BA, but if there was one before me, it was so long ago no one could remember. When Elliot emailed my boss at BA to see if I would be interested in CBN, he thought I was a guy, an assumption based on misreading my name.

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Originally published: November 18, 2015. Last Updated: November 18, 2015.