A look back on the people that influenced and impacted my life in 2010.
Well, I managed to go almost through February without finishing this conversation. Here’s #2, and I’ll post #1 tonight.
Blogging can sometimes spawn lazy stereotypes of someone living in their mother’s basement who sits in front of their computer all day. When I tell people I blog, this stereotype rears its ugly head, from time to time, people thinking I need something better to do with my free time.* I see the disparaging look in their eyes, I can hear the tone in which they condescend, but I’m reminded of bloggers that are master storytellers and I forget the criticism. Joe Posnanski is one of the bloggers.
*Which reminds me, I have a post I’m working on about the idolatry of identity.
I don’t know if there is blog I read more consistently than Joe’s. Not only does he blog on a near daily basis, he also writes features for Sports Illustrated.
Joe writes thousands upon thousands of words about topics that most would not ordinarily care about, but he weaves it in a way that makes the reader engaged with a topic they might not expect. I also like the lengthy posts because he takes time to explore and expand upon a thought. He backs up his ideas and opinions with facts and stats. He doesn’t just say something for the sake of it, or to solely generate web traffic. He writes what he thinks and believes, he is authentic in his writing.* If someone doesn’t agree with his opinion, he’ll listen and process the opposing opinion. He appreciates those that read his work.
*Granted, I have never met him. I don’t know him any better than I do Alex Rodriguez. However, I get the feeling Alex acts a certain way to get people to buy into a crafted idea about him, whereas Joe acts in a way that reflects who he is.
I think Joe is going to have a legacy because he doesn’t write the easy story, in the heat of the moment, that is quickly forgotten. He doesn’t go with the proverbial flow. He has a standard of excellence, which is amazing to think about when you consider he is writing a thoughtful post nearly every day.
I find myself caring more about the Kansas City Royals and Bert Blyleven’s Hall of Fame efforts because of Joe. I’ve always wanted to know more about the Negro Leagues, and I appreciated his book about Buck O’Neil which told many stories about the leagues and its players.
Most of all, I find my approach to writing, and blogging, being influenced because of Joe.* I hope I can have an impact with my writing like he has.
*Can you spot the influences?
I listed out my top twelve posts of 2010 that Joe had written. This year? Well, in my Google Reader I already have one-third of his forty-five 2011 posts starred. It will be a fun post to write this December.
If my blog was ever compared to Joe’s, that would be one of the best compliments I could hope for.