Get lost, 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
I think I speak for just about everyone when I say I’m absolutely delighted that 2020 is gone. While there are no guarantees of what 2021 will hold, and yes, it’s just another Friday really, I feel a lot more hopeful and optimistic now with a clean slate ahead of us.
When will baseball start? How many games will be played? Will fans get to attend? These are questions we can’t yet answer, but time will tell.
Since most sites took a few days off to focus on the “best of” content and let their writers relax some, we’re doing a little something different to start the new year. On Christmas I asked writers to share their favorite pieces with me, and for New Year's I decided to ask readers what the best writing they’d read in 2020 was.
Today I bring you a mix of new stories, and the favorites of readers from the past year.
- In big news for women in baseball, the Red Sox announced the hire of Bianca Smith as a minor league coach, who will become the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball, reports Julian McWilliams.
- Jay Jaffe eulogizes the great Phil Niekro.
- On the value of keeping Cardinals legends around, by Ben Frederickson.
- This New Years Eve piece on Catfish Hunter, Charlie Finley, and more, by Peter Gammons is a worthwhile end of year read. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jon Bois has the history of the Seattle Mariners as only Jon Bois can.
- Dan Shaughnessy remembers longtime Fenway groundskeeper Joe Mooney.
- Taylor Trammell wrote at the Player’s Tribune that baseball is not yet Black enough.
- It would appear Detroit Tigers fans are beginning to crack under the mediocrity of their team’s rebuild, and Jacob Boes dives into the mentality that led to #DahltoDetroit.
- Joe Sheehan’s piece on the state of modern baseball is worth a read, but with the caveat you must be subscribed to his newsletter for access.
- Game 4 of the World Series might be one of the best baseball games I’ve ever seen, so reading Emma Baccellieri’s recap of it is a must.
- Readers really loved Jayson Stark’s piece on Richard Dotson’s family secret. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Steve Wulf had the story of the unlikeliest man to participate in some of baseball’s biggest moments.
- Sean Gibson wrote about why the MVP award should be renamed for the great Josh Gibson.
- One reader suggests Ian Desmond’s Instagram was the best thing about 2020, and it’s hard to argue.
Before I throw it to Buster, I just want to wish every single one of you a happy and healthy 2021. On that note, the exit line has never been more appropriate.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.