Rosenthal: Appreciating the passion and ability of Jayson Stark, the 2019 Spink Award winner

From Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic on July 19, 2019, on SABR member Jayson Stark:

The day of the All-Star Game, in the course of a normal conversation, Jayson Stark posed an existential question:

“Was it really worth it for me to stay up until 3 in the morning figuring out how many miles of home runs Vlad Jr. hit in the Home Run Derby?”

Anyone who has read Jayson knows exactly how he answered.

Of course it was!

The total distance of Vlad’s 91 homers, as Jayson revealed in his column on the Derby, was 7.3 miles.

Jayson’s readers probably would have survived with their lives intact if he had not dug up that detail. But Jayson might not have, which tells you all need to know about why he will be the 2019 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award Saturday in Cooperstown.

From time to time, aspiring young sports journalists will tell me they want to be this writer or that broadcaster, usually locking in one of the biggest names in the industry. My response is always the same: There is only one.

And that’s how we all feel about Jayson. There is no other baseball writer like him. There will never be another baseball writer like him. And the coolest, most amazing thing about him is that after four decades of baseball writing — Danny Ozark was the manager when Jayson joined the Phillies beat in 1979 — his passion for the game, and ability to see things no one else can, remains unchanged.

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Originally published: July 19, 2019. Last Updated: July 19, 2019.