I know that title sounds sort of ridiculous. I mean, what could a 13-year old possible know about baseball history?
Well, the answer is a lot.
Matt Nadel is the 13-year old behind the website Baseball With Matt and the New Jersey native knows more about baseball history than pretty much every other teenager I know. Matt is a die-hard New York Yankees fan, and although he enjoys watching the current incarnation of the Yankees, his true passion is researching baseball’s all-time greats and the overall history of the game.
Matt set his goals to be a journalist or baseball historian after he’s done with school, and considering he’s already met Dave Goren (executive director of the sportswriters association and hall of fame), Joe Pickering (a great baseball song writer) and Jordan Sprechman (an official MLB scorer for the Yanks and Mets) at 13, I’d say he’s off to a great start!
Matt (Really, I feel like I should be calling him Mr. Nadel) plays MLB 2K12 as much as the next guy, but he can rattle off the winners and losers of every World Series since 1921 while he’s running up the score. I asked Matt a few questions for More Than a Fan, and here’s what he had to say.
1) Matt, first thing’s first, you’re 13-years old. How did you get so interested in baseball’s history at such a young age?
Well, when I was about eight, I wanted to read about the Yankee greats like Babe Ruth
, Lou Gehrig
, Joe DiMaggio
and Mickey Mantle
, and there were other names mentioned in those biographies that I then started to read about too. After a few years, I knew basically all the prominent baseball players in history.
2) Does your passion for baseball’s history spill over into keeping up with baseball’s current events?
Yes. Every day I go on mlb.com
and watch videos of what happened in yesterday’s games. I also read articles on the web to see what happens behind the scenes, and I occasionally read the newspaper. I also participate in a fantasy baseball league with my friends.
3) Do you have any plans to turn your writing into a career?
Yes. I would like to become a baseball historian or journalist when I graduate school. If I can get in, I’d like to go to Columbia which has a great journalism program. (I know I mentioned already that Matt wanted to be a journalist, but he actually mentioned Columbia? He’s a 13-year old baseball historian with his sights set on Columbia. Bright future alert.)
I’m not usually okay with Yankees fans, but the story of an eight year old who started reading biographies about the legends from his favorite team is one that I couldn’t pass up sharing. Baseball With Matt
is a fantastic example of a young person eagerly reaching for history’s torch to carry on until the next bright mind is ready to grab it again. That attitude is evident when Matt answered a question that I hadn’t even gotten around to asking him yet. He said that the reason he started his blog was because “most kids today don’t know very much about baseball history.”
Amen, Matt. In fact, most people today don’t know much about baseball history. And a 13-year old teaching us is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time.
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