Free Friday: The Fame Game
OK, so, first things first: I have what I think is a super-fun and (maybe a little bit addictive) game for you to play. You might know we’re getting ready to start up our countdown of the most famous baseball people of the last 50 years. The original plan was pretty simple: I was going to pick the top 50 based on my own instincts and that was going to be fine.
Then, because I’m obsessive that way, I put together a super-secret formula that I wrote a little bit about on Thursday and came up with a list that I like more.
And now based on some feedback you gave me, I’ve got an even cooler idea.
Tom Tango sent me the link to this wonderful site called “All Our Ideas.” What this site lets me do is create a little game where you are given two players and you get to choose which one, in your view, is more famous. And then another. And then another. And then… well, as many as you want.*
*How addictive is this game? I’ve asked Margo to try it out. She’s done 256 so far and says she can play this all day. And Margo’s a pretty casual baseball fan. Wait, she’s now at 301.
I’m not going to give you much instruction on this game—it’s too fun and you can just play it to your heart’s content. But I will give you a couple of guiding principles:
I have entered all 239 baseball people who have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated since 1970—plus two more that I really wanted to include.
The idea, as I’ve described it, is to focus on the last 50 years. But there are numerous old-timers (including Al Simmons, for some reason) who have been on the cover of SI. I’ve asked you to vote based on the last half-century, but, let’s be honest, this is your game, so you play any way you like.
There are some non-baseball people on the list, like Brad Pitt. I personally wouldn’t vote for Pitt, because to me it’s a baseball thing. But, you know what? Your vote, please do what you want.
That’s it, I don’t want to complicate things. Have a blast.
I’m going back on tour at the end of the month—just wanted to give you some of the dates, and I hope to see you on the road!
March 2: I’ll be in Fort Myers, Fla. at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival at the Lee County Library. I’m not sure about the schedule, but there are a bunch of awesome authors there, so come on out!
March 5: Boca Raton, Fla., at the Boca JCC, 7:30 p.m. Register here.
March 7: Going to be back in Kansas City to do a super-fun event at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The event starts at 7 p.m. But if you want to buy a VIP ticket, Bob Kendrick and I (mostly Bob) will be leading a tour of the museum at 6. If you have never gone on a tour of the museum with Bob, I promise it will be something you won’t soon forget.
March 9-10: I’m coming back to the Tucson Festival of Books! I love this; they get so many incredible authors. I was just glancing at the schedule, and saw like 10 different things I want to go to while I’m there. I’ve got two events, actually—on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. I’m with Ron Rappaport and Mark Stevens talking about our love of baseball. Then on Sunday, I’m on another panel with Ron called “Celebrated Sports Writers.” I think originally Sally Jenkins was joining us for that one, so basically, based on the title, Ron and I could have spent the entire time talking about her. But I don’t see her name on the list, so maybe she had a conflict. It will still be great.
March 17: Woo-hoo, I’ll be back in Cleveland, at the Beachwood JCC, at 11 a.m. I’m sure the weather will be fantastic!
March 23: OK, finally, I’m back in Cincinnati, at the incredible Joseph-Beth Booksellers. We originally planned this the week that WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL was published (I was going to do the event with Jeff Garlin) but travel delays messed it up. I’ll be there at 7 p.m. Jeff will not, alas.
March 24: Still in Cincinnati, I’ll be accepting the CASEY award for best baseball book of 2023 at 2 p.m. at Poor Michael’s Sports and Karaoke Bar. We’ll talk some sports. We won’t do any karaoke.
April 5: I’ll be in Ottawa, Kan., to deliver the keynote address at the Baseball in Culture and Literature conference. More details to come, but I’m told it’s an incredibly cool event.
April 14: Back in Ohio, I’m in Dayton, at the Boonshoft Center, to talk some baseball. The season will be going by then! Buy tickets here.
April 18: I’m in Rancho Mirage to do an event! More details to come.
Whew. That’s looking pretty exhausting. Please come out and help me make it through.
Happy Friday! Our Friday posts are free so everyone can enjoy them. Just a reminder that Joe Blogs is a reader-supported newsletter, and I’d love and appreciate your support.
A new card-opening PosCast is up—Mike Schur and I had the marvelouson with us to open up some cards, and we put a couple of code words in there if you want to enter the lottery. Just as a reminder, we’re doing these card-opening podcasts to raise money for the incredible Project Main Street. Donate there, and then gmail us the receipt at PosCastRaffle and you can win many, many fabulous prizes, including the best cards we open. Let’s just say that, thanks to the largesse of Brilliant Reader (and Listener) Chris Vincent—who donated a box of unopened 1989 Upper Deck—we pulled THREE Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards, which are worth bit of money. We’ll be giving those away, along with so much more, including autographed copies of our books and a bunch of other amazing prizes.
Next week, we will have on the magnificent Boog Sciambi, who is not only a fantastic announcer, but he is also on the board of Project Main Street.
Hey, if you feel like it, I’d love if you’d share this post with your friends!
I’m super-torn on this Super Bowl. On the one hand, I think the 49ers are probably the better-rounded team, which is why they are slight favorites. On the other hand, I’m not betting against Pat Mahomes, which is why the 49ers are only slight favorites.
I’m pretty fired up for the game, but I honestly do not know what to expect. I can’t remember a Super Bowl where I had such an unclear picture. I could see it being a shootout. I could see it being a defensive struggle. I could see the Chiefs being unstoppable. I could see the 49ers shutting down Kansas City by pressuring Mahomes and not giving any space to Travis Kelce. I could see the 49ers moving the ball at will with all the offensive weapons they have. I could see the Chiefs clamping down on all those weapons because that Chiefs defense is super-underrated. I mean, I just don’t know.
In the end, for me, there’s Mahomes. He’s unlike anyone, I think. People are already beginning—and the volume level will only go up—to argue about his place in football history and comparing him to Tom Brady… and, as much as I love a good GOAT argument, I’m going to try to avoid getting caught up in this one. Brady is the greatest winner in the history of football, no question about it. He’ll keep that title for a long time, and maybe forever. Mahomes’ brilliance is different, he’s different, and if the category is “quarterbacks who improvise” or “quarterbacks who turn danger into glory” or “quarterbacks who blow your mind,” I think he’s already at the top, there with Brett Favre and Fran Tarkenton and Sammy Baugh and Steve Young and all the rest.
Anyway, I’ll take Mahomes. And Taylor Swift. Just because.
JoeBlogs Week in Review
Monday: The book is done!
Tuesday: Remember my name, fame!