By In Stuff

A Baker’s Dozen

An old editor once told me that at the end of every year, I should look back and write down 10 or so favorite stories of the year. That way, he said, you will know if you spent the year writing fun stories or just thinking about good stories.

I’m not a good judge of my own work. But I did think I wrote a lot of fun stuff in 2014. Thank you as always for reading. Here are 13 of my favorite pieces of 2014:

Lessons from Sochi. It’s hard for me to believe that the Winter Olympics were in 2014 … it seems a very, very long time ago.

The Bat Artist. Nobody really knows what “pure hitter” really means. As the cliche goes, there probably doesn’t need to be a definition. You just need a photograph of Tony Gwynn.

Burnley. My favorite trip of the year — to Burnley, the smallest city to ever have a Premier League club. I cannot wait to go back.

Life and Times of the King. Richard Petty’s life as country song.

Vanguard after the Revolution. Bill James. “Bullshit has tremendous advantages over knowledge.”

Priest. Priest Holmes was a fantasy football God. For him, the price was worth it.

Royals, small towns and the word “Unbelievable.” Margo and her magical team.

Sluggin’ Joe Baumann and his magical home run summer of 1954.

Tennis and life. And losing weight.

Emily Scott. Why I love the Olympics despite the many problems.

Hobbs. “You’re the best player I ever had. And you’re the best godammed hitter I ever saw.”

You don’t have to be lonely. At Farmer’s Only dot com.

Playing tennis with Ivan Lendl. Sometimes, your heroes live up to your expectations.

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3 Responses to A Baker’s Dozen

  1. Flex Seal says:

    Joe – I think your baseball stories (specifically your Top 100 list) are better than stories about other sports. But nothing is as good as your insight on the Baseball Hall of Fame. Nobody else writes as thoughtfully about the HOF as you do. Which is why we allllllllll neeeeeeeed more HOF stories! Cmon, a few years ago you did a breakdown of every single player on the ballot. You did it, I believe, in 3 parts. I printed it off and have read it over and over again. We need more stuff like that, Joe!!!

  2. Jesse K. says:

    Thanks for your great writing, Joe. Any updates on how your tennis career is progressing?

  3. Chris H says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the Joe Baumann story. That’s one of the most amazing stories of its type; I kept waiting for the reveal that you were pulling our legs the whole time. I’ll go back and take a look at it and share it again.

    A couple here that I missed or at least don’t remember. I’ll find some time to look ’em up.


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