Why I Love Joe Posnanski’s Writing

aerial view of sports stadium during daytime
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com


Each morning, rain or shine, I go out for a walk. The time of my walk more or less follows sunrise throughout the year, with me getting out shortly after the first light appears in the east, but before the sun peeks above the horizon. My walk takes me through the park behind our house, and about a mile-and-half later, to a nearby 7-Eleven. The total walk is about 2-1/2 miles and takes me about 40 minutes on average.

I usually listen to a book while I walk. I see the same people out, wave, and occasionally stop to chat with someone. The mornings are quiet. Depending on the time of year, I see different local fauna. Lots of deer this time of year. And the bats are finally out, scooping up mouthfuls of mosquitoes and other insects as they dive and weave about the treetops.


Walking home from school yesterday with the Littlest Miss, with waves of hit visibly rising from the sidewalk, she said to me, “Is ‘cool’ a pun?”

“I guess it could be, depending on the context,” I said, “but it is really a word with two completely different meanings.” So is “bat.”

I haven’t watched a baseball game all season, my mild protest against what I feel is the sacrilege of allowing a clock into the game in an attempt to speed things up. I miss watching baseball games, but I don’t realize I miss them unless there is something that forces memories of how great the game is into my head. I’m sure that I will come around. I’ve changed my mind on many things over the years. I used to think I could never listen to an audiobook, for instance. I’m sure I’ll see that a pitch clock is good for the game, but I am a baseball purist, who still believes that the designated hitter rule was a mistake.

I do miss baseball, but until my morning walk this morning, I’d forgotten just how much.


On most days, over the course of my 40 minute morning walk, I am quiet. I listen to my book and walk, and watch what is happening around me, allowing myself to wake up. Once in a while, something in the book I’m listening to might make me smile, or even chuckle. When this happens, I always look to see if anyone is around. I imagine it must look pretty amusing to see someone laughing to themselves while they walk.

This morning was different.

I was listening to Joe Posnanski’s new book, Why We Love Baseball. I became a die-hard Joe Posnanski fan after reading his book The Baseball 100 in the fall of 2021. It was my favorite book of 2021. So I’ve been really looking forward to this new book. I started reading it yesterday and continued when I headed out for my walk this morning.

You can tell, from Posnanski’s enthusiasm for the game, that the game is magic to him, and that alone reminded me how the game is magic to me as well. But Posnanski’s writing, his storytelling, is also magic. His writing controls your emotions. On the outbound walk, listening to stories of why we love baseball, I found myself on the verge of tears several times. (There may have been one or two that managed to escape and find their way to the pavement.)

Scattered throughout the book are “5 moments” of various types, sidebars to the the 50 moments Posnanski goes through in detail. On my return walk, one these sidebars was titled “5 meltdown.” Listening to these stories made the first half of my walk home more a stagger. I was not chuckling. I was laughing. Out loud. I had to move off the bike path and wipe tears from my eyes several times. If someone saw me walking on the bike path this morning, they may very well have thought I’d lost it.


Tears. Laughter. Smiles. Thrills. Humor. Surprise. This is why I love baseball. Joe Posnanski has reminded me of this, and I am grateful. More than that, Joe has done what many great writers struggle to do. He brought all of these emotions out in me with his words. While I was walking. In public. For other people to see.

And sometime this weekend, I’m finally going to set aside 2-1/2 hours (down from just over 3 hours from last year) to watch a ballgame.

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  1. Jamie, I was wondering, how do you take notes while walking? There is always that little something I want to remember from a book during the walk, but it is hard to enjoy a walk if I always stop to take a quick note.
    I love your blog, I’ve been following you for many years. One of the few blogs where I open the new article, regardless of the topic.

    1. Tbabinszki, first, thank you for being a long time reader. I’m delighted that you enjoy these pieces enough to continue stopping by. It means a lot to me. Walking, reading and taking notes is something I’ve struggled with for a decade now. For a while, I carried index cards around to jot notes while I walked, but eventually, I gave that up because I already had a Field Notes in my pocket, so why not just use that and cut down on the mess.

      This is what I still do today. If I am walking and I want to jot a note about something I’ve just read, I stop, move off to the side of the bike path so that I’m not run over, pull out my Field Notes notebook, and scribble notes. I say “scribble” and at first, that’s really what I did. I found that when I tried to read them later, it was like cracking some kind of code. These days, I try to write them a little bit more carefully and clearly, telling myself that these thoughts are valuable, to me at least, and I shouldn’t rush. Sometime later, usually the same day, I’ll flip through my notebook pages for the day and transcribe any reading notes I’ve jotted down into a text file for whatever book I happen to be reading.

      Sure, it still means stopping ,but that doesn’t kill my enjoyment of the walk, or the book. For one thing, I’m usually so wrapped up in the book that I hardly notice my walk. I’m writing this having just gotten back from a morning walk, where I was listening to the end of Joe Posnanski’s Why I Love Baseball and I was so wrapped up in that book that I can’t remember anything of the walk itself, not even stopping in to the 7-Eleven to get my morning caffeine. If there’s a better way to capture notes while walking and reading, I’d love to hear it.

      Audible has made great improvement over the years, but there is still no good way to seamlessly take notes listening to an audiobook while walking. When I am listening to an audiobook at home, odds are good that I also have a paper version of the book in front of me (or nearby, if I happen to be doing chores around the house) and in that case, I just scribble my notes in the margins.

      1. Jamie,

        Thank you for your detailed response, given the amount of comments you get, I truly appreciate that you took the time to get back to me.
        One fact I didn’t include last time was that I’m completely blind, so when I hear ideas, I try to convert it to my way of working the world.
        So, theoretically I could use index cards and a slate and stylus, but that’s too involved. Also, need to keep in mind that one of my hands are usually busy, either with a cane, or my guide dog, who is retiring now, so soon back to the cane.
        There are two things I tried, but I couldn’t made them stick.
        The first was that I created a shortcut on my phone, I start it, dictate some text, and it gets saved to a dictation file in Dropbox. Depending on the noise level,, usually not much during the morning, I get a pretty good result, so I just need to go back and put my notes where they belong. I work in tech, but definitely not as advanced as you are with creating my own scripts.
        Here the problem is, I listen to my audio on the phone, so first I have to stop it.
        The other, I got a voice recorder, all I have to do is press the button, hold it near my mouth and dictate my note, in this case I don’t pause the audio, hoping I’m not missing much. But then I have to take out the SD card, listen to it or transcribe, more recently get it transcribed in Office. Here the issue is, sometimes each note appears in a separate file. Short story, the second option gets so involved that I don’t really get to organizing my notes.
        So, I am still searching, please let me know if you come up with anything else that doesn’t pause your walk.
        I have to admit, I either listen to something where I don’t want to take notes like podcasts to learn a language, or just enjoy the sounds of the morning, but it feels like a waste of time.


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