In 1989, I cleared the evening free of homework so that I could watch the World Series that night. I had snacks setup. The primo spot in front of the TV. All of it was ready to go so I could see the World Series. Even had the ol' VHS ready to go. And then the game didn't happen. An earthquake did. I sat there and took notes about what the reporters were telling us on TV. Not sure why. But I did. And the next day, we had some free-writing in English class, and I wrote all about the previous night -- not what I did, but the news of it. I used quotes from the anchors on national news, info I read in that morning's paper, and so on. My English teacher, Mrs. Taylor, read the free writing and returned it with this note:
"Have you ever thought about being a journalist?"
It dawned on me that I always had. I was part of the school newspaper/yearbook at every stop. I'd draw some cartoons for papers. I had an awkward audition to be a "kid anchor" at a local TV station in Denver. I was constantly filling notebooks with writings.
That question prompted me to explore journalism. My choice of Mizzou for college over other opportunities cinched journalism as the goal, and it was years later, while an intern at the Palm Beach Post, that I realized I might maybe one day possibly cover baseball, and that the variety of stories I could tell, history I could try to capture, and moments on the field or off the field that I would get a chance to write (like the news of that earthquake) was worth that chase. Thanks for asking.