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Journalism on Display: Five ESPN Writers Nominated for Prestigious Sportswriting Honor

University of Texas award is named for sportswriting legend Dan Jenkins

(Illustration courtesy of Center for Sports Communication and Media/University of Texas/Christopher Hart)

Five writers for ESPN platforms are among 12 nominees for “Best Sportswriting of the Year” for the fifth annual Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting, presented by the Moody College of Communication Center for Sports Communication & Media at the University of Texas. The winner will be announced in September.

Last year, ESPN’s Liz Merrill was selected as the winner.

The ESPN contingent among the 2021 Best Sportswriting nominees:

“SC Featured” Tells Story of Minor League Baseball Team Owner
Dedicated to Helping Communities

Gastonia (N.C.) Honey Hunters baseball team owner Brandon Bellamy also was featured in ESPN’s “We Are All Jackie” Black History Always special in April. (ESPN)

As part of ESPN’s continued recognition of Black History Always, Sunday’s SportsCenter “SC Featured” segment will examine how the owner of a minor league baseball team is helping to address wealth inequity in his home county and communities like it.

Brandon Bellamy, a real estate investor from Capitol Heights, Md., now owns a very successful company and also is the owner of a new Atlantic League Professional Baseball franchise coming to Gastonia, N.C.

Lauren Stowell produced the segment; ESPN MLB analyst Doug Glanville reports. It will debut in the 8 a.m. ET hour of SportsCenter and then re-air in subsequent editions.

– Andy Hall

ESPN MLB Production Catches Tim Kurkjian Off Base With
Surprise Video Spoof Of His Bob Feller Story

This Memorial Day, the ESPN MLB production team – including commentators Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez and producer Andy Jacobson – took analyst Tim Kurkjian’s classic storytelling to the next level.

The team created a visual for a famous Kurkjian story that they’d been waiting to unveil in surprise fashion.

“Two years ago, we were going to feature [Hall of Fame pitcher] Bob Feller during our Memorial Day game to talk about his incredible career in both MLB and the military,” Jacobson said.

“Having heard Tim’s story about facing Feller, I thought it would make for amazing TV to re-enact the Kurkjian-Feller at bat. I knew we had great video we could use from Tim playing in the Celebrity Softball game.”

Connor Joyce, our production assistant, ran with the idea. The result was a gem of an edit, but it never made air.

“Now on Memorial Day 2021, Tim brought up Bob Feller during the week, highlighting Hall of Fame players who served in the military. I knew we’d have another shot at hearing that story and getting this video in.

“Karl played it perfectly . . . baiting Tim into thinking he truly didn’t remember the story.”

Here’s how it played out during the Boston Red Sox-Houston Astros game on ESPN.

– Katie Hughes

– Mike Skarka

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