Major League Baseball’s originally scheduled Opening Day would have been 100 days ago, March 26.
For each of the 100 days that have passed without a baseball game, ESPN senior writer and MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian shared daily stories on ESPN’s digital, linear and social platforms, providing fans with their “Baseball Fix” in the sport’s absence.
The 100 columns and their corresponding videos delivered anecdotes tied to the day in baseball history, told in classic Kurkjian form.
“The goal from the beginning to the end was to try to bring a smile to the faces of our baseball fans, who didn’t have much to smile about,” said Kurkjian, a staple of ESPN’s baseball coverage since 1998. “I also learned a tremendous amount along the way. I brought back some stories I’d told before and reinforced them with additional reporting.”
“It was really fun to say, ‘Alright, let’s see what happened on this date,’ and then say, ‘Okay, well I have a story about that; I can write about him; I was at that game;’ or something like that,” he said.
Kurkjian and ESPN.com senior editor Nick Pietruszkiewicz worked together throughout the initiative. Kurkjian’s process was to read what happened on that date in baseball history, apply his knowledge from his decades of baseball experience and then do whatever additional reporting was needed.
Kurkjian’s favorite anecdote stems from a call to his former ESPN colleague, Orel Hershiser, to re-tell the story of when Cy Young Award winner Hershiser was invited to a state dinner at the White House following his 1988 season.
“I laughed out loud 100 times in 100 days,” Kurkjian said, “because that’s what I was looking for, stories that would make you smile and make you laugh occasionally. When I could laugh at stuff that I found, that’s when I knew I was in pretty good shape.”
Kurkjian still has a bank of dozens of stories he could tell, but he’s looking forward to the season now that MLB is scheduled to return.
“This was just a fill-in!,” he said. “What we really want is to watch the games. Now that the games are on the way, we hope, I’m more than happy to end the “Baseball Fix” and get to some real baseball.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF 100 DAYS OF TIM KURKJIAN’S BASEBALL FIX, BY THE NUMBERS
- 158 years of baseball history, dating back to 1862;
- Most-clicked story: Wade Boggs’ first hit in the Major Leagues (see also below)
3 UNITED STATES PRESIDENTS MENTIONED:
VIDEO: President Truman’s unusual feat makes Kurkjian think of baseball ambidexterity
VIDEO: Kurkjian reminisces on POTUS’ phone call with Frank Robinson
VIDEO: Kurkjian reflects on White House visit, President Bush’s World Series pitch
2 STORIES INVOLVING A BATHROOM
COLUMN: ‘That’s impossible. No one could be that good.’ Joe DiMaggio was that good.
VIDEO: Locked in bathrooms, sharing gloves and other strange moments in baseball history.
1 STORY FOCUSED ON TIM’S MOTHER
VIDEO: Meet Joy Kurkian.
REVIEW ALL 100 EDITIONS OF “BASEBALL FIX” ON ESPN.COM