Looks Like We Made It
Brian Gunn notified me via email late last night that the Jim Edmonds article we co-authored in August (The Most
Under-Over Underrated Player in Baseball) was named as one of the top ten sports columns in 2004 by The Daily Fix of The Wall Street Journal.
Carl Bialik and Jason Fry wrote the following introduction in The Fixers Make Their Picks For The Best Columns of 2004:
Your average Daily Fix contains a dozen links to columns we liked, which over a year adds up to some 3,000 sports stories that we thought were worthy of a look.
But some columns stuck with us weeks and even months after we sent you their way. As the year wound down, we decided to try something new: putting our heads together and picking the 10 we found most memorable.
Enjoy our first-ever Fix Picks for the year's best sports columns, presented in alphabetical order.
The other honorees included Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, Tommy Craggs of the San Francisco Weekly, Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant, Bruce Jenkins and Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle, James Lawton of The Independent (U.K.), Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger, Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star, and Bill Simmons of ESPN.com. Eight of the ten articles appeared in the print media and ours was the only one that appeared on a blog.
Brian Gunn and Richard Lederer, Redbird Nation
Take a knowledgeable, rational, literary fan. Add a great season for the fan's chosen team, with sympathetic players sparking a run to the World Series. Stir in the wonders of blogs, whose cheap, easy publishing software makes anyone an Internet commentator. The happy result for baseball fans this year was Mr. Gunn's Redbird Nation, a site about the St. Louis Cardinals and their loyal supporters.
Our favorite post from our favorite baseball blog, included in the Aug. 12 Fix, profiled Cardinals centerfielder Jim Edmonds. Unbound by the confines of a newspaper column, Messrs. Gunn and Lederer mixed links, stats, biography and colorful observations like this one: "Put Jim Edmonds in a batter's box and he's transformed. Gone are the heavy eyelids and the cavalier attitude, and they're replaced with something else altogether -- a series of rituals, neuroses, and tics. He grimaces, jabbers with umpires and catchers, steps out to do calisthenics or pace around or talk to himself."
Alas, Mr. Gunn retired after the season. We wish him well, and hope his writing resurfaces.
Brian and I enjoyed collaborating on the Edmonds article, and we are most appreciative of the recognition our work has received. Despite Brian's "retirement," we are hopeful of producing another jointly written column in the near future.
In the meantime, you can read the Edmonds piece and dozens of other articles written by Brian in A Redbird Nation Reader, a 248-page, must-own book for all Cardinal fans.