When I grow up I want to become a baseball writer… a beat writer. It has to be one of the coolest jobs in the world to a baseball nut like me. As I didn’t go to school for journalism, I hardly even know where to start to investigate possibly making that dream come true one day. Adding in the fact that I am now in my 30’s, I know I better start coming up with ways to make this happen. One thing I have figured out so far is that it is good to talk to those who actually do the job. I have found the advice I have gotten from these veterans to be invaluable and have already started putting it to good use.
I have been surprised to hear back from some current beat writers lately, given that we are in the midst of summer and baseball season. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe is one writer who graciously agreed to chat with me about his job and what it takes to be a baseball writer. Peter has covered the Red Sox and blogged for the Globe and www.boston.com for the past couple of years. Prior to that, he covered first the Mets, and then the Yankees, for The Journal News in the Hudson Valley area of New York. He has also had his writing appear in other newspapers and prominent publications like Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. In sum, Peter knows a lot about baseball writing. If you are not familiar with his work, I would highly suggest that you start looking for his stuff, as you won’t find a better baseball writer out there.
The way Peter describes his job to me makes it all the more appealing. Although I choose to concentrate on the positive aspects, I am sure that it has its tough moments like any job out there. I can only imagine how hard he has worked to get to where he is today. Rarely does success happen overnight, and that seems to especially be the case in the world of baseball writing. It takes time, talent, and I would dare say some luck, as you have to find a way to get noticed in order to make much progress.
I hope that I might have some of the same opportunities Pete earned for himself. All I can do is keep plugging away, and look at others who have made it, and use their success as a blueprint for my own plan. Maybe I will get somewhere, and maybe I won’t. All I can do is put out the effort and see what happens. At least it makes each day all the more interesting and exciting.
Peter Abraham Interview:
Can you please go into a little bit more detail about the daily aspect of your job with the Boston Globe?: I am responsible for all aspects of covering the team for the newspaper and Boston.com. I cover games, write feature stories, follow news stories, etc. The Red Sox are in our paper virtually 365 days a year.
Did you have a favorite team and/or player growing up?: I liked George Brett a lot and watched a lot of Braves games. But I started working for a newspaper when I was 16 and learned pretty quickly that I had to be objective. I became a fan of the game itself, not really any one team.
How did you first become interested in baseball?: Through my father, who was (and still is) a big fan.
How did you become interested in baseball writing?: I majored in journalism at UMass and worked my way up from there. I covered college baseball for a while, and then when I took a job in New York, that led to covering baseball.
Do you have any tips for those (like myself) who are interested in breaking into baseball writing?: I can only offer you the same advice I give everybody else: Write as often as you can for anybody who will have you. I worked free for a weekly paper when I was starting out. The more you write and experience the process, the better you will get.
I learned a lot about baseball writing when I was covering high school games at the age of 22.
What are the best and the toughest parts of your job?: The best parts are watching the games, obviously. I also like to travel and see different places. The toughest parts are dealing with some unprofessional people in the media business and working a lot of weekends.
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