Tonight is the All Star game, the day when those who were chosen to take part in the midsummer classic go toe to toe for league pride, home field advantage in the World Series, and a chance to show their skills on the National Stage for the world to see. For those who were not chosen, they are given a couple days off to rest up, heal their bodies and recharge their batteries. This is a week where everyone around the game of baseball seemingly gets to take a breather and just enjoy the game.
Everyone, that is, but the baseball writers.
Growing up, I had a dream; a dream to be a baseball writer. In my mind, there would have been no greater job than to be a beat writer for the team I grew up loving, the Chicago Cubs. What could be greater than combining two of my passions? You get to watch every game in person, getting paid to do so no less, you get to spend time with the players and actually get to talk to them. Traveling the country was just an added bonus. What could be better than that?
I did not realize how difficult of a job that was until I started blogging about the Cubs. Trying to write every day was a nuisance, mainly because I had to work a real job in addition to my new hobby. But I still plowed through, writing as much as I could. A blog every day by myself was impossible, but I wrote as often as I could. When I started the World Series Dreaming FaceBook page, I fully realized how hard the job really was. I posted updates constantly on the page with all sorts of transactions and rumors trying to keep any Cub fan up to date as well as I could.
Passing along the tweets from Chicago and National baseball writers over the past few years got me thinking. These guys never sleep. They may get an occasional nap during the season, but for the most part from February to the beginning of November they are always on the alert for any type of news that may break that they need to get out as soon as possible. I cannot begin to tell you how many times guys like Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal or the local beat guys like Bruce Miles send out rumors and news at all hours of the night and morning. They always have their ear to the ground ready to jump at the first whisper of a possible transaction that has any chance of happening.
They dedicate their lives to this job, making their career the focal point of their lives. Sacrificing sleep is just the beginning. The devotion these men and woman give to their job and to the fans who follow the sport goes far beyond not getting sleep. Most of them sacrifice their entire lives for this gig. A lot of them give up time to be with family and friends just so they are always there just in case news breaks.
Think about that for a minute. The men and women give up their lives just to keep you informed. They can’t go to movies or shows. They have to always be on the alert. Always able to knock out a story at the drop of a hat. Sure, they get vacation time, and are able to relax one or two months out of the year, but they are always on call because you never know when the team they cover will make a trade, a firing or hiring that will have lasting implications on the team.
I tip my hat to these fine men and women for the jobs they do. I appreciate the sacrifices they make to keep us all informed.