Good interview over at the Uniwatch blog with Tyler Kepner, the Yankees beat writer for the New York Times. In it Kepner tells the story of when, as a kid, he produced a handwritten baseball magazine that ended up gaining a readership that included people such as George Vescey, Bob Costas and Jayson Stark. He started it when he was 13, and tells of how virtually everyone he sent it to was supportive; except for one high-profile broadcaster ... TK: We had some famous subscribers, too. I always wanted to be a sportswriter, so I would just mail copies out to sportswriters. That’s how we got in the Times — I never asked for publicity, but I sent copies to George Vescey because I used to read his column in the school library. And he passed it along to his editor, who thought it would make a fun article. Anyway, I got a lot of really important advice from people who then decided to become subscribers. George Will somehow got hold of a copy, and he gave it to the commissioner, Fay Vincent, which was a big thrill for me, and he ended up subscribing. Bob Costas, Jayson Stark — I’d been reading Jayson’s stuff for years, and he became a great friend, giving me lots of advice, telling me about the business. He told me, “You’ll never wear No. 32 for the Phillies, but this job is the next best thing,” and he was right. Bill Lyon, who wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer once sent me a $100 bill and wrote, “Consider this my subscription for life.” I still have that bill, actually — it’s the spare money at my house, in case I have to pay for something and don’t have any cash. UW: It’s your “In case of emergency, break glass” money. TK: Yeah. The only person who never responded was Chris Berman. I probably sent issues to him for a year, and he never wrote back. But everyone else was so kind, and so encouraging. And the Phillies were so good to me — I’ll always be grateful. In 1990, I probably got 10 or 12 day passes. That's so rude, Berman; I don't believe it! Jesus! I'm sorry for exploding like this but have you never worked with young people before? Jesus! Uni Watch Profiles: Tyler Kepner [Uni Watch]
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