|December 10, 1956
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
|BBWAA Career Excellence Award (2022)
Tim Kurkjian ( // ; born December 10, 1956) is a Major League Baseball (MLB) analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter . He is also a contributor to ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com .
On December 7, 2021, Kurkjian was named the recipient of the BBWAA Career Excellence Award for 2022, presented annually by the Baseball Writers' Association of America and officially awarded during induction ceremonies for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kurkjian was born in Bethesda, Maryland, to Badrig "Jeff" Kurkjian, a mathematician, and Joyce "Joy" Kurkjian.Badrig's parents settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, after the Armenian genocide, while Joyce was born in England. Badrig was a statistician who earned degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, George Washington and American Universities, taught at the University of Alabama, was the chief mathematician for the United States Army Materiel Command and was a fellow with the American Statistical Association. He was also an avid baseball fan who instilled in his son his love of both the sport and of statistics from a young age. According to Kurkjian, his family constantly talked and thought about baseball. Both of Kurkjian's older brothers played college baseball for the Catholic University Cardinals and were inducted into that school's athletics hall of fame. In his youth, in addition to playing baseball, young Kurkjian collected baseball cards, played tabletop baseball games and read anything baseball-related that he could.
Kurkjian attended Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, where he played on the school's basketball and baseball teams.At the suggestion of his basketball coach, Kurkjian began writing for the student newspaper, The Pitch, and the school's yearbook, "The Wind-up." He eventually became the sports editor of The Pitch and realized that journalism would be the surest means of fulfilling his childhood dream of making a living in professional sports. He graduated from the school in 1974.
In 1974, Kurkjian enrolled at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. While at Maryland, Kurkjian covered high school sports for his hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Journal. Immediately after graduating from Maryland with a B.A. in journalism in 1978, Kurkjian took an entry-level position with the Washington Star . By 1981, he became a staff writer. When the Star folded that year, he took a position with the Baltimore News-American . That paper also went out of business within two months of Kurkjian's arrival.He began covering baseball as the Texas Rangers beat writer for The Dallas Morning News where he worked from 1981 to 1985. Kurkjian then covered the Baltimore Orioles for The Baltimore Sun beginning in 1986. He was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated from 1989 to 1997. In 1997, Sports Illustrated reassigned him to covering basketball. He served in this capacity for six months before accepting a job at ESPN as a baseball writer and television journalist in 1998 at 40 years old.
He authored his first book, America's Game, in 2000 and released his second book, Is This a Great Game, or What?: From A-Rod's Heart to Zim's Head—My 25 Years in Baseball in May 2007. In 2016, he published his book I'm Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies: Inside the Game We All Love. He was the 1999, 2007, and 2023 Commencement speaker at his alma mater, Walter Johnson High School, the 2008 speaker at Seneca Valley High School, and also delivered the winter commencement speech at the University of Maryland on December 19, 2007.
In 2012, while Kurkjian and fellow ESPN analyst John Kruk were on their annual bus tour around the spring training facilities, a new craze was created called Kurkjianing where players would impersonate Tim Kurkjian during interviews.Some of the players that did this were Tim Dillard of the Brewers, J. P. Arencibia of the Rangers, and Elliot Johnson of the Rays.
Kurkjian is a regular correspondent on ESPN Radio; he was frequently featured on the former SVP & Russillo show hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo. One element of this that has proved popular with listeners is when Van Pelt reads out names of American sports stars in a comedic Baltimore accent, often making Kurkjian crease with laughter. Examples can be found on the ESPN website.Since Van Pelt's departure from his radio slot to anchor the late night SportsCenter show, the mantle of making Kurkjian laugh has been taken up by The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz , which uses its meme of people in the sports world, be they players, coaches or officials, who look like non-sporting people in mundane or ridiculous situations.
On September 29, 2020, Kurkjian helped commentate the American League Wild Card Series postseason game between the Houston Astrosand Minnesota Twins alongside play-by-play announcer Karl Ravech and analyst Eduardo Pérez. Airing on ABC, the game marked the first time that the network broadcast a Major League Baseball game since Game 5 of the 1995 World Series.
On November 26, 1983, Kurkjian married Kathleen Patrick.[ citation needed ] Kathy is a lawyer. The couple has one daughter, Kelly, a creative director at a marketing agency, and one son, Jeff, who hosts Jeff & Aimee in the Morning on KCYE radio in Las Vegas. Both Kelly and Jeff graduated from Syracuse University. His cousins are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Kurkjian and Bob Kurkjian, an engineering teacher at the Learning Prep School in West Newton, MA.
