Tim Kurkjian joined ESPN in March 1998 as both a reporter for Baseball Tonight and a senior writer. Known for his passionate storytelling and insight, he continues to provide analysis through his writing and regular appearances on Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter. Kurkjian is also a staple in ESPN’s Little League World Series coverage, and has served as a regular analyst in the booth, including for Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball.
Kurkjian was named the 2022 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner, presented annually to a writer “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.”
The best event he’s covered for ESPN, Kurkjian says, is Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.
“It was one of the greatest Game 7’s ever played,” he said.
Kurkjian has an extensive background in covering baseball. He was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated from 1989-1997 as well as a reporter for CNN-SI from 1996-1997.
He has authored three books. The latest, I’m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies came out in May 2016.
Kurkjian believes he was destined for a career around the game.
“Baseball is the only language we spoke in my family growing up,” he said. “My dad was a really good player, my brothers were great college players, this is all we talked about in my house. And I went to Walter Johnson High School, named after the greatest pitcher of all time.”
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 before moving on to Sports Illustrated in 1989.
His journalism career began with the Washington Star in 1978 following his graduation from the University of Maryland in the same year. He also worked briefly for the Baltimore News American in 1981 prior to covering the Rangers.
When asked about his favorite childhood sports memory, Kurkian shares, “1965. I was eight. I was already hopelessly addicted to the game. We just got our first color TV. Willie Mays, who was already my baseball hero from 3,000 miles away, hit a home run to open the 1965 All-Star game. He had the perfect look to a baseball player: so fast, so strong, so good defensively. I was hooked forever.”