Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SMALLS TALK: Tim Kurkjian is a Man Among Boys

Tim Kurkjian is total baseball geek- and I mean that with the utmost respect. This guy is a human encyclopedia on all things baseball- even Hall of Famer Peter Gammons has been heard crediting Timmy as the most knowledgeable baseball person he knows. Having never played a second of competitive baseball after high school, TK has cemented himself as the go-to guy in the world of baseball media. Quite frankly, TK plays chess while everyone else is playing checkers.

Surrounded by former MLB stars and managers on the Baseball Tonight stage, Kurkjian is able to hold his own through research, experience, and love of the game. He is the definition of 'Stat Rat'- there's not a quirky stat out there he doesn't know, it's borderline embarrassing. Do you know Griffey's lifetime batting average during day games on turf after seeing a first pitch fastball? Kukjian does.

And 'Kurk Gems'- his segment on Baseball Tonight- is simply can't-miss television. Kurkijian uses about five minutes every week to cover the records, firsts, and otherwise strange happenings that occurred in the world of baseball over the previous seven days- bombarding you with so much useless knowledge and countless irrelevant stats that you can't even see straight. I once heard him go on a passionate rant about sacrifice flies- sacrifice flies! He was practically giddy discussing the numbers and record-holders of this rather unexciting, routine play- a topic that he claimed was his favorite to discuss. That's when you know you love baseball.

And it's that passion and hard work that has gotten this guy to where he is today. Little Tim Kurkjian has taken his love for baseball and become one of the most respected baseball personalities in the country. He has given hope to all unathletic pencil-necks out there who have a passion for sports. I like to think of him as baseball's more knowledgeable and likeable version of the NFL's John Clayton- too harsh? 

Timmy K, he's the best.

Book Shoutout: Is This a Great Game, or What? by Tim Kurkjian - 272 pages of Kurk Gems baby!

*I heard that while doing research for a story, Kurkjian spent a day in Big League camp and actually wasn't half bad.

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