The coolest business card you’ll see today

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I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Gellman-Chomsky for the first time at last year’s Winter Meetings in Dallas. Ben is a play-by-play guy, who broadcast games for the Hickory Crawdads of the Sally League in 2011 and the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League this past season. He’s a nice kid. Originally from Columbus, too.

I caught up with him last night and, as is often the case with young up-and-comers like Ben, he’s looking for his next gig at the Winter Meetings.  Given what I know of him — he has a good voice, is smart, knows the game and he’s funny — I think he’ll do fine.  But every little bit helps in the competitive world of sports broadcasting, and Ben has a little bit that, if the world is just and fair, that should help: a killer business card.

The front is pretty normal:

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But check out the awesome back:

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Yeah, that’s a 1989 Topps back. I recognized it the second he gave it to me. Ben is only 26 so he himself was too young to really appreciate that card, but I bet he’s banking on the old men who make hiring decisions in baseball to see that card and have an instant, positive reaction. I sure did.

Good luck, Ben. Although with your savvy, you probably don’t need it.

World Series Umpires announced

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In the Major League Baseball system, the people are entertained by two separate yet equally important groups. The players who play the game and the umpires who call the balls, strikes and outs. These are their stories.

Wait, that’s not true. They’re not equally important and we certainly don’t want to hear the umpires’ stories. If the stories are about the umpires it usually that means they’ve screwed up.

Not always, though! In 2013, you may recall, I wrote a story about an umpire who made a much talked about call in a World Series game that (a) happened to be right, even if it was much-debated; and (b) his story is one I’ve always found compelling, even if he’s most famous for a call he got wrong.

Jim Joyce, though, an umpire who was widely admired and respected despite his famous blunders, is one of the few exceptions to the rule about what it means to know an umpires’ name. Most of the time we’re all lucky — umpires included — if the introductions are the first and last time we hear of them.

Here they are for the 2018 World Series, with Game 1 assignments noted:

Home: Tim Timmons
1B: Kerwin Danley
2B: Ted Barrett — Crew Chief
3B: Chad Fairchild
LF: Jeff Nelson
RF:Jim Reynolds
Replay, Games 1-2: Fieldin Culbreth
Replay, Game 3-End: Tim Timmons