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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian is 2022 winner of BBWAA Career Excellence Award

After four decades of covering Major League Baseball, longtime writer and ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian is the 2022 winner of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Career Excellence Award (formerly the J.G. Taylor Spink award).

The award, the highest honor awarded by the BBWAA, is given out annually “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Kurkjian, who turns 65 on Friday, will be recognized at Hall of Fame ceremonies this summer.

Kurkjian began his writing career in Texas where he covered the Texas Rangers for the Dallas Morning News from 1981-1985. He moved on to the Baltimore Sun in 1986 before becoming a mainstay at Sports Illustrated in 1989. His weekly byline became a must read for baseball fans across the country. His love, knowledge and writing skills for the game of baseball was—and still is—an admiral quality among peers and those in-uniform alike.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2021 at 12:47 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. donlock Posted: December 07, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6056541)
I liked an “admiral quality for those in uniform “. Is Tim now in the Navy? Did he write for the Mariners?
   2. It's Spelled With a CFBF, But Not Where You Think Posted: December 07, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6056547)
Kurkjian has always come off as an extraordinarily nice and enthusiastic dude, so good for him.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 07, 2021 at 08:39 PM (#6056572)
“admiral quality for those in uniform “


A subtle reference to Tim's brother Matthew, whose baseball exploits put him in the Catholic University Hall of Fame, and lives on War Admiral Way, in Gaithersburg, MD.
   4. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 08, 2021 at 12:55 AM (#6056593)
There are few public baseball enthusiasts that can match Tim. He does as good of a job promoting baseball as anybody. Not always my cup of tea, but well deserved.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 08, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6056605)
Happy for him. As national-level sports journalists go, if he was a baseball player going into the HOF, I'd say he was like Don Sutton or something: Never really the best or biggest, but consistently very good for a long, long time.

BTW, I guess I missed in the midst of a global pandemic that the Sportswriters HOF Award was renamed earlier this year, when research confirmed that J.G. Taylor Spink (who ran the Sporting News from the 20s through the mid-60s) was overtly racist, anti-integration of the sport, ugly portrayals of the Negro League and its players, etc. I was vaguely aware that the MVP Award had the Landis name removed because of his racist past.

I'm all for removing those names - and I also am in favor of simply not "naming" the awards going forward, which is what MLB is doing with the BBWAA Career Excellence Award (as it is now called).

   6. Jack Sommers Posted: December 08, 2021 at 09:38 AM (#6056607)
The thing that always stood out for me with Kurkjian is just how much respect he has for how great major league baseball players are at playing baseball.

If you've never seen it, this is fun clip

   7. pikepredator Posted: December 08, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6056634)
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy . . . perhaps literally. Sometimes the ESPN rah-rah guys get some flack for being corny or whatever, but Timmy comes across as a kid who never stopped loving baseball and has been doing his dream job for his whole life.
   8. Cris E Posted: December 08, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6056692)
Exactly right: he just loves what he's doing and unapologetically shares his joy. As good as some of these spiritless but technically solid guys are, looking at you Joe Buck, I just won't ever like them because of a deficit in this regard.
   9. Rob_Wood Posted: December 08, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6056721)
I agree. With few exceptions when sportswriters started appearing on ESPN they have not come across well (for a variety of reasons). Kurkjian is one of the exceptions.
   10. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 08, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#6056737)
And he’s Armenian, which in my wife’s family means a lot (her surname is Kasabian). Could someone please pass the lamejun?
   11. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 08, 2021 at 08:48 PM (#6056743)
I'm all for removing those names - and I also am in favor of simply not "naming" the awards going forward, which is what MLB is doing with the BBWAA Career Excellence Award (as it is now called).
Not MLB; the BBWAA. MLB has nothing to do with it.

I don't have strong feelings about removing names, but if you're going to do that, I think it would be insane to rename them for someone else, and risk having the same issue arise in 5 or 10 or 20 years.
   12. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 08, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6056746)
Yeah, he seems like one of the nice guys. I'm happy for him.
   13. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 08, 2021 at 10:44 PM (#6056750)
Yeah I’ll pile on, just a good guy who seems to genuinely like baseball which sadly is often missing from baseball media.
   14. dejarouehg Posted: December 09, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6056785)
Yeah I’ll pile on, just a good guy who seems to genuinely like baseball which sadly is often missing from baseball media.


He also writes really enjoyable books if you just want to revel in baseball lunacy.

Happy for him.

Heard he was up against Marty Noble. Noble was another great baseball writer.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6056804)
Noble was another great baseball writer.


Release the hounds!
   16. gehrig97 Posted: December 10, 2021 at 12:10 PM (#6056889)
He's been on the short list for a while.

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