Behind The ScenesMLB

Five-tool journalist Buster Olney continues to deliver on ESPN’s MLB coverage

Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian (L) on the set of Baseball Tonight. (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian (L) on the set of Baseball Tonight.
(Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

If the term “five-tool player” was used to describe sports journalists, ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney would be one of them.

The reporting-face of ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage, and a 10-year veteran at the company, Olney can be seen on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, heard on his new podcast Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney, and read on and in the pages of ESPN The Magazine.

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Former New York Times Employees Now at ESPN

Prior to joining ESPN in 2003, Buster Olney had been at the New York Times. Here are a few other current ESPN folks who previously worked at the Times.

Chris Broussard, Senior Writer
Sandy Rosenbush, News Editor
Claire Smith, News Editor
Don Van Natta Jr., Senior Writer


This week, ESPN has commenced coverage of its 24th Major League Baseball season, and that means Olney has packed his laptop, smartphone and notebooks so he he can inform fans of every trade, injury, win and loss, milestone, suspension and all of the twists and turns of a long, winding baseball season.

“I’ve always thought I was lucky enough to have the perfect childhood preparation for covering baseball,” Olney said. “I grew up on a dairy farm, where the cows had to be milked twice a day, every day, all year. We never went on vacations, and it didn’t matter if the weather was 40 below zero and the pipes were frozen, or if you were sick; the cows still had to be milked, twice a day, every day.”

Olney’s Opening Week schedule began with MLB Opening Night in Houston this past Sunday and continued less than 24 hours later for MLB Opening Day in Los Angeles on Monday.

This coming Sunday, Olney will be on-site for the Rangers-Angels Sunday Night Baseball telecast:

“We’ve had a lot of games with great story lines, but I’m feeling as much anticipation for this game as any since I joined the Sunday Night crew because there is so much to see,” he said. “Yu Darvish, coming off a near-perfect game, with his unique arsenal of pitches; Josh Hamilton, going back to Texas for the first time since signing with the Angels and taking some shots at Rangers’ fans; Mike Trout, recently picked by major-league executives as the best player in the game in a poll I did; and, of course, the tremendous rivalry that’s building between these two franchises.”

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