How to Become a Baseball Writer

Four Methods:Acquiring Education and TrainingWriting About BaseballGetting a JobDeciding if Baseball Writing is the Career for You

If you're passionate about baseball, but don't have ambitions of becoming a major league player, you might be considering a career as a baseball writer. If you love baseball and telling stories, this might be the career for you. It is not an easy career to break into, however, so if you are serious about doing this professionally, you'll need to start with a well-rounded education. Then be prepared to struggle for a while in the professional world until you can get established. It won't be easy, but for some, writing about baseball is a dream job worth all the hard work.

Method 1
Acquiring Education and Training

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    Learn to write well. The most important thing you must learn before becoming a baseball writer is how to write effectively. However passionate about the sport you might be, unless you can write an article that is interesting to read and conforms to conventions of journalistic style, you will never be a baseball writer.
    • In the words of one professional sportswriter, "You are very unlikely to start as a sports journalist …What you need to do is to become a journalist first."[1] Many people who become baseball journalists have to get some experiencing writing other kinds of stories first. Regardless of what type of journalist you are, you must master the craft of journalism.
    • This does not, necessarily, mean getting a college degree in journalism. Many sportswriters have degrees in other fields such as English, and learn the specifics of journalism outside the classroom.[2]
    • That said, a journalism degree is helpful both in applying for jobs and developing the necessary skills to be a successful baseball writer.[3] Some universities even have programs that allow you to specialize in sports journalism. You should give serious consideration to this option.
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    Learn to shoot photos and video. Increasingly, journalists of all stripes are expected to have multimedia skills. This is especially true of sports journalists, who are often expected to take pictures, shoot, and even edit video as part of their reporting.[4]
    • Mastery of these skills will help you get a job, and a journalism degree program can help you develop these abilities.
    • While the need to shoot video is most common for television journalism, as newspapers move online, they are also increasingly expecting journalists to produce video and other multimedia content.[5]
    • You should also be comfortable with blogs and social media, as many journalistic institutions will expect you to produce these types of content on their behalf as well.
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    Learn about other sports. It goes without saying that you should learn all you can about baseball. To increase your likelihood of successfully getting a job as a baseball writer though, it will also be a good idea to learn enough about other sports to write about them as well.
    • This may seem odd on first consideration, but many sports journalists start off as "general assignment" sports writers at small publications that may not have writers who are dedicated to baseball specifically.[6]
    • Being able to write confidently about other sports will help you get one of these positions, which can then become a stepping stone to a baseball-specific job at another media outlet.
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    Round out your knowledge. To make yourself a competitive candidate in sports journalism jobs, it's a good idea to develop a knowledge of a variety of other topics and skills as well. If you have the opportunity in college, take some courses that will round out your knowledge. It is helpful to develop some background in:[7][8]
    • Business and economics (major league baseball is a business!)
    • Statistics
    • Data presentation and analysis
    • History
    • Sports management
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    Do an internship. As in any other area of journalism, getting an internship during your last year of college is a very valuable experience that can make you a better writer and more qualified job applicant.[9]
    • Any journalism internship can help, but if you can find one that is baseball (or even just sports) specific, that will be most helpful.
    • Many newspapers offer internships in sports writing. Check to see if one in your area does.
    • An internship is a great way to develop more writing experience, a better sense of how news organizations works, and connections that can help you land your first job.

Method 2
Writing About Baseball

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    Become an expert on baseball. If you want to be a baseball writer, you need to become a true baseball expert.[10] In addition to understanding the game itself, you should understand the business of major league baseball and how it is organized. Other areas you might explore include:
    • Baseball and the law (e.g. major baseball-related lawsuits that have occured)
    • Sports ethics (e.g. major ethical controversies, such as steroid use)
    • Baseball and medicine (e.g. common injuries and treatments)
    • Baseball in other countries
    • College baseball
    • Take every opportunity you can to learn more about baseball. Read books about the sport, watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, and go to games.
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    Learn about baseball history. It is common in sports journalism for great players or games to be compared to those who came before them. It may not seem important to know who the top players were in the 1950s, but having this knowledge will be helpful in understanding the culture of baseball, and in writing about it effectively.[11]
    • Many people who are really interested in baseball history will watch or listen to old games from years gone by to get a deep understanding. Many historic games can be watched on YouTube.
    • Baseball has at times played an important part in other historical events, influencing and feeling the impact of cultural changes, political upheavals, wars, and social movements. Understanding this history will give you a stronger background for your own writing.
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    Learn about the players. Learn as much as you can about the star players, past and present. Learn their strengths and weaknesses, past performance (e.g. batting averages, etc.), great moments, and so on.
    • Learn about their personal histories and, when possible, their personalities and feelings about the sport. This will help you flesh out the stories you tell in your articles, making them come alive for your readers.[12]
    • Knowing who the new up-and-coming players are will also be helpful. Consider who the new players who show the most promise are, and learn about them too.
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    Read classic sports journalism. To get a better sense of how to write great baseball stories, read examples from other writers. As you read, look for elements of the writers' styles that make their work powerful or fun to read.
    • You can find many examples of great sports writing on line and at your local library.[13]
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    Practice your writing. Take every chance you get to practice your writing. Try out different styles of articles such as opinion columns, player profiles, and game write-ups.
    • Every time you go see a game, take notes and do a write-up afterward, even if you don't have any immediate plans of publishing it. Note significant events in the game, as well as the overall environment and mood, audience reactions, and so forth.
    • Consider starting blog to publish your baseball writing online. This can be a great way to practice writing about baseball for an audience, developing your own style and voice, and can start getting your name out to the public.[14]