On every day of the Major League Baseball season, from 1990 through 2009, Kurkjian cut every MLB box score out of a newspaper and taped them into a spiral notebook. Kurkjian estimates that this daily task, at 15 minutes per day over 20 seasons, consumed 40 days of his life. He stopped doing this due to the lack of newspapers printing box scores.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is a professional association for journalists writing about Major League Baseball for daily newspapers, magazines, and qualifying websites. The organization was founded in 1908 and is known for its annual awards and voting on membership in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Scott Van Pelt is an American sportscaster and sports talk show host. He co-anchored the 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on ESPN, served as the co-host of SVP & Russillo alongside Ryen Russillo on ESPN Radio, and hosts various golf events for the network. In June 2015, Van Pelt left his radio show to become a solo anchor for a midnight edition of SportsCenter. For the 2023-24 NFL season, Van Pelt took over as host of Monday Night Countdown.
Kevin Charles Millar is an American former professional baseball first baseman and outfielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) and is a current analyst for MLB Network and NESN. He played in MLB for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 through 2009. He is currently a host along with Siera Santos and Ryan Dempster on the MLB Network show Intentional Talk, and the show's companion audio podcast Intentional Talk: Caught Listening.
Peter Gammons is an American media personality and recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing, given by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
James Joseph Deshaies is an American former professional baseball left-handed starting pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for six teams over the course of 12 big league seasons. He is currently a color commentator for broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games.
David Braxton Flemming is an American sportscaster who has been a play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball since 2003. Flemming also calls college football, college basketball, major league baseball, and golf on ESPN, as well as the World Series and World Baseball Classic for MLB International.
Peter Gilray Schmuck is a retired American sportswriter.
The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is a journalism school located at the University of Maryland, College Park. The college was founded in 1947 and was named after newspaper editor Philip Merrill in 2001. The school has about 550 undergraduates and 70 graduate students enrolled.
Ryen Russillo is an American sports host who for many years hosted a popular radio show on ESPN. Russillo left ESPN in 2019 to join The Ringer.
Tracy Ringolsby is an American sportswriter. He was a founder and original columnist for Baseball America from its beginning until a new ownership group took over changed the publication from its focus on minor leagues to a more generic approach. In retirement, he created a Rockies focused website, InsideTheSeams.com, and a University of Wyoming focused website, WelcomeTo7220.com, in reference to the school being located at the highest elevation of any Division 1 school. He worked for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado, until its closure during spring training 2009, and spent 2009–2013 as the pre-game/post-game analyst with Fox Sports Rocky Mountain/ROOTSPORTS for Rockies telecasts. He is the former president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) and was a member from 1976 to 2013. He rejoined the BBWAA in 2016 when employees of MLB.com, where he worked for more than four years, were admitted to the BBWAA.
Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2011 proceeded according to the rules revised in July 2010. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players. The new Expansion Era Committee, which replaced the Veterans Committee, convened in December 2010 to select from an Expansion Era ballot of long-retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport from 1973 to the present time, called the "Expansion Era" by the Hall of Fame.
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2012 proceeded according to rules most recently revised in July 2010. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 9, 2012. The Golden Era Committee, the second of three new era committees established by the July 2010 rules change, replacing the Veterans Committee, convened early in December 2011 to select from a Golden Era ballot of retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport between 1947 and 1972, called the "Golden Era" by the Hall of Fame.
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2013 took place according to rules most recently revised in July 2010. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 9, 2013. The Pre-Integration Era Committee, the last of three new voting committees established during the July 2010 rules change to replace the more broadly defined Veterans Committee, convened early in December 2012 to select from a ballot of players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport prior to 1947, called the "Pre-Integration Era" by the Hall of Fame.
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2015 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2014. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 6, 2015. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were elected to the Hall of Fame. It was the first time since 1955 that the BBWAA elected four players in one year.
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2016 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2015. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 6, 2016; Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Hall of Fame.
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2017 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2016. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 18, 2017. The BBWAA elected Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Iván Rodríguez to the Hall of Fame.
Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2019 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2016. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players. The results were announced on January 22, 2019, with the BBWAA electing Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, and Mike Mussina to the Hall of Fame. Rivera and Halladay were elected in their first year of eligibility, while Martínez was elected in his last year of eligibility. Rivera became the first player to be unanimously elected, appearing on all 425 ballots; he broke Ken Griffey Jr.'s record of 99.32 percent, set in 2016.
Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2022 were conducted according to the rules most recently amended in 2016. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 25. David Ortiz, in his first year of eligibility, was the only player elected from the BBWAA ballot.