Method 3
Getting a Job

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    Consider freelance opportunities. A "freelance" journalist is one who doesn't work for a specific news outlet, but writes independently and seeks to sell articles to publications one at a time. Many sportswriters get their early writing experience in this way.[15]
    • This allows you to work from the comfort of your home and write stories about topics that most interest you. It is hard to make a living doing freelance work, but it's a good way to start getting your name out.
    • In addition to newspapers and magazines, some websites, such as will pay for high-quality baseball articles written by freelance writers.[16]
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    Start small when hunting for jobs. No baseball writer (or any other sports journalist) goes straight from college to writing for Sports Illustrated. Start by looking for jobs at small publications, such as small town newspapers and radio stations.[17]
    • By the same token, when you land a job at a small publication, you won't probably start out covering major league baseball games. If you can get a sports writing job at all, expect to start out covering little league or high school games.
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    Have realistic expectations. It is hard to get into baseball writing as a career, because many people want to be sports journalists. Be prepared to struggle for the first months or even years of your career while you establish yourself. You'll be both busy and broke.
    • Your starting salary might be as little as 20 to 30 thousand dollars a year.[18]
    • You may need to cover several events in a day while constantly looking for new job opportunities when you first start out.[19]
    • This difficult period won't last forever, but unless you have powerful connections in the media world, you will probably have to hustle for a while until you get established.
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    Apply for positions. Apply for every sports writing position you can, whether it is baseball specific or not. Once you get an entry level position, keep looking, so that you can move up to a baseball writing position that will pay the bills.
    • Be prepared to take a non-sports journalism job at first to get some experience. If this happens, look for opportunities to write about something sports-related any time you can.[20]
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    Join the BBWAA. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is the premiere professional organization for baseball writers in the US. Once you find a position covering baseball, you should consider joining.[21]
    • Membership in the BBWAA will look good on your resume as you apply for more prestigious jobs in the future, and will also be useful for building your professional network. Plus, you get to vote in the organization's annual most valuable player poll!

Method 4
Deciding if Baseball Writing is the Career for You

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    Know your passions. Baseball writing, as a career, is not for every baseball fan. A successful baseball journalist must love more than just baseball. Twin passions for baseball and writing are necessary to break into the industry.[22]
    • An enthusiasm for baseball alone will not be enough. You'll also need a talent and genuine love for writing to be a success.[23]
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    Be prepared to relocate. To land your dream job as a baseball writer for a big magazine, newspaper, or television station, you will, in all likelihood, have to move to another city. In developing your career, you may have to move multiple times.
    • When you start looking into jobs, look into the media organizations you would most like to work for. Where are they located? Would you be willing to move there for the right offer?[24]
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    Expect to work an unusual schedule. Baseball writers have to work very hard during baseball season. If you get a job covering major league baseball, expect baseball to become your life, at least during the season.[25]
    • You will work long hours and have little free time to enjoy other pursuits.
    • You should also expect to work major holidays during baseball season, such as the 4th of July, rather than enjoying them with friends and family.
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    Understand the travel requirements. During the season, you will also need to travel extensively with the team you cover. You will often need to be away from home for periods of two weeks or more.[26]
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    Follow your dream. If, after considering all of these factors, this sounds like a job you want, work hard and make it happen. For the right person, being a baseball writer is the best job in the world.[27]


  • Even if your intention is to write for a print publication or broadcast station, it's a good idea to write a blog about baseball. This will be a great forum to build your skill as a writer. Additionally, you can build your readership and have something to show a potential employer when you apply for a position. Just make sure that you edit your work carefully and publish stories you are proud of.

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